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An Empty Land of Plenty by Mark McNamara is an okay story that could have been a great story. I loved the premise of the story: a virus left in a wake of comet that has visited earth before 30,000 years ago and basically wiped out the Neanderthals save for a mother and daughter (somehow immune to the virus) who eventually interbreed with Cro-Magnon thus ensuring an immune gene in some of mankind when the comet reappears in our time with the same virus and wipes out most of humanity save for those with immunity and the unexposed.
I loved the characters that McNamara populated his story with they are three-dimensional and well fleshed out, maybe too well. One of the most compelling parts of the story is that the one of the main protagonists is a 17-year-old nerd, named Rusty not some macho ex-military butt-kicker. An Empty Land of Plenty really is Rusty's story.
Rusty's story, however, gets lost in the minutia of back story and over-detailed scenes that really, really hurt the pace of the story. One reviewer, wrote that An Empty Land of Plenty: "needs some editing -- not copy-editing, but editing to make the story flow more smoothly." I agree and must add that the trivial detail is excruciating at times. For example: the survivors are eating grilled corn on the cob, it was so over-detailed that I thought, the reader was going to be treated to the taste of each and every kernel of corn.
The first 10% of the book, concerning the Neanderthals could have been cut and most definitely condensed. I understand that McNamara wanted to show the back story of how Rusty got the immune gene, unfortunately he made the back story a separate story.Read more ›
I really enjoyed this post apocalyptic tale. The start was totally different in that it was set 30,000 years ago during Neanderthal & Cro Magnon man times , then whipped forward to the present day to set up the apocalypse and introduce the characters. Some I must admit I thought would be boo, hiss 'baddies' but I was pleasantly surprised. A really good road trip book , gathering the characters today and with some back story. A worthy addition to my ' Apocalypse Now' shelf, definatelty a keeper. looking forward to reading more by this author if he carries on in the PA genre which I adore. I gained this book as an freebie but would have willingly paid money, its that good. If you love The Stand/ The Road etc I can highly recommend this book!!
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I don't normally read fiction but was glad I read this book. It is written in a very life like realistic matter for the characters involved. Most TV shows and movies today wouldn't have a story unless the stars constantly are doing stupid stuff that gets them in trouble. This story shows that there could be people that can THINK and avoid a lot of the problems. There will however, as shown, be bad things that can happen that you can't always see coming and you can make an honest error in judgment. Also the technical details and very plausible problem solutions were excellent.. That is what makes it better to me. This is the first fiction work I have read since my teens and I really enjoyed it. Keep writing Mark.
I read and really enjoyed this book. I think it might be targeted to teen readers, although I didn't see that anywhere before I downloaded it. It had that kind of feel to it. Those days are LONG past me, but I found this to be a very enjoyable and well-written book. I'd recommend it to anyone, and I'd certainly recommend it to YA readers.
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This is my favorite kind of book...but the rarest to find. I loved every page and still wish for more. The prologue was fascinating, and as happy as I was with the story to follow, I also felt a pang that there wasn't more to the beginning (although I do appreciate that even the prologue was wrapped up nicely!).
If you read a lot of self published end of the world e-books you quickly discover that there's a reason most are self published....they're just not very good.
Empty Land rises above this low water mark and surprised me in several ways.
I loved the opening which was totally unexpected yet written in a way that brought the ancient past to life in a very believable way. And doing it all without a shred of dialog? Genius!
I also enjoyed how a main character evolved and matured over the course of events. Too many self published authors fall into the trap of one note characters. McNamara rises above that and is to be commended.
Finally I thought the story itself was original enough to stand out. And that's not easy to do in this genre.
As for the negatives.....
The authors style of writing is lacking in a few spots. This shines through most significantly in action scenes or during an important climax. During those moments you expect an author to build up to the significant event and then deliver the result in an exciting way. Instead there were several notable instances in this book where such action is given to the reader without regard to how important it is. A few times I had to read the end to a scene over again to make sure I caught what was happening.
Secondly, while I did enjoy one characters evolving sense of duty, I found myself wanting to understand and read about the internal process and turmoil more. I would have loved to catch a fuller sense of what was going on in the characters head.
Another issue I had was the too casual way in which the author changed the POV of the reader.Read more ›