The End: A Post-Apocalyptic Novel – Book Review

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.

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