“The Dog Stars” focused on pilot Hig and his dog, as they fly around the U.S. trying to survive after a deadly disease has killed most of mankind. I connected with Hig through his sarcastic and pragmatic opinions as he reminisced about his prior life and visualized the bleak future. The novel followed Hig as he defends his property and life by killing those who attack him, but his softer side is revealed through the stories of his wife. This dichotomy provided a perfect protagonist that was aimed at a mature audience.
The recollections of Hig and his wife was my favorite aspect of the book because the author brilliantly used these reflections to show Hig as a genuine and emotional character. The scene where his wife dies was especially poignant. He not only emerges as a round character who is enjoyable to follow, he is brimming with depth and sincerity. But there was plenty of action to keep the plot exciting. His perspective of flight is an interesting addition to the end of the world genre and provides a humanistic element to the book. The staccato manner of writing was reminiscent of “The Road,” but Hig’s perspective made the book far more manageable. I wasn’t a huge fan of the choppy format and lack of quotations marks, which made the novel difficult for me to read, but this was a solid novel.
Anyone who is interested a quirky hero battling for his life at the end of the world would really enjoy this novel.