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On the other hand, it was a really enjoyable read, which is what a book is supposed to do. It definitely wasn't at all fast-paced, though it had its moments but it was well written and you could see that the author poured a lot of himself into the manuscript. It contained most of the tried and true "tropes" that make a post-apocalyptic book enjoyable but it was much more character driven which made the sad moments that much more impactful, even if they were expected.
I found myself waking up in the middle of the night, worrying about how Clay was going to take care of his family when (Spoiler) a certain important character was killed. That doesn't happen unless your subconscious in engaged.
The characters were fun, the plot slow with a few really great, engaging moments, the complications were continual and genuinely worrying, and the ending was nicely wrapped up. Overall, it was a great read (and I ate up the details about the firearms. You can tell the author knows what he's talking about.)
The only reason I didn't rate it five stars was because a) I feel like this author has much better in him once he nails down that POV (which is honestly the single biggest problem I run into with Indie authors and the fact that he does as good as he does is testament to his being wide read) b) I feel like he often got sidetracked from the story to "preach". While I, as a conservative Christian, agree with most if not all of his views, and I have great respect for them, there were times that it made the story feel more like a piece of propaganda than a story and I feel like he could have accomplished both an amazing story and a powerful theme much better if he'd used a bit more subtext. I also recognize that I'm probably judging this a bit more harshly than I would others because it was very good, and I think the author has better work in him in the future!
If you enjoy a good, slow-building book with some great adventure, themes of family and responsibility with a great Paragon character, I highly suggest you give it a try. I will be buying more by this author, for sure and I will be keeping a very close eye on his future works.
The setting is in Texas, but all government and most of the economy have been destroyed by the disasters, leaving leaving a shell of the former society where people have to fend for themselves. This book is realistic about the evil that goes unrestrained when a government collapses. Clay does his best to protect his family from the evil that surrounds him, but finds that he must also fight evil in his own heart.
Glimpses into the past help the reader understand events before and after the disasters that helped shape the characters into who they have become. They are far from one-dimensional, all with strengths and weaknesses, good and bad characteristics.
Once you get a few pages into this book, you wont be able to put it down. I heard there may be a sequel in the works and I look forward to it!
There was some great action taking place, well written fight sequences and what made it all come together was the hint of a shy young man falling in love. I greatly admire an author who can pull it all together without losing the reader in techno-babble. This book is well worth reading and would appeal to readers young and old.
The author, AJ Powers, is very successful in his world building and also at developing a set of believable characters that exist there. I found myself completely invested in Clay's story and eager to see it's outcome, so much so that I read the last half in one sitting. For me the theme of this story seems focused on the decisions we make in life, good or bad, and their end results. At one point in the book Clay relates to a boy a story about two wolves, one good and one evil, living inside all of us and how the decisions we make in our everyday lives determine which wolf grows strongest. This small detail in the book resonates with me and surfaces throughout the book as characters struggle through tough choices while trying to keep their humanity. There's an undercurrent of hope and positivity running though out this story that I rarely find in books these days and it made the whole experience more enjoyable.
I highly recommend the book and look forward to reading whatever the author writes next.