I’ve been lucky enough to be included on several book reviews as part of online book tours. The tour managers know what kind of books I like..and what I don’t like…now. (I did get my wife involved doing reviews, but only with any books containing sexy mythical humanoids that sparkle in the sun, or “multiple shades of gray”.) So when a tour with my kind of books comes up, I get the chance to join in.
The author is a former Marine, and seems to use his time in the military to draw from in order to build the story. This brought a level of realism that hit close to home for me.
As I started to read, I learn that the main character, Gordon Van Zandt is a Marine. I know many Marines, and they are a mighty gung-ho, die hard bunch. The kind of folks you want in your corner in a pinch. Preferably between you and whatever is causing you grief. So I knew that this story was going to have some fast-paced, hardcore, action that may very well be determined by a “shoot first, sort it later” mentality.
It did. And some mighty well described scenes, to boot.
As the story progressed, we quickly learn Gordon had a run-in with an insurgent in Fallujah tht appears to be unarmed. When the insurgent reaches for what Gordon believes to be a weapon, Gordons handles the situation with fast action and a bullet…and all on camera.
Does any of this sound familiar? It did to me. I was given a shirt from a friend that states,
And I still support that Marine.
Now, being an Air Force veteran, I’m not exactly pro Marines when I get together with one of them….we poke fun at each other’smilitary branch in a friendly rivalry sort of way. But when it’s us against them, I’m so pro-Marine that I’d almost yell “HOORAH!”
So I liked the reference of that historical tidbit.
The story progresses as the United States is hit my an EMP, bringing the entire country to its knees in a matter of days. It chronicles Gordon and his family as they learn to adjust, survive, and try to improve their situation while the world crumbles around them.
The storyline is enjoyable, even though we’ve seen it before many times. I can read EMP aftermath stories any day of the week. The author does a fairly decent job at painting the picture, and overall, the two books work very well together.
Character development is a bit hit-or-miss. Some of the characters’ decisions were far from realistic, in my opinion.
I think that the biggest issue I have with Prepper Fiction are characters who are Preppers that don’t read Prepper Fiction. Rarely does a character refer to reading a Prepper Fiction story and learned anything from it. What Prepper wouldn’t recognize an EMP attack almost immediately? Gordon figures it out in a couple hours, but seriously…
Is this a must read?? Not quite. I say that if you have time, DO pick it up, it is worth reading, just not at the top of the list. Its a pretty decent read, and I will definitely look for the next book in the series, due out in late spring / early summer, according to the author.
On a 10 point scale, I’d give this a 7. Not the first book I’d suggest to read, but one I’d probably mention eventually.
I’ve mentioned before that I really enjoy “Prepper Fiction”, and that when I’m reading it, I tend to expand on my preps, based on how much the story draws me in. For instance, I ended up buying 50 pounds of rice and vacuum sealed it, cleaned my guns, did and ammo inventory, went over my water barrels and 12v solar setup, and got started on my HAM license when I read the Survivalist series by A. American. I was spooked.
For The End, and The Long Road, I only went through my flashlights and tested the batteries. And bought a second lantern, dehydrated some veggies for long term storage, and cleaned my guns. I was troubled, but not quite spooked. But I DID improve my position. Hard to argue with that.
And if you like it, enter your name in the comments below, along with an email address in the proper box to enter for a drawing for a copy of both books in either paperback or Kindle format, thanks to the great folks over at TLCBookTours.com. The drawing will be held this Sunday, January 19th, 2014.
Just so you are aware, I was in no way given any compensation for doing this review, other than being given personal electronic copies in order to read the books listed. These are good reads. If you don’t win, go get yourself a copy.
It is worth it.
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