Friday, June 16, 2017

Pulse by L. R. Burkard

I have read several novels about the aftermath of an EMP but this is the first I've seen for teens. It is a combination of entertainment and information. The narrative is from the viewpoints of three teens. We follow the alternating first person accounts of their experiences after technology and electricity become nonexistent. We learn much about an EMP, what it is and what happens as a result.

The three viewpoints give three very different responses to the disaster. One teen lives on a farm in a very strong Christian family. We see how farm life has prepared her and her family for survival. Another teen lives in the city in an apartment with her family. They struggle greatly to survive after their grocery store food supply is cut off. The third teen lives in a rural home with her family totally unprepared for such a disaster.

There are many issues teens could discuss after reading this book. There is the entire complex question of making choices, such as feeding one's own family verses giving food to others. There is also the issue of stealing, implying that it is not so wrong when done to provide for the survival of loved ones. There is also the reality the teens must face. Suddenly beauty habits are meaningless when just surviving is paramount, and getting rid of lice! There is also a good discussion on listening to what God is telling you to do. And ultimately, how does a family protect themselves from marauders? Do they kill others? What is a Christian's responsibility to those in need, to those starving?

The novel is also a bit preachy. There is a monologue on the importance of having guns with which to defend ones self. There is another monologue on how biased the media is, being selective in what news they report to the public. Another one speaks to judgment on America, suggesting the parallel to Sodom and Gomorrah. (I found it interesting that the concentration was regarding sexual sin and totally ignored Ezekiel stating that the sin was being overfed and unconcerned, failing to help the poor and needy as well. Ezek. 14:49)

This is a very realistic and gritty novel dealing with the issues teens will face should there be an EMP. Teens are made aware of how people behave when they are desperate, including Christians when they are defending their own food supply. While very well written, I found the novel troubling. I would suggest that parents read this book along with their teens. There is much that should be discussed while reading it.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Linore Burkard attempted her first novel at age nine. After college, marriage and children, she began writing novels in earnest. Her first published books were historical romance with Harvest House. The Pulse Effex Series in her first youth fiction suspense series. She lives in Ohio, is the mother of five, and homeschools her youngest. You can find out more at and

Lilliput Press, 258 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the author. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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