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

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
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