I just finished Ill Wind by Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason. When a criminal jerk with a massive grudge against the human race causes the greatest oil spill in history, scientists and the responsible oil company team up to find a solution, a petroleum eating microbe. However, due to the disillusions of one man, the microbe gets out of hand and pertroleum-based products all over the planet, everything from Styrofoam cups to the wiring inside computers, dissolves. What ensues is a global catastrophe that plummets the world into a post-apocalyptic future. The “fate” of humanity rests in the hands of a small group of scientists, a cowboy and a band of “hippies.”
While I think the book would make a good Kevin Costner-style film, I do not recommend it to folks who are interested in character-based stories as I feel it is more plot-driven. There is a multitude of characters and sometimes the descriptions can get a little long-winded, meaning it took me several chapters to “get into it” but along about the middle of the novel, things pick up and I started to become more interested in the characters. The sciene in the book makes sense and I found the whole idea of a petro-plague to be a realistic cause of a post-apocalyptic world. If you are a Day After Tomorrow fan, an Independence Day fan or a fan of large scale disaster stories with a huge cast of characters, you will probably enjoy Ill Wind.