Under A Graveyard Sky – A Review

Under A Graveyard SkyWe don’t talk much about zombies here at Prepography… except on Halloween when the zombies come out to play… so when I heard that one of my favorite military writers, John Ringo had tried his hand at the zombie genre I couldn’t help but pick it up with an eye towards a Halloween zombie book review of Under A Graveyard Sky…but then I liked it so much I read the whole series…

John Ringo’s a military veteran and specifically a veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division where I spent my first few years in the Army.  From the first time I picked up one of Ringo’s military science fiction books I found myself recognizing the characters and the conversations he wrote because that’s how we thought, talked and related back in ‘Division.’  As he developed his writing craft he expanded his vocabulary to speak the language of other services.  In this latest series, Black Tide Rising John channels his inner Marine…but more about that later.

Islands of Rage & HopeUnder A Graveyard Sky and it’s sequels To Sail a Darkling Sea and Islands of Rage and Hope (Strands of Sorrow is due out early next year) take place in an apocalyptic near future where a bioweapon has been released on the world.  This bioweapon was engineered not only to attack the U.S. but to do so in a way that plays on the terror that we’ve built into the zombie genre.  The zombies aren’t supernatural creatures or the returned dead… they’re victims of an artificially created pandemic designed to bring out the basest and most violent tendencies of the human race.  With the disease’s rapid spread throughout the world there’s no place safe even for those who are lucky enough to have received the morally questionable vaccine.

The story centers around the Smith family.  John, Stacey and their daughters Sophia and Faith are Australian born naturalized citizens and Preppers.  John was an Australian paratrooper who moved to the U.S. and became a history teacher.  Through a series of fortunate events the Smith family is able not just to become vaccinated with an experimental vaccine but also to escape to the only place that John thinks will be safe in this new world…the sea.

To Sail A Darkling SeaEventually the Smith clan comes to realize that they are the only hope for those trapped in compartments aboard the other boats and ships they encounter and begin conducting naval boarding and clearing operations to rescue the uninfected trapped behind bulkheads and secure the resources necessary to supply their ever growing flotilla of survivors.  Once they rescue a group of U.S. Marines the ship clearance ops gets even more interesting as a teenage girl must teach U.S. Marines the proper method of clearing a ship when the enemy’s only weapons are their hands and teeth.

The zombie virus phenomena is well thought out, well explained and well executed.  I didn’t find the characters in this series to be as interesting or relatable as I have come to expect from Ringo and the daughters youth  was very distracting to me (I’m not sending my teenage daughter on ship clearance ops) but the description of shipboard clearance operations was as fascinating as it was creepy.  I received some training years ago in building clearance operations and can only imagine how much more nerve racking it would be to clear compartments on ships and boats where there’s no light, no where for opponents to slip away (not that zombies try) and the use of my favorite clearance weapon, the grenade is as much of a danger to you as it is to your opponent.  I have renewed respect for Marines and Coasties!

“What happens in the compartment stays in the compartment.” My favorite line from the Black Tide Rising Series

Strands of SorrowThis is the thinking reader’s zombie series…if Robert A. Heinlein had written a zombie story, this would be it. and the first two books reminded me especially of a Heinlein tale because the same elements are there…a family forced into extraordinary circumstances, military discipline layered over family dynamics and the struggle for resources.

All in all this is a great read whether you’re a zombie genre fan or not…I can’t wait for the next installment to be published.

Sanctuary: A Post-apocalyptic Novel – Book Review

Sanctuary: Introduction

Sanctuary: A Post-apocalyptic Novel” by G. Michael Hopf is the third in his “The New World” series. After purchasing and powering through the first two novels in the series; “The End” and The “The Long Road,” I was anxious to crack open my publisher provided review copy of Sanctuary and see what happened next..

Andrew’s Note:  You can read Grumpy G’s reviews of The End HERE and The Long Road HERE if you haven’t already. 

