Dating in The Apocalypse: Sarah “The One” by Christopher John Chater, Chater Publishing, 62 pages, July 8th, 2016, Genre: Dystopian/Science Fiction/Romance. Warning: May Contain Spoilers.
by Leigh Holland
Dating in The Apocalypse is the first novelette in a series. Each book focuses on the protagonist’s experiences with a different woman, or “date”. Dating in the modern age was already rough, trying to find love in the apocalypse is well-nigh impossible.
Human beings became immunosuppressed to the point they could no longer fight off basic diseases. Influenza wiped out huge swaths of humanity. Some remained immune and survived. The majority were men. Women are so scarce, they’re traded, fought over, and kidnapped as if they were oil. Most men would give up on love, but not Tom Collins. He’s determined to find “The One”. He’s sure she’s out there and isn’t “irradiated, diseased, or had anything amputated”. As Tom puts it:
“I’d made a list of her qualities and kept it taped to the door. I looked at it every day before I left the house.
Blonde hair. (Natural, of course. I’ll be checking roots, girls.)
Green eyes. (The color of Fenway grass, or those old 7UP bottles.)
Smart. (Coupled with the natural blonde part, this is indeed a rare specimen.)
Strong and independent. (She doesn’t shed too many tears over something as silly as an apocalypse. Can’t tell you how many drink dates turned into a bawling, apocalyptic catharsis: “Then we had to saw off papa’s leg…” Gets a little depressing.)
Caring. (Hoping this whole apoc thing hasn’t jaded her. Plenty of fish in the sea, but they shouldn’t be as cold as one.)
Worthy. (There are women these days who would whore themselves for a cheeseburger. A worthy woman knows she at least deserves fries with it.)”
Tom finally meets a woman who matches his description: Lady Sarah. There are just three problems. One, she’s entered negotiations to wed his rival, a marauder clan leader named Darryl who kidnapped his last three dates. Two, Sarah resides in an area forbidden to men. And three, Sarah thinks Tom is a bit of an idiot.
After escaping many dangerous situations during their “dinner date”, Tom extracts a promise from Lady Sarah that she will date him again if he can find a way to keep the marauder clans from raiding her city. The story ends on a cliffhanger which will set the stage for the next novelette in the series.
Although Dystopian, it is highly humorous. It’s a fast-paced, fun ride. I never imagined the apocalypse could lighten my mood and make me laugh. Chater juxtaposes a fool-for-love, reluctant hero whose primary weapon is his witty repartee against a surreal backdrop of a post-apocalyptic city. The characters were quirky and interesting. My favorite character was Lillith, Tom’s mother, a formerly frustrated fashion designer whose fifteen minutes of fame has finally arrived.
Witty and amusing, Dating in The Apocalypse wasn’t what I expected, making it a delightful read. It’s currently on sale for .99 cents at Amazon. It’s followed by three more books in the series. I’d recommend this novelette to anyone looking for an entertaining romp through the apocalypse that can be read in a single sitting.
You can find it at Amazon at Dating in The Apocalypse.