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Brushfire Plague (Volume 1) Paperback – July 29, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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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!"--apocalypticfiction.com

"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."--shtfblog.com

"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."--greatnorthernprepper.com

--"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."--bearflagtrading.com

"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."--SalvationandSurvival.com

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!"--shruggingitout.com (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."--gunfreezone.net
--"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."--apartmentprepper.com
--"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..."--ifithitsthefan.blogspot.com
--"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."--backdoorsurvival.com
--"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."--survivalpunk.com
Please let me know what you think at rpruggiero@gmail.com and feel free to visit brushfireplague.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: PrepperPress.com (July 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061564564X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615645643
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #899,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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I've been wanting to read this novel for a while and was very excited when I finally got the chance to do so. Based on reviews and several recommendations I anticipated a really great story and some solid entertainment. And it seemed to be that way in the early chapters, but then I began noticing a few things. First let me say this, Brushfire Plague is not full of bad editing and horrible grammatical errors like some reviews have said, there are a few here and there, but nothing worth mentioning. The main problem I had with this book is the author trying to combine several genres of fiction (mystery/conspiracy/survival) without fully developing previous and ongoing plot lines. There was almost zero character development. Plus it stretched my limits with its requirement to suspend disbelief. I understand trying to add some flavor to your story but I feel the author prematurely tried to incorporate a mystery/conspiracy plot line into a weakly developed TEOTWAWKI story. In other words don't start writing a sequel half way into the first book. As for the main character of the story, he was not very likable and seemed unbelievably and immediately adjusted to the "new normal". My overall rating is a thumbs down and I will not be purchasing book 2.
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This is a good, self-published SHTF novel. Editing was good, the dialogue was good (although the buddy-dialogue between the protagonist and his friend was a little strained), the emotional drama regarding the protagonist's family was believable. I even found that the sexual situations were handled well. I enjoyed the treatment of the challenges of neighborhood organization. I also like that the fact that this book, unlike most others, wasn't set in the South.

This book has the usual pit-falls of the genre: the good guys are bullet proof and can take on literally dozens of bad guys with nary a scratch, etc. I also thought the conspiracy stuff (including a moustache twirling bond-esque super villian) strained my ability to suspend disbelief to the breaking point.

All in all though, a good effort.
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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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