Sanctuary: A Brief Synopsis

Surviving the attack proved to be more than they could have imagined… “Sanctuary: A Post-apocalyptic Novel” takes place months after a devastating Super  EMP attack, and nuclear strikes which crippled the US, Europe and parts of Russia and the Far East. The country has slid further into chaos, as millions starve and gangs and lawlessness stalk the cities and country-side. The main characters, Gordon, Samantha, Sebastian, Barone, Connor and Pablo all set upon their own paths to seek vengeance, try to rebuild and consolidate, or simply survive.

Sanctuary: A Bit More

“Sanctuary: A Post-apocalyptic Novel” takes on a more epic tone. The main characters are all in search for some sort of sanctuary. Vengeance is dealt out by several characters. Allies gained in “The Long Road” are lost and new ones created. The overall tragedy of the story increases on all levels. Some try to build empires and brutal methods are often employed.  The morality of some characters’ choices are brought in to question, while others gain clarity after suffering untold hardships. Friends and family are reunited and new alliances formed.

Sanctuary: The Critique

I am just gonna come out and say it. Out of the three books so far published in the “The New World” series, “Sanctuary: A Post-apocalyptic Novel” is probably the weakest. Now, don’t take this to mean I did not enjoy the book. I really did. G. Michael Hopf has crafted a very engaging story for those that enjoy end of the world type fiction. The story in this book just feels a bit rushed. There are several scenes that come off as contrived, simply to speed the story up, and several story arcs come crashing together in the last bit of the book in a fashion that just seemed too convenient for me.

With that said, “Sanctuary” takes the series to a place where its vistas truly open up. While “The End” focused on the characters on a more personal level, and “The Long Road” started to open up the character’s stories more to the larger events going on around them, “Sanctuary” sees them starting to take center stage in the larger drama that is taking place after the fall of the US. In the canon of “The New World”, “Sanctuary” lays the ground work for the characters to attain the epic status that the story hints at.

Sanctuary: Final Thoughts

Sanctuary: A Post-apocalyptic Novel” is another fine addition to the “The New World” series. While I don’t think it is as strong an outing as the first two books, it is a jamming good read. Final judgment on ‘Sanctuary,” at least for me, will most likely come with the addition of the next installment in the series.

Sanctuary: A Post-apocalyptic Novel

Product Details 

  • Series: The New World Series (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (May 27, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014218151X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142181515
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces

The Long Road: A Post-apocalyptic Novel – Book Review

The Long Road: Introduction

The Long Road: A Postapocalyptic Novel (The New World Series)“, by G. Michael Hopf is the second book in his “The New World” series. If you read my review of the first book in this series, entitled “The End,” you’ll know that I am on a quest to reach a point where I can read, and review, the third book, “Sanctuary“, without dropping in to the middle of the drama. I powered through the first novel over the course of a weekend. I finished this one in short order, too. I  am going to review “Sanctuary” next.  First, it’s on to  a review of “The Long Road: A Post-apocalyptic Novel”.

The Long Road: A Brief Synopsis

“The End” was just the beginning of the new world”, states the blurb for “The Long Road: A Post-apocalyptic Novel”. This second book takes up the story of Gordon Van Zandt, his family and friends 6 weeks after a Super EMP attack, and nuclear strikes cripple the US. The chaos and danger of the previous weeks were just a prelude to the desperate times that now face the survivors. There are new allies gained, and enemies made. The chaos and tragic loses that Gordon, and his family face are just a mirror of the wide-spread death and suffering that envelops across the land. As everyone travels towards what they hope is safety, many perils face them.

