Grayson Dean is a hot-tempered Houston detective who loses everything and tries to rebuild his life as a prepper. Carlos Murtadha is a small-time gangbanger turned Islamic terrorist whose life goal is to destroy Dean. As the United States’ economy spirals out of control will the two archenemies continue their battle or be consumed by the impending downfall?
Jacks’ first novel in the Patriots and Infidels series, Islam Rising has two very different timelines which eventually intersect. Due to them not running simultaneously made the book quite confusing. Add to that over a dozen typos and confusing dialog and you get a story that is hard to read. Dean’s timeline is some eighteen years and drags on considerably. Murtadha’s timeline is twenty-two years and much more concise. The switching back and forth between the two could have been handled better.
I didn’t mind the shameless plugging of Jacks’ other novel about prepping mentioned several times throughout the book. It would have been nice if had referenced some others to give us a good starting point.
This book was published in December 2017 with no mention as to when book two will come out. I’ll give it a try to see if his style and editing have improved. If not, then I’m done.
3 out of 5 stars.
Westley Flagg continues to tell us his story of survival with his grandparents on their farm after a CME has caused what is believed to be a nationwide or possibly worldwide blackout. Things haven’t really changed all that much on the farm. It’s the world around them that is devolving rather quickly.
Craven’s second novel in the Still Surviving series, All Dark expands upon Wes’ relationship with Jess while following the unspeakable actions of the horde living at the Crater of Diamonds. When he finds out that Jess’ group will do nothing more than watch as atrocities are committed he knows that he must do something on his own. And, that may put his life at risk.
While the story is intriguing Craven has so many typos and contextual errors it is distracting. All his books seem to be this way. I truly don’t understand why he doesn’t use an editor or at least a beta reading group to help him out.
3 out of 5 stars.
Jesse Townsend has made it as far as Arkansas on his trek from Colorado to Tennessee in his search for his sister, Molly. Trouble has found him once again and delayed his journey. His sense of justice puts him right in the middle of a power struggle. Which side will prevail? And, at what costs to both sides?
Bird’s third novel in the Society Lost series, The Tree of Penance (A Post-Apocalyptic Dystopian Thriller) is full of nail-biting action. The book is so smoothly written that you don’t realize how far you’ve read until you are finished. It’s an interesting read with both heartbreaking sadness and satisfaction.
If you are fond of tales from the old West, you will certainly enjoy the feeling that this story brings. Jesse is reminiscent of Josey Wales whose character was made famous by Clint Eastwood. I believe Jesse is more of a gentleman than Josey and more willing to help others.
5 out of 5 stars.
Westley Flagg has grown up in poverty on his grandparents’ farm. His Grandpa’s moonshining barely kept the family going. It is what nurtured Wes’ interest in chemistry to wit he garnered a college degree. After a solar storm takes down most of the grid will any of it matter for them to survive?
Craven’s first novel in the Still Surviving series, Blackout provides an in-depth look into the underworld of moonshining. With what Wes has learned in college he has been able to streamline and much improve the distilling process. To Wes, this is mostly a hobby. But, when he cuts off one of his more questionable customers he finds himself up against the worst of mankind.
It was difficult for me to get into this book as it spent the better portion of the first third explaining the process of moonshining. Once past that the pace picked up and the story started developing. Wes’ character is fully developed and quite interesting. He is always skirting the edge of the law but not in areas that are harmful to others.
There are several typos and contextual errors that I hope are cleaned up by the time you read the book. It is not a stand-alone book and ends with a heart-wrenching cliffhanger.
4 out of 5 stars.
As Grayson allows a few nonfamily members into the fold at the homestead not everyone is as accepting. Some of those that make it back home are unaware of the trouble that has followed. Back in Jake’s former subdivision tensions run high as the division between the homeowners grows wider with Curt driving the wedge deep. And, there’s more to Puck than meets the eye.
Akers’ second novel in The SHTF Series, Shoot Like a Girl: A Post-Apocalyptic Thriller, starts immediately where book one stopped. Emotions run high in both a good, loving way and a defiant, mean way. The reader is pulled in one direction only to be jolted into the other.
If you don’t want to snatch the hair off Olivia’s head by the time you’ve finished this book, then there is no hope for you. She and Curt are vying for Darwin Award nominations. I don’t wish either of them dead, but dayem. Akers is that good.
Not sure how this is going to play out with part of the family still separated and no word on what the government is doing. Society devolved quickly and shows no sign of recovery. Grayson and his family are going to have to dig deep to keep everyone safe and to be able to survive long term.
Comparing book one and two I would say this is the better. Book one set the stage and book two ran full out continuing the story. Neither book can be read as a standalone. And, though I wouldn’t say book two ended like book one with a cliffhanger, it certainly left you with a sense of foreboding.
5 out of 5 stars.
Grayson Rowan has tried his best to prepare himself and his extended family for almost any disaster situation. While he is home alone the SHTF when the grid goes down. His wife & her sisters are on a girls’ vacation. His daughter is away at college, and his brothers-in-law are scattered as well. The biggest questions are do they remember their training and will they all make it back to Grayson’s?
Akers’ first novel in The SHTF Series, Fight Like a Man: A Post-Apocalyptic Thriller, follows the journey the family member must make to try and get home while Grayson puts their survival plan into action at the homestead. Each path contains its own set of obstacles, some requiring life or death struggles. No one is spared the harsh reality of this new world with its new rules and the worst of mankind.
The depth of character development and variety is amazing. Some are so real you want to slap some sense into them. The trials and tribulation are such that your heart aches along with them. There is nonstop action making it a fast read. It is not a standalone book as there is a cliffhanger ending.
I truly enjoyed this book and look forward the rest of the series.
5 out of 5 stars.
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.