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The tsunami countdown

February 10, 2013

“Civilization exists by geologic consent, subject to change without notice” – Will Durant.

Boyd Morrison

Boyd Morrison

That is the poignant opening of “The Tsunami countdown” by Boyd Morrison (also published as Rogue wave)

Having recently seen the movie ‘The Impossible’ about the Sumatra Indonesia tsunami of 2004, it seemed synchronicity was at play when I saw this on the shelf.

The main character is Kai Tanaka, assistant director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Honolulu.  All the action takes place within the timeframe of one day, which dawns bright and sunny. Kai’s daughter and friends head to the beach; his wife is at work in a downtown high-rise; the only news of the day is that a plane has inexplicably vanished without trace in the mid-Pacific. But then the PTWC fails to receive it’s usual tide readings from Christmas Island, and they can’t reach anyone there. Kai feels that somehow it’s connected with the missing plane, but how?  There are no fault lines there, no history of earthquakes, no underwater volcanoes…

It’s not until they get a live video feed from Johnston Island as a mega-tidal wave oliterates it, that they realise the unbelievable truth. Earth has been impacted by an asteroid mid-Pacific, and a series of massive waves are speeding towards Hawaii and the Pacific Rim, with the first due to hit in less than one hour! As the population struggles to reach high ground, Kai is forced to head towards the beach in a last-ditch effort to save his daughter. Meanwhile, his wife is trapped in a high-rise hotel, trying to save disabled veterans who have been stranded without transport. And then the first wave hits…

This novel was a rip-roaring adventure. Just when I thought the plot was settling down, there was another twist and off we went again. It kept me reading til the wee small hours of the night. In places, the narrative dragged a little, but for the most part, it was very gripping.  If you like authors Matthew Reilly or Clive Cussler, you’ll probably agree.   And if you want your teenager to remember the tsunami warning signs, give them this book to read … they’ll never forget them!

– Natalie

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2 Comments
  1. ngamoko permalink

    Don’t you mean Will Durant?

  2. Ahhh. How right you are! That’ll teach me for relying on spellcheck!!!! 🙂

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