The Long Road: A Bit More

Unlike the review of the first book, there might be some mild spoilers here.  Read on at your own risk. Like the first book, this one encompasses more than one story arc. They criss-cross; they are separate tales, though. In “The Long Road: A Post-apocalyptic Novel”, more and divergent arcs are introduced. Gordon, his wife and children, along with a band of close friends have escaped what had become a death trap in San Diego. As they travel towards the safety of their Idaho retreat, they are faced with a new and even more deadly threat. Loses are incurred, and new allies made. Sebastian leaves the Marine Corps and finds safety with a new group, as he goes in search of Gordon. The story of COL Barone, the mutinous Marine Colonel. who brought Sebastian, and the rest of his Marines home from Afghanistan, fully diverges from Sebastian’s tale. President Conner, and his administration face several new, and even more deadly threats as they attempt to rebuild a government with which to rule the country. Finally, a story arc about Pablo, a Mexican drug lord with dreams of empire, is fully developed from seeds planted in “The End”.

The Long Road: The Critique

Again, I found “The Long Road: A Post-apocalyptic Novel” to be very enjoyable. Compared to “The End”, there was much more action and violence. The story takes on a more operatic air in places, as well. It works though. The escalation of the violence and conflict around the central cast is a reflection of the wider spread chaos that encompasses the new world they find themselves in. As the title suggests, the book is a travelogue. This is not just in the physical sense, but in the emotional and moral sense as well. Another theme that is introduced is vengeance. From characters righting wrongs from the past to searching for vengeance for more recent actions, some of the story arcs take on a more ominous tone. The end of this book, like the first one, is another cliff hanger, leaving a reader curious as to how the story continues.

The Long Road: Final Thoughts

As in the first book, the moral decisions made by the characters are what drives the story. And again, there isn’t a lot of time spent focusing on TEOTWAWKI how-to’s. There are two conflicts that resonated with me in this book. The first is the moral conflict created by having to triage a large scale disaster, like that laid out in the series. Government forces have a finite amount of supplies and support which they can provide. When millions of Americans are faced with starvation, or worse, how would the powers-that-be decide who gets the limited supplies available? That leads to the second conflict, which I find intriguing. It is the moral battle between the forces that are seeking to create a continuity of government versus those who see a new paradigm and are trying to cast off the old ways in order to save lives. The idea resonates with me, because I have always said that the one thing a government will do, in all scenarios good and bad, is to perpetuate itself… even at the cost of the citizens it is supposed to serve and protect. This conflict takes a more prominent, central role in this book.

Again, I recommend The Long Road: A Postapocalyptic Novel for a bit of end of the world fun. While this book is more like an all-you-can-eat-buffet, rather than a Michelin rated 4 star meal…you’ll walk away with a belly full of TEOTWAWKI goodness.

The Long Road - A Post-apocalyptic Novel
The Long Road – A Post-apocalyptic Novel

Product Details

  • Series: The New World Series
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142181501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142181508
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces

Forsaking Home – Book Review

Regular readers may recall that I reviewed the first three books in A. American’s The Survivalist Series back in January.  Those books,  Going Home, Surviving Home and Escaping Home weren’t just chock full of action, novel story lines and interesting ideas for preppers but also grew progressively better in both the form and the function of their construction and presentation.  In his latest sequel, Forsaking HomeA. American has demonstrated a true mastery, not just of his genre, but also of the writer’s craft.

No electricity. No running water. No food. No end in sight. If life as you knew it changed in an instant, would you be prepared?

Forsaking Home picks up where Escaping Home leaves off.  Morgan Carter, his family and several friends… including Morgan’s longtime companion, Thad, are surviving in the primitive riverside cabins they were forced to flee to when those in power decided to bully everyone into moving into a nearby refugee camp. ‘Sarge’ and the soldiers under his command continue to fight for their country by opposing a tyrannical local Department of Homeland Security camp commander while Jessie suffers within that same camp.

