Runner Boy – Jay Mackey
Runner Boy (Young Adult, Dystopian)
What if the lights go out—and never come back on?
When an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) knocks out all electricity and almost everything electronic, including communication, lights, heat, water, and most transportation, the Gruens find themselves in a quandary. Their oldest daughter, Chrissie, is 180 miles away at college and they have no way to contact her to know if she’s all right, or even to know if she’s alive. When their food and water start to run out and their house is attacked, they decide to leave home to go find her.
The story is told by sixteen-year-old Brady Gruen, who is a bit of a slacker in a family of achievers. He’s at first reluctant to leave home and his friends despite the growing danger. But he comes to realize that nothing will ever go back to the way it was.
The Gruens quickly learn that the trip to find Chrissie is not going to be easy. They get trapped on the wrong side of the Ohio River. They’re accosted by gas thieves, shot at and chased by gangs on the interstate, and nearly blown up by a rocket launched from a fighter jet. And that’s just the first day.
There are many questions to be answered, including who or what caused the EMP, and the obvious one: will they ever find Chrissie? But for Brady, even more important is this: when he is asked to step up, how will he react? And, when it’s his time, will he come through?
RUNNER BOY is the first book in a series following Brady as he navigates a world that has been forever changed.