Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Minerva's Shield-Derek Hart

Minerva's Shield Derek Hart iUniverse, Sep 25 2013, $20.95 ISBN: 9781491708996 The Norton siblings agree that the younger sexagenarian Bob will scatter their parents’ ashes in the Black Hills. Bob, accompanied by his teenage child Ian, drives from Marietta, Georgia to bury his parents and also enjoy a father-son trip. In Minnesota and the Dakotas, Bob and Ian explore abandoned homes seeking left behind treasures. After disposing of the ashes, they stop at the long closed Black Hills Army Depot where they find anomalies, meet ranchers and uncover a heavy gold coin. Soon after they leave, an odd monstrous storm of the century seems to follow them as they head home. In Marietta, the FBI visits an increasingly paranoid Bob at his home. When the Feds leave, Bob, realizing that same strange storm is coming to the Atlanta area, tells his wife Karen and Ian they must seek shelter elsewhere. As the super storm strikes with vast destruction killing Karen and many of their neighbors, Bob struggles with what he saw in the sky. Still he leads on foot a group of twelve towards Ellijay in the mountains. The gold coin planted by NASA years ago as part of Minerva's Shield saves their lives, but no other human seems to have survived. Minerva's Shield starts off as a leisurely-paced family drama that about a third of the way into the novel turns into a fast-paced apocalyptic thriller. Filled with action while treasure hunting and much more while surviving, fans will enjoy this fabulous opening act mindful of Nevil Shute’s On The Beach (albeit twenty-first century in the North Georgia Mountains instead of 1950s Australia) with a delightful metafiction spoofing of Derek Hart. Harriet Klausner

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