Much of Forsaking Home deals with life on the river in a post collapse era.  Some of the more memorable passages involve organizing foraging parties, the teaching of foraging techniques to Morgan’s children and companions and dealing with the emotions and depression that such a significant change in fortunes would necessarily create.  However, the Carter family’s sylvan life on the river is far from safe, but those dangers as well as Sarge’s ongoing war against the forces of oppression provide an interesting juxtaposition to Carter’s search for a peaceful and tranquil life for his family.  Meanwhile, unknown to the other characters, Morgan’s former traveling companion, Jessie is enduring incarceration in the very camp that Morgan avoided and Sarge is opposing.  Jessie’s existence is one of forced labor, tyrannical guards and frustrating vulnerability.

One of the things that I’ve previously mentioned that I like about this series is that the Army is largely portrayed as a force for good.  In this book the active duty soldiers (Sarge’s immediate companions), retired soldiers (Sarge himself) and the National Guardsmen Sarge works with continue their mission to supporting and defend the Constitution.  My only complaint about the military aspects of this book is the distracting nature of a very few passages that incorrectly describe Army rank insignia, Army uniforms and military terms like the use of the term ‘maverick’ to describe all officers instead of just officers that came up through the enlisted ranks.  That said, these passages won’t affect your enjoyment of the book at all if you don’t have a military background and just expect a few annoyances if you do.  A. American would be well advised to have an editor or proofreader with an Army background review future books in this series and update the first four novels before additional editions are printed.

Forsaking Home runs 371 pages (11 hours and 15 minutes if purchased as an Audio Book) which is an improvement over the preceding book, Escaping Home, which was a little disappointing at 336 pages and carries the primary characters’ stories forward in a way that would make a satisfactory initial read but would be more enjoyable for those familiar with the three previous books in the series.

The Survivalist Series by A. American:

  • Going Home is about getting home when caught hundreds of miles away with no modern transportation options
  • Surviving Home is about bugging in and negotiating the difficulties of living in a society that is falling apart do to lack of power, medicine, transportation, food, hygiene and governance.
  • Escaping Home realistically tells of the logistical and emotional challenges of abandoning one’s home and bugging out to a safer location.
  • Forsaking Home tells the story of the aftermath of the collapse while living at a bug out location and internment camp.

Andrew’s Note:  I was sent a review copy of Forsaking Home by the publisher but actually purchased the Audio Version
narrated by Duke Fontaine to listen to on my recent drive to New York City…but that’s a whole other story.

The End: A Post-Apocalyptic Novel – Book Review

The End: Introduction

AJ got a request to review “Sanctuary: A Postapocalyptic Novel” by G. Michael Hopf. Since he has a lot of irons in the fire, and knows I am an avid reader, he asked me if I wanted to help him out. Always looking for new and hopefully  interesting books, I enthusiastically replied, “Sure!” When I looked up the title on Amazon,  I discovered that it is the third book in G. Michael Hopf’s “The New World” series. Not wanting to drop into the story mid-stream, I decided to read the other books before starting this third book in the series. So, here is the review of “The End: A Postapocalyptic Novel” which is the first in the series.

The End: A Brief Synopsis

The End: A Postapocalyptic Novel” asks the question “What would you do to survive?” The novel answers that question through the story of Gordon Van Zandt, his family, and his friends. A Marine veteran who’s idealism was shattered in Iraq, Gordon lives a good life in San Diego with is wife and two children. That idealic life is ripped apart one day when North America, Europe and the Far East are hit with a Super EMP attack, along with a nuclear strike on Washington, D.C. These attacks cause catastrophic damage to the infrastructure of the country and plunges their lives into a dangerous new world. Gordon knows what he must do and starts gathering supplies and organizing his community to protect against the encroaching chaos. Along the way he must make hard decisions that will mean the difference between life and death for his family and friends.

The End: A Bit More

Don’t worry, no spoilers in store, I just wanted to add a bit more about the story itself.  “The End: A Postapocalyptic Novel” is more than just the story of Gordon Van Zandt and his family. There are actually three main story arcs in the book. The first is about Gordon, the main character in the drama. The next is about his brother, Sebastian, who is a Marine sniper on duty in Afghanistan when the attacks come. The third story is about Brad Conner, who as Speaker of The House becomes President after the President and Vice President are killed in the attack on D.C. Aside from the connection of Gordon and his brother, the three story arcs are individual stories in their own right.  They criss-cross at points but are basically separate stories.

