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Under Falling Skies

by Kate MacLeod

Under Falling Skies is the first book in The Travels Of Scout Shannon series. Scout is a sixteen-year-old orphan. Her parents and baby brother were killed in a war when the enemy dropped a meteorite on their city. For the last six years, Scout has been riding on her bike between domed cities delivering items people would rather not have the officials examine. Her only companions are two dogs: Shadow, a rat terrier, and Girl, a mixture of different breeds.

On one of her trips, the dogs sense the presence of someone hiding in the bushes along the road. It turns out to be a woman with a gun and high-tech accessories. She identifies herself only as Warrior and refuses to state her business, although she is obviously from off-planet and appears to have no interest in local affairs.

Suddenly they receive a Solar Flare alert. This one is bad - fatal if not protected. They are too far away from the cities to reach them in time. So they must find shelter deep underground. They do find an old supply centre and hope to ride out the solar storm with five other women, plus the reclusive, resentful person who lives there - all the main characters are female. They are safe from the storm and have plenty of food and supplies. Then one of them is murdered. According to the sensors, there is no only else in the facility. Then another one is murdered. The suspect list gets smaller as the bodies begin to pile up.

This is an interesting story that kept me going to the end. It would be easy to launch a series from how the book ended. Two things to be aware of, however. First, potty words are sprinkled in the story, of which I am never a fan. Second, two older ladies, who are close friends, are briefly described as ‘lovers.’ This does not enter into the story, but I don’t know if it is a theme that will reoccur in other books of the series.

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