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Out of the Ashes (Ashes Series #1) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2008

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Pinnacle (January 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786019530
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786019533
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.3 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

This is one of the best story's I've read in a long time.
Kathy Rinehart
Issues like racial tension are handled as if violence between races is inevitable, slightly veiled by the fact that the main character doesn't quite agree.
A. Shumway
I understand that the author was trying to be authentic and that some people really do talk that way, but it got so bad that I could not deal with it.
Roger J. Buffington

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Kevin P. Grover on May 10, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As the author of "Strike Hard", I continually read books that piqued my interest. "Out of the Ashes", the first of the Ashes Series, was one of the most enjoyable that I have ever read. Ben Raines seems to be a reflection of William Johnstone, thus adding a lot of depth to the character. Johnstone manages to put the reader right in the middle of the war, and its aftermath, plunging the reader into a world where chaos exists. However, there is a desire to see things set right, and Ben Raines is the man for the job. From punks to outlaws, Ben manages to strive victoriously to clear the way for the rebirth of the country, in the way it was meant to be. First of a series, "Out of the Ashes" is a terrific stand-alone novel, as well as an enticing beginning to a wonderful series. It is a book that I never tire of reading.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By L. Lord on June 21, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm usually a romance book reader, but I was curious & read the back cover & decided to give it a try, something different...

I found the storyline & the dialogue to be very easy-to-read & the story rolled as if written by a 'real' person (if a bit preachy, but the guy sure knows what he believes in!). It's a great 'what-if' story of the ever-popular 'end of the world as we know it by nuclear war'. What if some of the people who are left want to band together, rebuild, create a society that enforces law-abiding, the right to defend yourself & your family, & live in peace ? No racism, no sexism, everyone works somehow, no free-loaders, everyone votes on the basic laws & majority is 90%, not 51%. Anyone who doesn't want to live there, can leave. Must leave. The main character hates 'scum, thugs & slime' of humanity, rape & murder are not tolerated, for any reason, justice is swift, & everyone learns, & carries, firearms, everyone from childhood is taught self-defense. Strong emphasis on Education: if your raise children to be productive, law-abiding citizens, they won't grow up to be 'racists' or 'thugs', or will know the consequences in advance. Age-old question: Would you rob someone or try to hurt someone, if you knew that they & all their family are armed ? Parents are required to teach their children clear right from wrong, so that they are not in doubt, anyone who doesn't do that, are kicked out. These people just want to live in peace & rebuild, health care for all, everyone pulls their share, only wants people who WANT to live there, they don't 'recruit' or 'force' citizenship, they just kick out anyone who doesn't want to follow the rules. No crime, no poverty, no slums...interesting concept.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By William M Miller on December 15, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
America after a nuclear apocalypse? What a great idea! Not many writers are brave enough to tackle a subject matter like that, much less do it well. Sounds like an idea too big for one book? Have no fear, this is just book one in an ongoing series with continuing characters (currently 25 books and going strong!) If you don't agree with the author's political stance (an eye for an eye, let me live in complete freedom - the less government, the better), you might get annoyed with it. I rather enjoyed imagining a world where you truly get what you deserve. The book is chock-full of spys, action, twists, sex, humor, and moves very quickly. The simplicity of the writing didn't bother me, allowing me to finish it in 3 days. It also helps move it along.
As for the reviewer from Chicago, I'm surprised (and confused) that even though you didn't like the book, you read "seven other books" in the series. I would think that (giving it a rating of 1) would have you staying far away from them... but 7 others !? I guess you are hooked - whether you like it or not - like the thousands of other "Ashes" fans around the world! As for your comments on people not joining the militia if they had problems with the government... it's already (and has been for a while) happening in the south, with certain groups having hundreds of members. Knowing about some of the battles in history, it is not unrealistic for a few thousand people to die on one side and only lose a few hundred on the other... great leaders win great battles.

If you are tired of government and big business controlling 90% of everything in society, and would like to see what could happen without them, give this series a try. It's only in theory, of course, but it's a damn good one.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sam Adams on July 29, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Book 1 of the Ashes series

Plot kernel - Rouge elements in the US Military cause world-wide nuclear and biological war - with absolutely no significant lasting health effects whatsoever for those that survive: the nukes were "clean" and the biological danger diffuses with the wind and time - any areas "permanently affected" are only briefly mentioned and then dropped from the story. It is said that 2/3 the population has perished.

A writer of paperback action adventure novels, himself ex military special forces, survives the collapse of civilization. He travels about the states east of the Mississippi, meets many violent racists (he himself is not one) and generally very bad people, usually groups of men looking to rape women. He also meets the occasional woman, herself a victim of gang rape or a witness to it, who quickly and eagerly decides to sleep with him and stay, temporarily and with affection, in his company. (Rape and racism are referred to and talked about a lot in this story.)

He eventually heads west and becomes the leader (the setup for this role is provided) of a break away, racially diverse, government comprising Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming: the Tri-States. Despite the (one would think) devastation of nuclear and biological war, both the Tri-States and the reconstituted US government now under the control of a radical left wing senator seem to enjoy all the conveniences of the modern world. (This is not a story about a survivalist or survivors of a world-wide war coping with physical hardship.)

The Tri-States government is utopian, militant, communitarian (it seems), and judicially very severe, yet with a slight mixture of libertarian principles (prostitution, for example, is legal).
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