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Where The Real Story Begins

Drew Samuelsen Author Interview

Restart follows a group of teenagers who survived the initial apocalypse and are trying to save humanity from those that wish to alter the world. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

For a long time I’ve enjoyed dystopian stories, and like a lot of people I’ve begun to worry about our increasing dependence on technology and what it would mean if all that power were gathered into one place. What if it were held by one person? Why would she want that power? So motivation, I think, is where the real story begins.

Uly had simple plans for life, and saving humanity was not part of them. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Uly represents a lot of decent kids who more or less do what they are supposed to do. He’s not perfect, but when pushed into a corner he will fight back, and only as much as is needed. He despises bullies and just wants to be left alone. In short, he’s been taught to follow the Golden Rule, but that isn’t easy in a post-apocalyptic world. So he struggles to hold onto his ideals when trying to fight monsters. And although he gives himself very little credit, he’s better at things than he cares to admit. I think a lot of people see themselves in Uly.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Friendship and the need to support one another is an important theme as the kids realize they can’t depend on family members who are no longer there. Yet they want to maintain community. Another theme is knowing when and how to fight against abusive and absolute power. And while fighting back, how to hold onto your humanity.

What is the next book in the Restart Series that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am currently writing Book II of the Restart Series, and hope to have it available through Cosby Media Productions by Summer 2023.

Author Links: Twitter | Instagram | Website


When a computer virus decimates the earth’s population, four teenagers and a dog survive, searching for answers while trying to escape packs of humans wired to hunt and kill. These four teenagers must band together to find solutions that will hold the key to saving the world. Yet the most dangerous enemy of all… is betrayal.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, never seems to make noise on the world scale. That is, until now. Ulysses (Uly) is a teenager with dreams. Most of which range from earning straight A’s in school, making money, and marrying the girl of his dreams one day. None of these include saving the world, but Ulysses has learned to always keep his options open.

But one day, all his dreams and hopes crash and burn when a worldwide apocalypse is transmitted through electronics such as cell phones, laptops, and TV screens, bringing the entire planet grinding to a halt. Even worse, Ulysses is now being hunted by ruthless humans called The Changed, programmed to hunt and kill survivors, controlled by a female scientist only known as Eve. Separated from his family, Ulysses teams up with his friends Xavier, Maxine, and Tyler, along with a dog named Finn McCool, determined to stop Eve’s plans and restore the world in… a Restart!


Restart by Drew Samuelsen is a dystopian tale of thirteen-year-old Ulysses, who finds himself alone after a strange event has killed most of the world’s population. Fearing for his Mother, who never came home from work, he sets out to find her. Along the way, he acquires a group of friends and learns the world’s own technology was used to decimate the population. They also soon know not all humans hit by this technological-based attack were killed; some were changed into deadly, almost animal-like killing machines. Can Ulysses and his friends avoid technology and murderous humans while looking for their loved ones?

I like that the vessel to bring about the apocalypse is technology. This also turns the book into a fear-inducing one; I kept thinking about all the tech around me that could be used against me. It leads to a bit of a chilling reading experience. The action was well-paced, and the story kept me intrigued. I also liked this book because it provided light moments in this dark situation. The tone was really a fun one. The fault I’ve found with other dystopian novels is that they are too heavy, with no moments to break up the bleakness; thankfully, this one suffered from no such problems.

I found the book’s frequent foreshadowing took away from many surprise twists in the story that I’d liked to have been able to have gone in unwarned for. I also felt too many things just got handed to the characters. It was like everything they needed fell right into their laps. I am glad they managed to have what they needed to survive, but I would have liked them to work a little harder for it in some cases.

Restart: Book 1 (The Restart Series) is a captivating young adult dystopian story. It had the right amount of chilling and humor that balanced it well. In addition, it gave some unique ideas about how an apocalypse might go. I highly recommend this to any dystopian and science fiction fans.

Pages: 160 | ASIN : B0BJYD1KWW

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