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4.6 out of 5 stars84
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 28 January 2015
The author picked a great adventure to describe. The story line is genuinely thought provoking and is why I completed the book. It is such a shame about the clichéd characters, the awkward writing style and the author's adolescent view of the world that sometimes seeps out on to the page. The short piece suggesting that because humans care for each we are proof that God exists is particularly nauseating and naive, but forgiveable! For me the most irritating feature was the use of very artificial conversations between characters to describe to the reader what is going on, for example;
"We're not burning any clothes. We make everything last. We'll set you up with a real bath tomorrow. There's a crew that brings water up from the river every morning. It's not our day for bath water, but I'm sure they'll make an exception. Your showing up here has really made a difference in the mood of the community. I actually saw a lot of people smiling for the first time", (said Jennifer).

I think the author could improve his books by using more natural conversations, therefore allowing his readers to fill-in the gaps themselves.
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on 21 April 2016
The early part of the book is easily the most compelling. Having read "One Second After" by William R. Forstchen I was casting around for a similarly themed post-EMP book. There seems to be a quite a few of them at the moment.

Unlike "One Second After", which is set in a small town in North Carolina, this book begins in a large population centre, just as the main character is about to fly home. The EMP hits just as the plane is about to take off and the consequences of a total loss of electronics aboard the plane are definitely a page turner.

Unfortunately, once events move beyond the airport, things start to get a little more tedious. The book divides itself between the hero, Kyle Tait, trying to hike home and events back home with his wife and family.

As other reviewers have pointed out, the author often gets Kyle in a seemingly hopeless situation, only to be rescued by a convenient deus ex machina. Not once or twice but several times, to the extent that it starts to become grating.

The story back home is even more tedious. Kyle's wife is being eyed up by someone who wants to step into his place (Kyle is likely either dead or unlikely to return home). He's pleasant and friendly at first but it's all to obvious that he's a wrong 'un. Considering how obvious this is, the repetitive bits of story that play out until the inevitable confrontation just feel like padding.

The basic story idea is good, but the execution is weak.
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on 5 April 2016
I'm amazed this book got so many positive reviews! It's a great idea (survival post EMP attack) but is very poorly executed. First of all it's very badly written. I don't expect great literature from a kindle cheapie but the dialogue is clumsy, forced and clunky. The author really can't write dialogue scenes that seem in any way real or natural. And the characters... Characters are either brave, resourceful, good (and usually religious) or they are evil, serial killing rapists. It's all black and white, there's no shades of grey, the characterisation is more complex in a Disney cartoon!

Then there's the plot. It's a great twist on a post apocalypse. Not zombies or a plague but a USA hit by an EMP which leaves the infrastructure intact and doesn't kill anyone (initially) but takes society back to before the electronic era. But it's a concept that's poorly explored and almost ignored after the initial event. The main character just keeps bumbling through the world and the fact that millions of people would be close to starvation is totally ignored. The bigger issues are not even considered and instead the plot circles round the male protagonist walking home. Which brings me onto plot holes. He has to cross several states to reach his wife and children. Cars and motorbikes are useless. So instead of finding a bike and loading up the saddle bag he uses a....handcart! He could have halved his journey if he only had the brains to think of a cycle. And his wife is a victim of a sexual assault, is scared of the man in question but doesn't tell anyone because she thinks it's nothing! Of course while the country was falling apart post terrorist attack she was dressed up in her teddy waiting for hubby to get home. Female sexuality and emancipation has rather passed the author by!

I also find the religious aspect naive, silly and rather unpleasant. There's one scene where it is said that god must exist and natural selection is clearly false as human beings look out for each other. Not only is that very poor logic it shows zero understanding of evolution and natural selection. Then there's the wife who, being pure, didn't have sex with her husband before marriage. Her husband's previous girlfriend (who didn't have "the values" of the wife) *did* have sex and so we are invited to look down on her. Of course we aren't invited to look down on the man! Just the woman and her dodgy values. A nice bit of misogynism thrown in there.

So if you like huge plot holes, pathetic female characters, male characters who are nice but dim, and worrying religious undertones this book is for you. Otherwise there are far better post apocalypse books out there.
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on 31 July 2012
I really want to say I enjoyed this novel, and to start with I did. However as the main characters pass a third to halfway it turns into a social commentary on modern mores. In short it becomes less of an adventure novel set in a PA United States and more a treatise on muscular christianity.
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on 24 November 2014
I found the concept of a country losing all its electrics very thought provoking and the lead character very likeable. However the trek on foot across the USA was not very plausible. He had many near misses and was very lucky to be rescued each time he had a near death experience by a good samaritan. The journey was building up to the most difficult part being across Montana as he got closer to home. However this part of the journey was rushed and glossed over somewhat. Almost as if the author had run out of ideas or time.
I found the life of his wife more interesting as she coped with looking after three children and not knowing whether her husband was still alive. The ideas of how a small community would cope with no electricity or motorised transport was very interesting.
I think the story would have been better if the journey home had not been so long but with more detail of the whole journey rather than highlighted extracts.
Overall I liked the book but the tale was rather far-fetched.
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on 20 January 2016
We grow up always thinking that there is somebody there in times of need, parents, family, friends, teachers, authorities. Someone to turn to and ask for help.
As a rule crisis brings out the best in people but if that crisis lasts too long and survival instincts kick in then would people be helpful? Would Mr Blogs from no 52 share his meal?
I purchased this book after searching Apocalyptic novels on Goodreads, I found the EMP storyline refreshing and a completely new take on end of the world literature.
I was hooked from the first page, the characters are likeable and the scenarios realistic. A truly frightening novel of how quickly the human race can deteriorate - suspense filled until the very end I have to stop now as I'm off to read book 2! Superb!
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on 18 January 2013
As an avid reader of this genre I decided to buy this book as its always good to try and help new writers grow. The book is an entertaining read, which highlights a very real danger if a leading nation was to be hit by an emp attack.

The writing style of the author is very good, using varying styles of writing so as not to become repetitive, and also giving sufficient background on each major character to allow the reader to care what happens to them.

It is the work of a good author that when you finish a book you wished for a further 100 pages and this was how I felt at the end.

Ray Gorham, a very good read sir. I look forward to reading more by you.
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on 20 May 2014
The EMP event portrayed in the book makes you wonder just how vulnerable modern civilisation is, and how dependent we are on international logistics to survive, even in the short term.
This is quite low key in terms of action and the gang style mayhem often portrayed in books covering similar issues. I found the characters well portrayed, believable and easy to relate to, be they the good, the bad, or the ugly. Intimate in its relating the experiences of both the husband and wife who are the main players, it also weaves a very convincing background against which their tales are told. Well worth reading.
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on 4 December 2012
I enjoyed this book though in places a bit of careful editing could have improved things (in the first pages Kyle is mentioned by name way too often, and occasionally people are sitting then saying they need to sit down) but those are really minor points. The characters in the books were pretty black and white (very good are very evil) and getting a glimpse of how the rest of the world reacted to the event would have made the story a bit richer.

However, overall I enjoyed the story and would read another book by this author in the future.
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on 12 June 2014
I really enjoyed this book. The scenario seemed scarily realistic and the main characters very believable. I loved Kyles desperation to get home and the love he showed for his family. I will be reading part two very soon. The book was well written and a kept me up far too late several nights - I was so keen to find out what would happen to Kyle next. I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves post apocalyptic fiction.
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