It’s the near future – the very near future – and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be.
Nobody expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Sage Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope – there has to be hope – just there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a whole society that needs to be rethought. Niki, Tom, and Gwen may find what they need to survive. But their lives are never going to be the same again.
What would you do if you found yourself living in a world without gas? What would you miss most? Both of these are questions I had in my mind as I was reading Empty. Suzanne Weyn weaves an interesting story about what would happen to the world once we’ve run out of oil. It’s not just gas for cars that we would be without, but anything using oil at all – plastic, most of all.The people in this book were without so many of the items we take for granted, and it really opened my eyes.
Empty is a quiet sort of book. The narrative is interspersed with newspaper clippings that the teens read, and allow them as well as the reader to understand what is going on in the world. The action is all very realistic and makes sense in the context of the novel (rioting, fighting, etc.). There’s a large event that occurs and throws our main characters and their town into chaos, and then smaller bumps in the road to a nicely done conclusion which wraps up the plot but leaves you wondering if everything will really work out ok for Gwen, Tom and Niki.
Personally, I thought the novel would have worked better with one main character point of view, rather than the three. I can see why it is done the it is, the three points of view give a wider sense of what’s happening in the town and different views on the disaster. However, I just felt like I didn’t get to really connect with any of the characters. Little bits, sure, but I never really connected with them. Still, I liked the story and it is definitely a book that will get you thinking about the way we are using our world’s resources.