Tag Archives: CA Rudolph

Family Ties Are Strong

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Worlds Apart cover

Alan Russell has done his best to prepare his family for any possible apocalyptic events. When his worst fears come true he is far trapped far away from them. Unbeknownst to him, his family has followed his plan. Now, it is time for him to try and find them.

Rudolph’s fifth novel in the What’s Left of My World Series, Worlds Apart: A Survival Story Yet Untold provides us with insight as to what happened to Alan. The first four books in the series have followed his family, more specifically his daughter, Lauren. His family has no idea where he is or if he is even alive.

It is a very well written story with a lot of heart-wrenching moments. You can feel Alan’s struggles as he tries desperately to get home.

5 out of 5 stars.

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Can Division Bring Us Together?

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Divided We Stand

Lauren Russell and a group from the valley have left in search of food and medical supplies. Along the way, they were ambushed. They now find themselves at the mercy of a gang of hardened criminals bent on nothing but torture and death.

Meanwhile back in the valley many of those remaining are gravely ill with an unknown pathogen. The able body members are few. Yet, three of them decide to go off on their own. One seeking the immediate help from a neighbor from another valley. The other two on a fool’s errand to try and save some imprisoned children in a distant subdivision.

And, then there is the fate of Faith Gallo.

Rudolph’s fourth novel in the What’s Left of My World series, Divided We Stand pulls the story into five different arcs. It is daunting at times to keep up with some many storylines at once. They are all wrought with danger and the likelihood of losing some of their companions. This time the book ends with several cliffhangers. There are a lot of questions left unanswered.

The author’s storytelling ability is getting better with each book. The pace is more action-packed and varied. He has started developing some of the supporting characters. It was nice to have folks from previous books in the flashback chapters brought into the present day story.

I have a feeling that the next book with be the most revealing.

4 out of 5 stars.

Dastardly Deeds

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We Wont Go Quietly cover

Lauren Russell and the small community of Trout Run Valley only want to live in peace and be left alone. They had found a balance to subsist by trading among themselves until most of their crops and livestock were destroyed by a rogue motorcycle gang sent by DHS. Now, the wild animals and fish they used to supplement their diet have been found dead. Several of their clan have come down with a devasting illness and need medical attention beyond what they have to offer. With winter coming they must seek food and medical supplies outside the boundaries of the valley.

Rudolph’s third novel in the What’s Left of My World Series, We Won’t Go Quietly: A Family’s Struggle to Survive in a World Devolved is the best of the series by far. It seems the author has finally found his stride, and the story being told is presented much better. There are three stories. There are the flashbacks that give Lauren’s origin story, current day with Lauren and those of Trout Run Valley, and the struggle of Faith Gallo, Lauren’s grandmother imprisoned at the FEMA camp. This book is also the first one to have a real cliffhanger ending.

When the convoy is ambushed by an overwhelming force outside the valley Lauren’s skills are put to the test once again. Lauren does well in controlled training sessions. But, put her in a real life or death struggle and she occasionally puts herself in more danger. Her situational awareness seems to be her weakest area.

It will be interesting to see how Lauren and her friends handle their newest foe.

4 out of 5 stars.

The Fight Comes Home

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This We Will Defend cover

Lauren Russell and her family have established a close-knit community in Trout Run Valley of West Virginia. Life is hard in a post-apocalyptic world. While most everyone had prepared by stocking up on supplies they are having to barter with neighbors for garden vegetables and fresh meat from livestock. The clan wants nothing more than to be left alone to subsist with one another. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and a roving hoard of Takers have other plans. The valley will be under siege. Do they have enough to defend their homesteads and families? More importantly, do they have what it takes to survive?

Rudolph’s second novel in the What’s Left of My World Series, This We Will Defend: The Continuing Story of a Family’s Survival, is very much like book one in its meandering pace. There again are several flashback chapters which break of the flow of the story. The most disappointing part of these books is that Lauren’s character is the only one that is really fleshed out. The subplot with Faith Gallo at the FEMA camp is much more cultivated. I can say that this novel was much better edited than the first.

The uniqueness of Lauren’s training instituted by her father from her very early years is what keeps me interested in these books. She is a very complex young woman. While she makes mistakes based on her impulsiveness and desire to know everything her instincts are almost primal.

3 out of 5 stars.

Survival Skills Tested

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What's Left of My World cover

Lauren Russell isn’t your typical young woman. Her father has seen that she was taught from a very young age the art of survival. Those skills will be put to the test after a catastrophe strikes forcing them to relocate without her dad into a remote valley in the mountains. Will they be enough to help keep her family and friends safe?

Rudolph’s first novel in the What’s Left of My World Series, What’s Left of My World: A Story of a Family’s Survival starts after the family has relocated. It’s a bit slow and I had a hard time getting engaged in the story. The protagonist, Lauren is very intense. She has good instincts but sometimes she’s impulsive.

The book has several flashback chapters which break up the flow and disrupts the storyline. As I’ve already started book two this seems to be the author’s style of writing. While it is fairly well edited there were problems with the use of possessiveness.

Overall it is okay. Definitely not 5-star worthy though.

3 out of 5 stars.