Monthly Archives: January 2018

Who Will Teach The Children?

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Viral Misery

Arthur and Wendy Steele have established themselves by pretty much living off their land. They feel that they are prepared for most anything that life can throw at them. All their skills will be put to the test when Wendy finds herself stranded on a cruise ship while Arthur is at home tending the farm as the world struggles with a flu pandemic.

The Watson’s first co-authored novel, Viral Misery: Book One, takes the reader from the very beginning of the flu and shows how quickly and quietly it is spread throughout the world. It then goes from the worldview to following Author’s and Wendy’s plight. It’s a slow read at first but picks up speed quickly about a third of the way through.

At first, I did not like the Steeles. Something about their personalities rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe I was a little jealous of their lifestyle and a bit insulted by their crudeness. But, once the flu filtered into their lives I came to like them both very much.

The subject matter is rather grim and the scenarios presented are for the most part feasible. I did find some of the interactions too good to be true. The most telling being that a sizeable group of children was always well behaved and disciplined.

What I appreciated the most was levity interjected to break up the tension of the subject matter. I will forever have pictured in my mind a two-year-old running around in pink cowboy boots after she has stripped off all her clothes with others chasing after trying to redress her. And, I can still hear the others gagging as a stinky diaper was being changed in the close quarters of a closed vehicle. Too funny!

All in all, it is a good read. I look forward to book two.

4 out of 5 stars due to typos.

Always a Company Man

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Noble Man

**A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the paperback book go to the fight against human trafficking.**

Ex-CIA operative Jacob Noble is tasked with the recovery of a diplomat’s daughter believed to be kidnapped into the human trafficking. This off the books op will net him $150,000 is successful. And, he desperately needs the funds to pay for his mother’s cancer treatment. This mission will take him to Manilla where he will find out there is much more going on than a simple abduction.

Millers’ first novel in the Jake Noble Series, Noble Man, introduces us to horrors of the sex slave industry. It is an enlightening story though written in a simplistic manner. For an adult level book as far as content and subject matter it is written on about a 9th-grade level.

The characters are all full of flaws to the point of levity. I can see using humor to take the edge off a tense situation but it was used over and over rather inappropriately. It often took away from the seriousness of the story.

The novel was well edited and the main characters were thoroughly fleshed out. I expected more than a dime-store detective-type book.

3 out of 5 stars.

 

Home, But At What Cost?

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Dark Titan 3

Nathan Owens and his ragtag group of children continue their hazardous trip across the US trying desperately to get to Nathan’s Idaho redoubt. As they come across others with the same determination to survive without giving in to the control of the government they glean disturbing information regarding the state of the nation. Their only hope is that patriots will be able to destroy the oppressors and take back the country under the doctrine of the Constitution.

Watson’s third novel in the Dark Titan Journey series, Finally Home, takes Nathan and his group through some of the harsher areas of the country both geographically and politically. Evading capture or death has become their norm and keeps the group constantly stressed. As the title suggests they do make it to Nathan’s camp but not before facing some of the worst situations yet. Not everyone will come out unscathed.

Again, Watson brings out my emotions. I genuinely felt their terror. He had my heart in my throat and almost had me in tears.

I’m not sure what it is lately about books later in series. But, the proofreading is sorely lacking. There are way too many typos for this to have been published. And, while I truly loved this book and the entire series I cannot give it 5 stars because of the need of editing.

4 out of 5 stars.

A Peirlous Journey At Best

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Dark Titan 2

Nathan Owens, at almost 40 years of age and single, has taken every opportunity to be trained in survival. In addition to those skills, he is an ER nurse and a reserve sheriff’s deputy. And, it is taking all of that combined to get him home alive. During his trek across the country, he has managed to become responsible for several children. Teaching them as many survival skills as he can, they constantly fight off those that would kill them or worse and try to avoid being found by government troops rounding up citizens into FEMA camps.

Watson’s second novel in the Dark Titan Journey series, Wilderness Travel, chronicles the day-to-day activities of Nathan and his group as they walk across the country. It’s a constant battle to stay alive. And, the good guys don’t always win.

The first book in this series made me mad. This book made me cry. It takes a talented author to bring out my emotions. Watson’s writing skills really do bloom here. This story while harsh and gritty also has some tender moments. And, that makes it feel more real.

