Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

by:  Peter Heller
published by:  Knopf
publish date:  August 7, 2012

Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope. In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and to pretend that things are the way they used to be. But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life—something like his old life—exists beyond the airport. Risking everything, he flies past his point of no return—not enough fuel to get him home—following the trail of the static-broken voice on the radio. But what he encounters and what he must face—in the people he meets, and in himself—is both better and worse than anything he could have hoped for.
I kept hearing about The Dog Stars and how it was so awesome.  So when the audiobook was available at the library, I jumped at the chance to listen to it.  The book lived up to its hype.  It will most likely make it to my Top 10 of 2012.

The Dog Stars takes place in a post-apocalyptic United States.  A flu virus, then mysterious blood disease, killed off 99% of the population.  Hig somehow survived both illnesses.  Now he's living at a small airport with his dog Jasper.  His neighbor Bangley, a survivalist, helps Hig control the perimeter so that no unwanted visitors make their way on to their shared property. 

Don't expect a whole lot to happen in this book.  It's not a zombie thriller or a wild dystopian adventure.  It's simply about Hig and his struggle to live in this new world.  That made it unique in the post-apocalyptic books and it was a beautiful story.  My favorite part was the relationship Hig had with Jasper, his dog.  Bangley was also a great character.  I think he's getting a bit of a bad rap in some reviews, but I think deep down he's a good guy but too tough to show it.

I definitely recommend this book to fans of the post-apocalyptic genre.  I think it might be a really good crossover novel.  It's not YA and it has some situations that aren't quite YA appropriate, but I think it would be a great book for readers transitioning out of YA and looking for a good Adult novel.  I also recommend the audiobook, it was very well done.


Unknown said...

I love Peter Heller s work this was a great are there with the characters and this is a requirement for me.

Charmaine Smith (Hummer Accessories)

Hyacinth Marius said...

I loved this book. Hated for it to end. I fell in love with Hig & Bangley. Mr. Heller certainly knows the art of descriptive writing. The novel had everything. Suspense, romance, mystery and a reality of what would happen if our nation was wiped out by a flu virus, killing mostly everyone. It was a page turner. Oh and the wonderful dog Jasper made it all worth reading. I highly recommend this book.
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