cover image The Apocalypse Seven

The Apocalypse Seven

Gene Doucette. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $15.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-358-41894-8

Seven people awake to the revelation that Boston and the surrounding area are abandoned, overgrown, and teeming with coywolves in this riveting postapocalyptic outing from Doucette (The Spaceship Next Door). Harvard students Robbie and Carol are the first to find each other in this strange, deserted world. They soon join up with computer programmer Touré, and the three discover juvenile delinquent Bethany while searching for food and answers. Doucette draws a contrast between this scrappy group’s struggle for survival in Boston and the confident know-how of two characters outside the city: nondenominational pastor Paul, who jury-rigs his truck and fills it with guns and supplies; and marketing executive Win, who adopts a blasé approach to facing down mountain lions. Closest to uncovering what happened is Ananda, an MIT astrophysicist whose discovery of a mysterious device suggests extraterrestrial interference. Subtly eerie occurrences propel the story past the midpoint, and the group’s daily efforts to survive provide more satisfaction than the abrupt revelations of the finale. Despite the underwhelming denouement, Doucette’s vibrant prose and unique premise make for an enticing adventure. [em](May) [/em]