By: H.W. “Buzz” Bernard
Published: July 11, 2016
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Buzz Bernard holds a special spot in my book-loving heart. His first book was one of the first books I read for the purpose of giving a review. You can see my review of EYEWALL, HERE. I was interested in it because the setting was St. Simons Island, GA. I have family there and it is where my husband and I spent our honeymoon. At the time, I took a chance on a new author and he took a chance on me as a new reviewer. Then two years later, I interviewed him to promote his second book, PLAGUE. He is a delightful person and I enjoyed that opportunity. You can see my interview, HERE. Now, here I am reviewing his fifth book five years after it all began.
“Buzz” Bernard is a former senior meteorologist for The Weather Channel and prior to that, he was a weather officer with the Air Force. His weather experience is lengthy and makes it only natural for him to write about weather catastrophes. In his newest book, CASCADIA, his setting is the beautiful Oregon Coastline. Bernard introduces us to Rob, a geologist, who has “visions” of a megaquake followed by a tsunami that hits his beloved Manzanita area. The quake appears in his dreams as bigger than the one researchers have studied that hit the same coastal area in the 1700’s. Johnny is one of those men who has been studying the area, looking for the buried treasure left behind by the Native Americans after the quake hit in the 1700’s. We also meet a retired Air Force veteran who comes to Manzanita to make amends with his past. These characters and others converge on Manzanita over 4th of July weekend and their lives will collide in a way none of them expected.
CASCADIA is fast-paced and doesn’t bog you down with the technical side of earthquakes. It gives you enough information to understand the devastating effects of a megaquake on the entire coastline. In the Prologue, we are given a folktale that has been passed down through generations of Native Americans foretelling the power of a megaquake and forthcoming tsunami. The “Thunderbird and Whale” narrative gives the reader a perspective of understanding the weather long before we had seismology and meteorologists.
CASCADIA is predictable in the way that murder mysteries are predictable. You know that a murder is going to happen you just don’t know who is going to die and who committed the murder. I know enough about Bernard’s books that I know the earthquake is coming or there wouldn’t be a story to tell. You just don’t know how all the characters are going to connect and what will happen to each of them once the quake hits.
Bernard packs a powerful story into a quick read that can easily be consumed over a weekend. You just may not want to read it if you are traveling to the Northwest Coastal Region. Save it for when you get home.
|H.W. “Buzz” Bernard|
H.W. “Buzz” Bernard is a best-selling author, former meteorologist, and Air Force Veteran. His debut novel, EYEWALL was a number-one best-seller in Amazon’s Kindle store. He’s a native Oregonian and attended the University of Washington in Seattle where he earned a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science; he also studied creative writing.