Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Every day in April (except Sundays), I’ll be sharing a short bookish memory with you.
The first post-apocalyptic stories I remember reading were the Countdown books by Daniel Parker. The series was published in the late 90s, when I was a preteen. I loved the books back then, but if I reread them now, I’d probably find them idiotic. The series is about a plague that is let loose on New Year’s Day in the year 2000. The disease causes children and adults to melt into puddles of black goo. Teenagers inherit the Earth. Each book in the series is a different month of the year 2000.
Countdown: January – Daniel Parker
On New Year's Day, it happens:
Over six billion people die within twenty-four hours.
The stunned survivors are left to fend for themselves in a world where chaos reigns. A world with no rules, no order . . . and no adults.
Because the only people left are teenagers.
Countdown captured my young imagination in the same way Lois Lowry’s The Giver did. The series made me desperate for more dystopian fiction. I think Countdown and The Giver get the blame for my current love of dystopias.
The worst part of the Countdown series was that some of the books were difficult to find. Online bookstores weren’t common in the 90s. I lived in a small town with a tiny library and no bookstores. My parents searched everywhere, but they were never able to find the entire series. My teachers, friends, and librarians had never heard of Countdown. I just had to make peace with not knowing the whole story.
During The Hunger Games dystopia craze, I started thinking about the Countdown books again. I Googled them. I learned that they got terrible reviews from critics when they came out. The Goodreads pages for the books are pretty dead and empty. The few reviews the books do have on Goodreads aren’t great. I guess this series didn’t have the same impact on other people as it did on me.
I also learned that I could buy used copies of the Countdown books I couldn’t find as a kid. I decided not to. Maybe some things are better as memories.
Have you ever heard of Countdown? Is there a book you loved as a kid but are reluctant to reread as an adult?