Run is a post-apocalyptic story set in modern-day Canada, but in an area so far north and remote that it’s a ten-hour drive to the U.S.-Canadian border. Civilization’s undoing in this book is a coronal mass ejection (CME) which affected it least large swaths of North America, and quite possibly the entire world, though news is correctly sparse under the circumstances.
A few items make this book rather unique, at least from a post-apocalyptic fiction perspective.
First, as already mentioned, it is set in rural Canada, and in in her Author’s Notes, the author says she intends this series to be “unapologetically Canadian.” Perhaps with tongue-in-check, she almost immediately mentions that the series will consequently include “a lot of apologizing.”
Second, the story alternates between two first-person perspectives, those of Matt and Nessa. Several scenes are first told from Nessa’s perspective, and then Matt’s, or vice versa. The two have set off from a small town and through the wilderness in hopes of reaching the perceived safety of a remote cabin, where Matt’s mother lives.
Third, there’s a romantic theme, with Matt and Nessa being drawn together emotionally even as the world falls apart and they fight off external threats. It is obviously not the best environment to develop a relationship in but biology is stubborn that way.
Though I’m American, I wasn’t too focused on the Canadian setting, really. It was an interesting angle, and was very well done, but it was a minor aspect of what would be a great story for any reader from any country. When civilization begins to crumble, and it’s you, your friends, and your family, vs. the world, I think we’d all do pretty much the same thing, driven by our own moral compasses and need to survive. Mother Nature doesn’t recognize national boundaries.
Some readers might suggest that the romance element is improbable, or even out of place. It’s not something you would commonly find in EOTW fiction, or at least not in this detail. I’d counter that EOTW scenarios would, in fact, lead to exactly this kind of behavior. Our need for human companionship would be greatly heightened if the world was falling apart around us. Being alone at a time like that would be one of the worst things imaginable for most people. Love would be right up there with food, ammunition, and shelter on every survivor’s list of needs.