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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2012
The other one was Fortschner's One Second After. This 400+ page novel is professional quality. If you read only one "cautionary tale" out of this Kindle library, make it this one. Characters are gritty and real. Situations are scary and don't always end "happily ever after". There are no characters included who have stocked their bunkers with dozens of automatic weapons, millions of rounds of ammo, and thousands of gallons of fuel.

These are what the author makes you believe to be real people trapped in a world gone mad...and having to find a way to deal with it. Along the way, they meet good people and people who don't even deserve to be called humans. Fate deals with them equally, without favoritism. The situation punishes weakness and rewards grit. "When the going gets tough...the tough get going" is illustrated as well as I've ever seen it done.

With all that, there are tender moments that draw you into caring about the protagonists.

Read this. Unless I miss my guess...you won't regret it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2012
I enjoy reading 'fall of civilization' novels, as some of them are not far-fetched. Up to now, those novels have dealt with EMP or zombies (ok, not realistic). Fifty Fallen Stars is different, as it deals with the collapse of civilization in a believable way due to the corresponding collapse of our tenuous economic system. The premise is highly believable and could actually happen in the near future, and the author did a good job of showing how it might occur and the repercussions.

The characters are well fleshed out, and act as real people would given the circumstances they find themselves in. And unlike one reviewer here, I didn't find their speech unrealistic or offensive; it blended well with the story.

I have only three relatively minor gripes about the story, so I hope the author reads this:

1. Spellcheckers don't catch misspelled words that form other words, and there are *a lot* of misspelled words of this nature in the the book. Have someone unfamiliar with the story proofread and circle the misspellings. I also found one or two words missing from the text.

2. It was confusing keeping track of the groups and would have liked to have their their locations listed at the top of each chapter.

3. Writers who talk about things they know nothing about, shouldn't. The author apparently knows nothing about firearms and should learn how to operate and fire the weapons he described. Hint: Semi-automatic firearms don't "click" when empty. Their slides lock back and they don't do anything else.

It should be relatively simple to correct these three problems and re-issue the book in a second edition. The premise is too believable and the story otherwise too well-written for the author to not improve it. The book could be a close second to the outstanding, apocalyptic novel, One Second Later (by William R. Forstchen).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A fairly standard plot line for the post apocalyptic genre with the exception that major characters suffer and/or die. Everybody sacrifices, not just the bad guys. There is a lot of action and good character development. I particularly enjoyed the explanation of various prepper/survival skills. My suggestion would be to have someone carefully proofread and edit the manuscript for little things like spelling errors and simple grammatical mistakes that mar an otherwise enjoyable reading experience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2012
Did I say editing? I don't think there was ANY serious editing of this book. OK - put aside the editing. The story itself was quite believable and very fast paced. You certainly get your $$ worth on volume - with really very little filler, just a lot of distraction in grammatical errors, transpositions, wrong use of words, stilted dialog, mixed up character events and missing adjectives. Here's an example. In one scene, 2 key characters decide to go to bed early, but in the next paragraph they are included in dialog with the remaining characters who decided to stay up and discuss planning - jeesh! With a bit of polish, this book would have been terrific. One hopes that a follow up book (and a second book would be expected) gets better draft reviews and editing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2012
OK, maybe editing was part of the process in getting this book published, but whoever did it certainly should be looking for another line of work. An otherwise interesting book is so riddled with grammar and punctuation errors that distracted me to no end. Too bad so many Kindle books have the same problem. But like I said, it was an interesting book otherwise.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2012
Good:
- Not one thing that ended it but a combination of things
- characters aren't super-survivalists with Bear Grylls on speed-dial
- potentially realistic scenario as people have to keep moving to find supplies/food
- exploring areas that few authors have ventured in to. Like, just what would prisons do if no deliveries were arriving?

Bad:
- the whole "we're all going to be cannibals now" thing. I seriously doubt that everyone would fall in line as the taboo against cannibalism is pretty strong
- the perfect town setup
- the Mad Max style prisoners

Think of this as a book to take to the beach. Suspend belief and turn off your mind. It's not deep, it's not complex, but it is escapism for a couple of hours.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2013
This book is full of glaring plot holes, typos and spelling errors. I can live with the spelling problems but not with the plot errors. For instance, six rag-tag family members walking across the country for weeks are attacked by a group of brigands in a truck and on 4-wheelers. A stranger comes to their aid and the bad guys die. The family resumes their WALK and fails to utilize the truck and 4-wheelers or even scavenge the guns and ammo from the dead brigands. The truck could have cut weeks off their walk and the new guns would have been better than the ones they were carrying. This stupidity is rampant. The best part of the book came after the stranger joined the group. It was the only thing that kept me reading it. I have read over 100 PA books over the last year and I would not buy another from this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2013
The book seemed sketchy at first, but it was almost as if the author learned to write better with each new chapter until I found myself riveted to the action by the end of the novel. Complaints about a lack of proofreading are just that: complaints. I found no problem with the glitches as I was interested in the story, which was well-crafted.

The survivalcraft was superb, and the author is clearly an expert. He is not at all an expert in how a community of thousands could survive or even thrive without a clear economic system of mutual exchange. After the initial failures of the Mayflower and Jamestown colonies in the the New World when they were run like communes, followed by runaway success when rational self-interest was embraced -- you'd think the lesson of history would be strong, but alas it just is not so.

If you want to survive TEOTWAWKI, read this book. If you want to see a strong new civilization built on the ruins of the old, look elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2012
This book is a great read if you are into the "end of the world" type story lines. The characters are intriguing and relateable. I put myself into one of the characters roles and really felt the pain, and struggles of each of them. Its a page turner for sure!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2012
I give this novel three stars for these general reasons. This novel started out fairly well. The author set up a well thought out and believable scenario of what could happen to cause the United States to collapse. Still, I always go back to his reasoning of why the characters where not as well developed. The dialogue in the beginning of the story was forced, choppy and lacked a natural flow that you would find in the real world. It was as if the author was having each character give the reader a small biography in conversations to people whom they have already known for years, in order to create some sort of background and depth for the audience. This would have been cleared up right if the writer would have hired an editor. Speaking of that I have other bones to pick about that as well. But before I get ahead of myself, I have to say that because of this general lack of flow, I felt it difficult to follow the characters. There was very few if any discriptions of the characters which made it difficult to picture them let alone know them or even really care about them. And once you finally got to know a character and possibly like them they were somehow removed from the story or faded into the background. With having weak character developement it because difficult for the reader to read about that individual and the writer to want to write more about his or her creation. With this in mind they often develope new characters that they wish the main one should have been. Hence my next problem was that around 75% into the story the main characters have a little trouble and an off chance encounter with another character that happens to save their lives later becomes this shrouded protagonist who is now the new main character for the remainder of the book. Now the antagonist in this story.....well, where do I begin? An ex-con turned commander of a cannabilistic army in a post apocalypse America! How cliche'! Need I say more! But dont worry folks mr. Hero that was just written in about two chapters ago and is now the main character is going to come to save the day or at least die trying! And one last point that I brought up earlier. Hire an editor or fire the one you have. This book was far from polished. I found multiple spelling errors which clearly effected not only the flow of the story but the delivery as well.
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