Review: White Pickups by Larry Kollar
Summary From Goodreads:
At summer’s end, mysterious white pickup trucks take to the roads and compel nearly everyone to “drive off.” Some of those who remain gather in a suburban Atlanta subdivision, and struggle to cope with a world whose infrastructure is rapidly crumbling. One of the few who are mentally and emotionally prepared for the end of the world is Cody Sifko, a youth who quickly becomes the inspiration for the others. When a strange homeless woman names him “Father of Nations,” is she seeing his future or her own delusions? As winter and a hate group try to destroy Laurel Hills, can Cody overcome personal tragedy and seize his destiny?
Love, hate, survival, and an apocalypse like no other—White Pickups is ready to take you on the ride of your life!
I received an e-book copy of White Pickups in exchange for an honest review.
White Pickups, book one of the “Truckalypse” series, was very enjoyable for me and definitely has me excited for book two, Pickups and Pestilence. That doesn’t mean, however, that it wasn’t bizarre. As the series name in combination with the title would suggest, white pickups essentially are responsible for the end of humanity as we know it. The vast majority of the population goes into them and though the characters, and thus the reader as well, are not certain what exactly happens when someone enters these vehicles, they do not expect them to return to the remains of the world that they left behind.
I’m going to break down White Pickups into two sections, pros and cons, and then give a conclusion, sound good? Wonderful, somehow I knew you’d see it my way.
Cons: Love Triangles – They are very heavily used. Even when they are resolved rather quickly or the outcome seems rather obvious from the onset, Kollar uses them for tension and some fleshing out of characters. If they weren’t quite as obvious as to which way they were going to go I think this could have been a solid device, as it was the tool shone and the result fell somewhat flat.
Insta-love – You know my feelings on this if you follow my reviews at all. In this case I don’t think the love part was quite so instant in the main relationship as in many insta-love cases, despite iterations by some of the characters to the contrary. Lust? Certainly. Desire? Absolutely. Rapidly developed feelings? You betcha. But this was the best possible way it could have been incorporated and it felt very realistic. A small con at most but I had to mention it.
Slow Points In Development – There were parts in the book where I just wanted to skip ahead. I understand that Kollar wanted the reader to get an accurate portrayal of all of the work that would go into creating a post-apocalyptic community, something that is glossed over in many works and something I think is worthwhile to do. However, at some point you need to edit it down a bit so that the reader isn’t drowned in the minutia, there were areas where I certainly think that would have been possible. Had some parts been scaled down the book could have had a better pacing to it and been more exciting rather than just interesting.
Pros: Characters – There was a very large cast of characters that we actually heard from throughout the book which is a very challenging thing to attempt and Kollar did so very well. I felt like I knew them all and what they could potentially become and do in future books, that none of them seemed forced or unnecessary, and that there were strong emotional bonds with each of them. I can’t stress enough how difficult that is to accomplish and Kollar deserves major credit for them all having individual voices that stand out.
Originality – How the heck did Kollar come up with white pickup trucks ending the world? It was rapture-esque but not overly so (and without the typical religious overtones) but the idea for that was very creative and unique.
Believability – It’s an apocalypse book and it seemed possible. Read that again. Yes the premise is a bit weird (white pickup trucks calling out to you!) but the reasoning for people choosing to leave discovered by the characters certainly could apply to the vast majority of society. The characters as previously mentioned were believable, the way that the community went about creating a new life was broken down (even if a bit too much) into sections that actually felt like details weren’t skipped or glossed over and even the prophecies and magical qualities didn’t seem all that far-fetched.
Summary/Feelings: Did I enjoy White Pickups? Yes. Did I think there were parts I’d like to have been edited down? Yes. Were the characters strong enough for me to overlook the flaws and make me excited for Pickups and Pestilence? Heck ya. Do I recommend the book? Check it out, if for no other reason than it is a unique piece, you won’t find it’s double anywhere, and that is a rarity and very special. Worth the read for sure. Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow (you read that right!) for my next review!