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Brushfire Plague (Volume 1) Paperback

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Brushfire Plague (Volume 1) + Brushfire Plague: Reckoning (Volume 2) + 299 Days: The Change of Seasons (Volume 7)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: (July 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061564564X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615645643
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #583,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Ruggiero has written a very entertaining apocalyptic novel that presents an entirely possible pandemic scenario through a cast of interesting and likeable characters. Bring on the sequel!"

"The rapid "brushfire" nature of this plague sets the tone for the story. It makes it fast. Action-packed. While it's a book that looks at what would happen to society if such a plague hit, the heart of the story lies in the characters...Brushfire is tight."

"Very well written, descriptive and character driven.  Unlike some "prepper" novels i have read, this one had great detail, from the smells of a burning city to the inner thoughts of a man losing his wife, I was very impressed."

--"This book is so worth your time and money...So this is a must read and share.  Better yet buy two, keep one in your collection, and do a friend a solid."

"So it is my pleasure to recommend Brushfire Plague...Frankly, this book is a refreshing departure from the spate of "survivalist" books on the market...The book is written in a very engaging style...Mr. Ruggiero captures both the flaws and perfection of our human nature."

Brushfire Plague is a true gem, with well developed characters and a rapidly moving and totally believable plot line. Ruggiero has emerged as possibly the best writer in the genre."--Paul Lathrop, Politics and Guns podcast.

From the Author

In Brushfire Plague, I set out first and foremost to tell a compelling tale with real, evolving, and engaging characters interacting within a dramatic storyline. Second, I wanted to focus on two things often neglected in this genre: the very first days and weeks as civilization is rocked to its core and how a group of neighbors might respond to the situation. Reading apocalyptic fiction, I always wanted to know more about how the civilization was upended and what it was like for the people forced to live through it. I have always been more engaged with those stories focusing on groups of people during such times; as opposed to those that focused on the "lone wolf" character.  Brushfire Plague also has useful lessons about the value of being prepared for possible disruptions to our normal way of life woven into the fabric of the story.  One unique aspect I focus on is the interpersonal dynamics one will be forced to deal with in any crisis situation.  This adds a lot to the drama and storyline and enhances the realism of the novel.

I've been thrilled by the reception to Brushfire Plague.  A wide spectrum of readers have really enjoyed it--from avid readers of the genre to those who are brand new to it. 
Professional reviews have been universally strong too.  Some additional ones:

--"This is a fast-paced novel for anyone who loves action/adventure coupled with likable/believable characters. I have a son, and the main character's courageous efforts to save his son's life resonated with me. The deadly plague has a story of its own that keeps the reader thinking on multiple levels. Recommended!--Joe Nobody, a noted non-fiction and fiction author, including Holding Their Own: A Story of Survival, Without Rule of Law, and Holding Your Ground.

--"...R.P. Ruggiero checks in with an action-packed and realistic novel of what happens when a fast-moving and highly-lethal virus overwhelms suburban Portland, Oregon and the rest of the world.  Lots to enjoy here, and lots to learn about prepping too, and how to handle yourself and the situations that unfold when society is breaking down from the effects of a relentless disaster.  Grab a copy of the book and settle in for a great read. Thumbs up!" (podcast)

--"By chapter 2, I was hooked.  Brushfire Plague is definitely a page turner.  I read this book in two days flat.  I laughed out loud more than once, got frustrated with the hero for not being more prepared and empathized with the difficult decisions that were required.  I was caught by surprise by plot twists that I wasn't expecting and thoroughly enjoyed the ride...I heartily recommend Brushfire Plague."--paratusfamilia blog

--"Another thing I liked about the book is the concept of community coming together to care and protect itself...Nobody survives alone, life happens and she is a cruel mistress."
--"Brushfire Plague is riveting and fast paced.  Once I picked it up, it was hard to put down...The book portrayed in a realistic manner how people would react to a sudden disaster...Brushfire Plague has a great story that is quite believable."
--"The main characters show true personality and growth as the story arc develops... It was an easy read, and well written.  It sounds cliche, but  had a hard time putting it down when it was time to go to sleep. I really enjoyed Brushfire Plague. .  If you like TEOTWAWKI fiction, you'll love Brushfire Plague..."
--"Every once in a while, however, a survival novel  crosses my path that is not only a relaxing and entertaining read, but also a thought provoking primer on dealing with the unexpected consequences of the breakdown and collapse of society.  The book Brushfire Plague, by R. P Ruggiero is such a book and I do not say this lightly."
--"Though I had some issues with this series I am eager to continue reading more in this series. I felt it did more good than wrong. Did a great job of pulling me into the universe created by the author. I was satisfied with the ending and left wanting more."
Please let me know what you think at and feel free to visit
The sequel, Brushfire Plague: Reckoning has recently been released!

More About the Author

R.P. Ruggiero lives in Colorado with his wife and two sons. He spends as much time as he can in the outdoors and strives to live by Robert Heinlein's credo that, "Specialization is for insects." When he is not outdoors, writing, or learning a new skill, he works coordinating people to achieve their common goals. He brings his almost two decades of years of experience in group dynamics--particularly when people are under stress--to good use in writing The Brushfire Plague; a novel grounded in neighborhood defense during a devastating plague.

Please contact me at with your comments about the novel.

