I want to start this review by saying it is difficult for me to rate this book as I flipped between three and four stars based on the day I was listening and where I was in the book. The book in its opening pages grabbed me and sucked me into story which I will say I did not regret listening. There were times of high action along with story tension which kept me engaged. With that said, there were also points in the story that I felt were slower or could have been removed with little impact to the overall story. These items may come up in future books in the series; they just seemed to not fit in as smoothly as other areas. Not that these lulls were boring, more that they at times pulled me out of the story.
I can tell that the author has a deep knowledge of the subject matter used to tell his story, along with very good research, as there was never a time I did not believe what I was being told nor did I ever feel I had to take myself out of reality to believe something. The story was one that could take place today or tomorrow and every part of it could play out as it did in this book. I liked that the the story took place both on land (buildings, caves, wilderness, farms) and at sea (Navy, Coast Guard, tankers); which is the author’s comfort zone based on the author’s notes section.
I will say that I wish the “author’s notes” chapter was at the beginning of the book instead of the end so I could have better understood where the author was coming from and why he was telling the story. It would have provided me with more background and I think I would have enjoyed the book even more than I did. I will say that because of just this one chapter being in the book, I have given the overall story a four star rating and not a 3 or 3.5 (if I was able to). This one chapter gives you some good items to think on and provides the author’s motivation in writing the book. He call this story a “post apocalyptic” book, where I would say it is more a modern day disaster story with the potential of going fully post apocalyptic in future titles. This book is more like a technical thrillers such as DarkNet or Cyberstorm, and not what I would think of as a standard post apocalyptic message. No zombies yet; yeah
What would I have added or changed to make it more enjoyable to me? First, and I know this is only a preference item, I did not like the jumping around within a chapter to all different parts of the story; happening at the same time. I more enjoy linear chapters and like a more defined break (in the audio book); so shorter chapters instead of long ones with section breaks. Each chapter would be a scene instead of having multiple in a single chapter. Secondly I would have liked to have had more story around what was going on in the rest of the word and not only with the involved characters. We see some of this, bit often we are only given what is going on around our characters.
What about trucking, supplies (somewhat covered), and technology. Although the issue with the power grid was at the start of the book, I would have like to have had more information on how this rolled out and impacted the population. Maybe also a focus on Nuclear issues (protecting), and even some discussion on how people leverage other natural power sources such as solar, wind, etc. Not to go down the whole green message, but it would be interesting to see how those that have implemented this power may have a better chance during a disaster.
Even tho this is not a book I would have pick up and read if it was called a “post apocalyptic” story, but I very much enjoyed it and do not regret reading it.
I through the ending of the book was overall well done. It closed up some of the items that were outstanding, however one can easily see that additional books are going to be required to completely close all the open gaps.
In the audio version, I will say that I enjoyed the narrator most of the time. At times I found the reading to be monotone, while he was able to deliver the action scenes quite well. I did find it at times hard to keep track of the many different characters as the narrator did not have as many unique voices used and with the book jumping from scene to scene this was more difficult for me to follow at time than other books I have listened too.
I’m not sure if I can recall a specific point in the book that moved me. There were many action points along with times of conversation, but I’m not sure I was ever moved by one specific moment in the book.
Disclaimer: This book was provided to the reviewer by the author in exchange for leaving an unbiased review.