The book starts as ISIS terror cells destroy oil refineries across the globe, damage major bridges, etc. and start a shit storm the likes of which we have never dealt with before. In the course of 24 hours, America is no longer the country we once knew it to be. The Borrowed World follows doomsday prepper Jim Powell as he and his small group of colleges are hundreds of miles away from home, without gas or transportation, trying to survive long enough to get home to their families.
While we are following Jim’s group on a treacherous trek home, we also see what Jim’s wife and children have to deal with at home alone. It’s a different kind of danger, but it’s no less scary for his family. I enjoyed having a peek at the different situations they each have to survive. Sort of reminds me of the beginning on The Walking Dead season one… you know, if the TWD had no zombies.
I had mixed feelings for The Borrowed World. On the one hand, I loved the narrator. Seriously, I want to curl up in his voice and live there for a while. What? Don’t look at me like that, his voice is deep and velvety and yum. I will not apologize for being a weirdo! He has the perfect voice for story-telling. It’s so soothing and warm and at the same time able to give me chills when paired with such a serious thriller. It was a weird but ultimately successful combination of comforting and scary.
I enjoyed the story as well. The Borrowed World was a crazily realistic science fiction and it was clearly well researched. It was intense and serious, but it had moments where Horton strategically lightened the mood a bit with humor and dry wit. I don’t know about you, but I really do enjoy my thriller with a side of comedy. Sometimes, too much intensity can overpower, so I loved that there were moments where Horton took the edge off.
The one thing that sort of killed the story for me (and ultimately made this a 3 star review and not higher) was the ending. I’m not a huge fan of open endings to begin with, but this one felt even less successful. It felt like the author was in a rush to publish and forgot to write an ending. It was just so… frustrating. I kept waiting for the rest of the book, but it never came. *sigh* It makes me feel better that there is a second book after all, but not by much. I do see myself picking up book two just to finally figure out how it’s all going to end, but I’m also apprehensive that book two will end like book one. It’s off-putting, to say the least!
I do recommend this book to other science fiction fans, it was such an adventure! But if you aren’t a fan of open endings I’d skip out on The Borrowed World.