I’m still under the influence of the discussion we had on the Cold War and it’s affect on pop culture in the forums. That discussion first led me to look up a young adult book series I vaguely remembered called After the Bomb. Now it has led me to a similar series called Firebrats.

This is the UK cover.  I got the UK version because it was cheaper, but I like the American cover better.
This is the UK cover. I got the UK version because it was cheaper, but I like the American cover better.

See? Told you it was better.
See? Told you it was better.

If After the Bomb is The Day After, then Firebrats is Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. There is a fairly chilling sequence in which suburban America is bombed by the Russians. However, rather than giving a more realistic account of the clean up and rescue efforts following such an attack, Firebrats focus on two teens who have to contend with roving gangs. Actually, that might be pretty realistic as well, but it is a different arena of realism than what After the Bomb presents. There is a romantic subplot, of course, and some life lessons/growing pains/raising up to meet the challenge parts as well. All pretty standard, but as I’m a kid of the 80s, I can’t get enough of it.
There were four books in the Firebrats series: The Burning Land, Survivors, Thunder Mountain, and Shockwave. That’s twice what After the Bomb had. I only read the first book. Since there are no e-copies that I could find, and since the hard copies are very expensive, and since I’ve been told that the series does not come to a conclusion, I might not pick up the other three. I had a good time with the first, though. It really took me back to those days when we were sure the missiles could fall at any moment, which, strangely enough, was not entirely unpleasant.


Doug is a child of the 80s who was raised in Ohio and is now living the life of oblivion in the bay area of California.

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