5 out of 5 stars.

A Prepper In Action

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Dark Titan 1

Nathan Owens is on his way back to Idaho from Atlanta when a super coronal mass ejection hit the Earth and multiple orbital satellites with nuclear warheads exploded in the upper atmosphere. He and his friends in Idaho have been preparing for a disaster for years and have a bugout compound. Nathan’s survival skills with be put to the test repeatedly as he readies himself for the long journey home.

Watson’s first novel in the Dark Titan Journey series, Sanctioned Catastrophe, showcases the knowledge Nathan has acquired over the years. He does everything in his power to help those around him before he takes off. Civilization devolves into chaos quickly and it’s either kill or be killed.

I enjoyed this book and learned a lot I needed to know and practice to help survive any type of disaster. Situational awareness is critical to keeping others from taking what is yours. Knowing how to survive off the land when food becomes scarce ranks right up there too. But, one of the most important bits of information I gathered is that if you can’t protect it and yourself you will perish. This book is very well written and edited.

The blurb “Soon the radioactive fallout from space would spread death and disease across the globe.” was never discussed or addressed throughout the series. So, I’m not sure why it is mentioned.

If there is anything to dislike about this book it is the following exchange:

“I can never repay you for what you’ve done for me and my family,” Brad told him.

Looking over at Abigail, Nathan said, trying not to blush, “We’re even, trust me.”

“I know about it and no, we’re not,” Brad said, smiling.

The reference here is that Nathan has had sex with Brad’s wife Abigail. Nathan reduces Abigail to nothing more than a commodity to be traded. And, Brad reduces her even more by saying she wasn’t worth enough. There are plenty of horrific things that happen in this book due to the depravity of mankind. But, this made me mad.

That being said, I highly recommend this book. It is useful not only as a great story but as a beginner’s guide to prepping.

5 out of 5 stars.

Smoke and Mirrors

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Conflicted Home cover

Morgan Carter’s story continues as the US is fighting invasion on multiple fronts. With the Chinese nuking Mac Dill Air Force base and having had a run-in with Russian Pathfinders, Morgan’s group realize they are sorely under-protected. They must think about more than the day-to-day activities of bringing a community back to some semblance of before.

American’s ninth novel it The Survivalist series, Conflicted Home has both new hope and joy along with tragedy and sorrow. In fact, it is probably the best in the series as far as the story goes. I’m loving the character development of the members of Morgan’s group. The world building is so good that I have no trouble picturing the scenes in my mind.

Unfortunately, it was riddled with typos. I quit marking them after the 19th one. That is very distracting and I finally had to force myself to just read over them. I’m not sure what happened but hiring a good proofreader or starting an ARC Facebook group would have weeded most if not all of these errors out before publishing. I find it curious that after nine novels in the series that one would be so poorly edited.

There is at least one plot hole. Sarge insists that the General wants to see Morgan. Yet, when they meet the General is almost surprised to see him and says nothing to indicate he was summoned. I even went back and reread those parts to see if I had missed something.

I love this series and hope that the next installment isn’t rushed.

3 out of 5 stars based on sloppiness.

Personal Growth from Tragedy

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Deception

Jamie McDaniels has had a life of misfortune. She lost the love of her life during the Jakarta pandemic six years before leaving her with two young daughters to raise. Finding misplaced faith in her second husband, Jeff Michaud, she is relieved when Alex Fletcher sets her free. Now, seemingly alone on Durham Road, Jamie vows to take the upper hand in life and survive without anyone’s help.

Shaw’s first foray into the Kindle World of The Perseid Collapse Series, Deception on Durham Road, brings a strong, female protagonist to the forefront. This novella showcases how someone can turn their life around amid tragedy. Jamie is smart and teaches her daughters how to survive even when they roll their eyes at her.

The depth of character brought about by Shaw of Jamie is such that you grunt and groan with her as she works in the heat and humidity. We are even given a broader perspective of Todd, the selfish and misguided neighbor. You can visualize his repulsiveness through the language used to show his state of mind.

This novella gives you insight into the Fletcher’s abandoned neighborhood. Though not as prepared for this catastrophe as Alex and his immediate circle of friends, others did heed his advice and learned from the pandemic. It is excellent prepper friction.

5 out of 5 stars.