The End: The Critique

The End: A Postapocalyptic Novel” is an enjoyable jaunt. I finished it off over the course of a weekend. G. Michael Hopf uses a really nice literary trick to book end the story and tie the three arcs together. There is not a lot of action through most of the book. When it does come, though, it comes in thunderous waves. Even though there wasn’t a lot of action the story does move along at a good clip. Unlike many novels of the genre, there is not a lot of TEOTWAWKI gear-porn or survival skills descriptions. There isn’t even a prepper among the cast of characters.  Even Gordon, the story’s main character is more resourceful, than prepared.  His story has some good useful info but there’s not a lot.  Most of the story resolves around the moral decisions that must be made amid the chaos of the post attack world. The conflict that is created by these decisions drives the story forward. The situations the characters find themselves in are believable. Well, as believable as a post-apocalyptic story can be. The thing I liked most about the cast of characters is that there isn’t an untarnished one in the bunch.  They all make choices that are less than upright.  Even with their flaws, though, they are far from the worst in the new world they find themselves in.  By the time the book comes to a close, the characters are well fleshed out, flaws and all, and the reader is invested in them.

The End: Final Thoughts

The End: A Postapocalyptic Novel” is a good book. If you enjoy the genre, I think you’ll like it. It’s not heavy reading; still it will give you a TEOTWAWKI reading fix, if you need one. Check back next week for a review of the next book in the series; “The Long Road: A Postapocalyptic Novel (The New World Series).”

The End: A Post-apocalyptic Novel by

The End: A Post-apocalyptic Novel by

Product Details

Series: The New World Series (Book 1)
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Plume (January 7, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0142181498
ISBN-13: 978-0142181492
Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces

Read Prepography‘s brief intro to EMP here.

American Gun by Chris Kyle: Book Review

American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms” tells a story of America as seen over the sights of 10 iconic firearms.  The author, Chris Kyle, accomplishes this by taking these ten American firearms and placing them in their historical context.   The tale that develops gives a broad look at the US from the time of its founding until the present.  It details the development and use of each of the firearms in the times they were prominent.  Kyle intersperses personal recollections and experience along with historical facts,some rather obscure, in to the story.  Being a firearms expert, with extensive combat experience, he obviously enjoys himself along the way
American Long Rifle

American Long Rifle

Starting with the American Long Rifle, Kyle tells the tale of how American sharpshooters broke the rules of gentlemanly behavior to help win American independence.   The story then moves to the Civil War era and the expansion West.  He tells of these times with three guns.

Spencer Rifle

Spencer Rifle

The first is the Spencer Rifle.  Kyle tells how the bureaucracy of the Civil war era Army almost nixed a gun that went on to help win decisive battles like Gettysburg.

Colt Single Action Army Revolver

Colt Single Action Army

The Colt Single Action Army Revolver comes out of the holster, next.  It’s story spans the Civil War and comes to a climax at the OK Coral in Tombstone, Arizona.

Winchester Model 73

Winchester Model 73

The last gun in this epoch is the  Winchester 73.   Kyle details its development and how it went on the help tame the West.

From the Wild West, the tale jumps forward to the turn of the century and through WWII.  The next trio of guns helped win WWI and then played important roles in the Gangster era of the 20’s and 30’s.  In the end, they went on to defeat the Axis powers in 1940s.

Springfield 1903

Springfield 1903

The first gun, the 1903 Springfield, is a story of adaptation and change.  Developed from the German Mauser, it went on to the trenches of France with the Doughboys.  In the hands of motivated Marines it was feared by Germans soldiers who carried the Mauser itself.

