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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Audible Book Review: Going Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 1 by A. American

I like this addition to the end-of-the-world genre - I found it very engaging and a good listen.
Going Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 1

Genre: End of the World, Sci Fi
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

Publisher's Summary
If society collapsed, could you survive?
When Morgan Carter's car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: The country's power grid has collapsed. There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored - if it ever will be.
An avid survivalist, Morgan takes to the road with his prepper pack on his back. During the grueling trek from Tallahassee to his home in Lake County, chaos threatens his every step but Morgan is hell-bent on getting home to his wife and daughters - and he'll do whatever it takes to make that happen.
Fans of James Wesley Rawles, William R. Forstchen's One Second After, and The End by G. Michael Hopf will revel in A. American's apocalyptic tale.
©2013 A. American (P)2013 Penguin Audiobooks

Morgan is in north Florida when something terrible goes wrong causing all electronics to die. Modern cars don’t work, phones don’t work; there is no electricity anywhere so no lights, no refrigerators, no running water. Morgan happens to be a survivalist enthusiast so he has always carried a prepared pack. It doesn’t take him long to realize that this isn’t just a local or temporary blackout. He takes his pack and heads out on foot to make the 250 mile trek home to Lake County in mid Florida where his wife and three girls will be anxiously waiting..

Morgan plans to make the trip alone but soon gets a tag along of a young college girl, Jess, who is trying to get home to the Ocala area. A bit further along they are joined by a burly black man, Thad, who needs to go to the Tampa suburbs. The two men are pretty formidable and even Jess adds extra hands to the work load and the security details that are clearly needed. The trio manage to get an old truck to help them on their trip but they will have to fight to keep that and their gear. There are clusters of people who are just sadly pathetic, looking for handouts, but other groups are violently aggressive seeking to take what they can.

Thad was a trucker and used to chat on the radio with a tough old military fellow he knows as Sarge. When Morgan is injured in an ambush Thad manages to get them to Sarge’s house, which is more like a mini military compound. Sarge is joined by three military men, Mike, Ted and Doc, who have gone awol from a government troop that isn’t right. Instead of giving aid the government is scaring people into camps which are more like concentration camps than a refuge.

I really found this story engaging with the survival gear and the basic realities of life without electronics. It also distinguishes between the range of people-good, lazy and evil-and how they might react to a world without power. The story is very much character driven with Morgan being the strong-minded man who will do what it takes, with a hard attitude, to get home to his family. Jess is a cheerful girl who thinks she is ready to face the trek but soon learns that life is going to be much harder and more brutal than she was prepared for. Thad is a friendly, kind and loving man. But even he learns that sometimes you have to be tougher than the next guy to survive. Sarge is a crusty old warrior with his team of commandos who are ready to hide and fight against corruption.

The writing is straight forward and quick reading/listening. There is obviously quite a bit of violence and gun fights and some foul language in typical scenes.

Audio Notes: I found this to be a really good listen and was anxious to keep listening when ever I could. I thought Duke Fontaine did a good job with the different voices and the nuances of the characters. If you enjoy end of the world scenarios this is a good addition to the genre and the audio moves it along at a good pace.

I picked this up at Audible to listen before reading Book 2 for NetGalley

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