The feedback from a wide variety of readers has truly been heartwarming. Some of the best comments have been from new readers in the genre who've commented, "you've given me something to think about" or "maybe I should have more than a few days of food on hand." I've also enjoyed hearing from dedicated survivalists who've appreciated the books realism and provoking them to think about issues they haven't ye.

But, most importantly, has been hearing from readers of all stripes who've engaged with the characters, laughed and cried with them, and are eagerly awaiting the sequel to hear what will happen next with Cooper, Jake, Dranko, and the rest!

Customer Reviews

After starting and finishing the book quickly, I was ready for the sequel!
The original story, where all of the background is laid, with well developed, believable characters and plot.
William Boune
There are scads of post-Apocalyptic novels, so Brushfire Plague takes us down a well traveled path.
Edward Taub

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Cyborg on October 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this novel. It was nice to read about some regular people doing their best during a societal collapse scenario. Not the all too common "Perfectly prepared" people dealing with things.
Some books focus relentlessly on the gun play action or on the survival techniques or on a superficial story line to the exclusion of the other aspects of the story. Unlike some which tend to be a mere drama in a terrible setting or others that are a thinly disguised survival novel this one seems to pull off a nearly perfect, well rounded blend.I particularly like how a couple of the main characters relate to each other....two friends who have different levels of personal preparation for emergencies, different skill sets and beliefs but how they stick together seems VERY well handled as this can be a challenge I think in a novel for disparate characters.

This book has a solid story, real characters and it does what I like to see in a novel.... it finishes the story it is telling. It wraps it up nicely and doesn't leave you hanging at the end. Of course there is plenty of room for a sequel but it appears that it will be essentially a new story with many of the same characters. I believe this is the first novel for this writer and it is my intention to get the sequel asap. Highly recommended without reservation to those seeking something other than a simple drama or survivalist manual. It has a little bit of everything for everyone. Well done!
How do I sign up on a waiting list for the sequel?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Bradley on January 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
[Spoiler Alert!]
I read this Kindle book in two days. It's a fast read with a page-turning plot but not much else. I would call this "Prepper Pulp" as it reads more like a comic book with cardboard characters, blood and guts, shoot-em-up scenes galore, and plenty of stilted dialogue. Truly cringe-inducing for people who read other genres of fiction. For the serious readers, this book is like eating organic most of the time but keeping a Twinkie in your bottom drawer.

Although I occasionally enjoy books of this genre, this story uses a disaster, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it premise and delivers little more than lots of dead people, armed groups defending their turf, and a rather simplistic hunt for the bad guys who've unleashed the plague.

As a writer, I found the narrative voice throughout the book to be jarring; switching between omniscient third-person and first person within the same paragraph. The relationship between the protagonist and his son was unrealistic: he treats his eleven-year old son as some kind of helpless, doe-eyed toddler. The banter between Cooper and his sidekick, Dranko, bordered on cartoonish. In the midst of serious life or death situations they were constantly exchanging goofy jokes and elbowing one another in the ribs. Say what?

For the serious preppers out there, you won't learn much that you don't already know. The organizing of the neighborhood watch group goes together a bit too congenially as everyone slips into their assigned roles with nary a whimper. There are just too many happy coincidences. Like, hey lookie here! Dranko's got enough weapons in his safe to outfit the L.A. S.W.A.T. Team! Phew!! What a relief, now everyone has a weapon to defend the neighborhood.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bryan C. Daste on August 30, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brushfire Plague was a quick read, mostly because it's a real page-turner! Although some of the events and details in the book are quite shocking, there's a real human element to the story, and it never wallows in negativity. Plus you might pick up some apocalypse survival tips along the way! Ruggiero's knowledge of weapons is pretty comprehensive, and while I hope this kind of scenario never happens in real life, I might be a little more prepared for it after reading this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Written clearly and well, though the author's attempt at artful language is artlessly overdone in places. The story has a judgmental, arrogant tone to it. There is some intrigue introduced into the plot, over halfway through the story, but after slogging through one shootout after another, its resolution is quite a letdown. Not worth the price, in my opinion.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By GS on February 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want a book that is reasonably well written, check "1 second after". While the EMP attack is overstated and probably not as likely, a plague is. I think the 'raw material' here is much better to work with.

R.P. tells an incomplete tale in this book. When you get to the end of the last chapter it was like watching war of the worlds and turning the projector off at the end of the first reel. There is still too much left on the table that was needed to make this a complete story. There was no sense of being "done"...not to mention the last chapters were choppy and rushed. Perhaps R.P. just ran out of story...or perhaps there is a second volume on the way. I hope its the latter, not the former. This was good enough to warrant another few hours in the next installment. But knowing what I know now, I'd wait for the 2nd installment before I invested time into this story.

This book by itself had some problems. The protagonist crosses moral lines several times, without spoiling the story, he becomes a cold blooded murderer. I understand that in a situation of self/family/county defense people are going to die, but in this case R.P. made someone who is supposed to be the pillar of virtue no better than those he is protecting his own from. We can not confuse good and evil in life. That is how people who are truly evil rise to great power. We've seen this several times in the past, and in many ways we are even seeing that today if we are objective enough to look.

I wish I could write something better about the book, I really wanted to like it. But in the end I was left both wanting more and glad it was over. I wanted to like the book. Maybe the next installment (if there is one) will have redeeming qualities.
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