Colt 1911A1

Colt 1911A1

Along side the 1903 was the Colt 1911. Simple, yet innovative, this semi-automatic pistol changed the world.  First used by the military, it went on to fight in the  Banana Wars, as well as on both sides of the law in the Roaring 20’s and Depression era 30’s.  In WWII, it was used in every theater.  Even today, John Browning‘s design influences gun manufacturers world wide.

Thompson Submachinegun

Thompson Submachinegun

The final gun of the trio is the ubiquitous Thompson Sub Machine-gun.  Instantly recognizable as the weapon of choice of bootlegging gangsters, this gun also played an important role in defeating Germany and Japan.  It went on to see service in Korea, as well as the early years of the Vietnam War.

The last two guns in Kyle’s story tell of the modernization and coming of age of the US.

.38 Special Police Revolver

.38 Special Police Revolver

The first one is the .38 Special Police Revolver.  Developed in the early 20th Century, it really didn’t take off until the late 50’s early 60s.  As police departments modernized and standardized firearms, the .38 special became a favorite.  With simplicity and versatility, the .38 revolver family of guns became common place across the US.

M-16

M-16 In Action During the Vietnam Conflict

The last gun is the M-16.  Detailing the often time rocky development of the M-16, Kyle tells the story of a gun which has served the US military for going on six decades.  The M-16 changed the way the world looked at assault rifles, and has spawned many imitators and competitors as well as the current craze for ‘modern sporting rifles.’

Any review of “American Gun: A History of the US in Ten Firearms“, by Chris Kyle must speak of the unusual, and sad circumstances of its author and its publishing.  Chris Kyle was a true American hero.  A decorated Navy Seal veteran, Chris was credited with saving countless U.S. lives in multiple theaters of war.  After completing his enlistment, he became an accomplished writer.  He wrote of his SEAL exploits in the best selling book, “American Sniper” which was reviewed by Prepography in March of 2013.  As an avid shooter, he became involved with helping wounded vets through The Heroes Project.  By using shooting sports as therapy, he managed to help men that were still his brothers in arms.  Loving US history, Chris decided to write “American Gun: A History of the US in Ten Firearms“.  Sadly , on Feb. 2, 2013, before it could be completed, Chris was murdered by one of the vets he was trying to help.  Chris’s lovely wife, Taya Kyle, took up the mantle of getting the book finished and published.  With the help of author William Doyle, and many of Chris’s friends, the book was brought to bookstores.

Taya Kyle writes a very poignant forward for “American Gun: A History of the US in Ten Firearms“.  She tells of Chris’s vitally, honor and love for his fellow vets and country.  It is obvious that for everyone involved in finishing “American Gun: A History of the US in Ten Firearms” that it turned in to a labor of love; just as it had been for Chris.  In the last paragraph of the introduction, the publisher notes, “Lastly, no shadow hangs over these pages, despite the circumstances.  Chris was full of more life, humor and love of country than anyone who’ll ever cross your path.  That’s the spirit you’ll be lucky enough to meet as you turn the page.” I have to say I think the publisher got it right.

American Gun: A History of the US in Ten Firearms by Chris Kyle

american_gun_cover Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: William Morrow; 1st Printing edition (June 4, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062242717
ISBN-13: 978-0062242716
Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches

Deliverance – Book Review

I have faint memories of watching a movie called Deliverance during my teen years.  I remembered it as a wilderness survival tale starring Burt Reynolds that had one particularly memorable yet unfortunate scene starring Ned Beatty.  Anyone who’s seen the movie will remember that particular scene and if you’ve read the book you can guess which scene I’m describing…I won’t ruin if for those of you who haven’t seen the movie or read the book so you can rest assured that there are no major spoilers in this Deliverance book review.

Deliverance Book ReviewI like survival tales so when I noticed an audiobook version of James Dickey’s novel, Deliverance was available and narrated by one of my favorite actors and narrators, Will Patton I bought it without knowing much more about it.  As it turned out, not only is this book the novel on which the screenplay (also written by James Dickey) was based, but it’s also a feature of many of the ‘Top 100 Novels’ lists including Time Magazine’s ‘All Time (since the magazine’s inception in 1923) 100 Novels.’

Deliverance is a first person narrated story of four middle aged friends who head into the backwoods of Georgia to canoe the fictional and savage Cahulawassee River before it disappears forever beneath the waters of the planned Cahulawassee Reservoir.

A series of misadventures eventually leads to the death of one of the canoeists and a local backwoodsman.  What follows is a struggle for survival.  The survival struggle takes multiple forms…it’s the men against the locals, the men against the river and it also takes place between the men and their own natures.  There’s nothing stereotypical about the way the canoeists react to their situation even as they are held captive to their stereotypical views of the local rednecks…this creates a story that doesn’t follow the expected pattern and is refreshingly original.

The main character and narrator, Ed Gentry a manager of a small graphic arts shop with no particular penchant for woodland survival.  He’s joined by his friend Lewis, a survivalist who owns rental properties as well as their buddies Bobby and Drew.  This is a story of perseverance and the will to survive more than a study in survival techniques, but the psychological aspects of survival and the characters’ reactions to suddenly transitioning from the civilized world to a savage one is fascinating to watch unfold.

What I wasn’t expecting when I selected this book was how beautifully and poetically written the story was.  While it was written nearly a half century ago its story and language are nearly timeless (the only features that date the story are a reference to the Kennedy assassination and frequent descriptions of how men wear their hats.  The language itself has an impressionistic, nonlinear quality that is incredibly descriptive and remarkably easy to follow.  Will Patton’s nuanced performance/narration perfectly complements Dickey’s colorful prose.

If you’re looking for one of the most well written psychological survival stories of all time…look no further.  Now I’m going to go watch the 1972 movie version, Deliverance starring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox!

Prepper Pete Prepares – A Book Review

In general I’m very hesitant to expose very young children to the idea of preparedness.  Children need to feel loved and safe and the idea of preparedness can cause extreme anxiety in those not yet emotionally able to deal with the possibilities…heck, in my experience most adults aren’t intellectually and emotionally mature enough to understand the need for preparedness.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for teaching children age appropriate preparedness skills, just not scaring the wits out of them.  That said, when Kermit Jones, Jr. contacted me and said he’d like to send me a preparedness book he’d written for kids, I thought I’d at least see if he had a better approach.  That book is Prepper Pete Prepares: An Introduction to Prepping for Kids.

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Review of Going Home, A Novel of Survival

The publisher of Going Home, A Novel of Survival by A. American contacted me a couple of months ago and asked if I would be willing to review A. American’s debut novel.  The book had actually been on my wish list for a while so I jumped at the chance and they shipped over not just the first book, Going Home, but also the sequels Surviving Home and Escaping Home.  Unfortunately, the day job became a day, night and weekend job the past several months so I hadn’t been able to get around to reading Going Home.  I still couldn’t wait to read Going Home so prior to an extended car trip I purchased the newly available Audible version and started in.  While this was going to be a review of Going Home, I couldn’t wait to read the sequels so it’s really a review of the entire series to date. (more…)

Dan Brown’s Inferno – A Review

I recently finished reading Dan Brown’s Inferno.  I almost always enjoy Brown’s novels (his misguided attempt at writing about signals intelligence in Digital Fortress was the sole exception).  I enjoy his blend of action, current events, history and fictional conspiracies.  I especially enjoy learning more about places I’ve visited and it makes me want to travel to see them once again.

Don’t worry, no spoilers of note will appear in this article…I want you to enjoy this book as much as I did.

I didn’t expect to be reviewing this book for these pages but the conspiracy in Inferno turned out to be a true ‘The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) event… biological terror plot of Earth shaking proportions.

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