- File Size: 2535 KB
- Print Length: 272 pages
- Publication Date: March 29, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06XXXJ3VT
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #867,536 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Commune: Book One (Commune Series 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 272 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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But I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I actually enjoyed this book. While I'm not a huge follower of post-apocalyptic fiction, I do enjoy it from time to time. Gayou's take on the theme tends to focus on more of the details of what would actually happen in such a societal break-down, and how the people who are left would cope with the new reality. Most other books, movies and TV shows in the genre tend to break down into simple good vs. evil melodrama, with survivors aggregating into one of those two camps and battling it out, with a heavy focus on the violence. Commune has some of those themes, of course, but the book takes a more cerebral approach to exploring the reality of what would actually happen.
The structure of the story is clever, told in first-person from several of the main characters' points of view. At first this threw me a little bit, as I would confuse characters when the POV shifted. But from about half-way through the book all of the chapters are from a single character's POV so it becomes a little easier to follow along.
There were a few editing issues I spotted, along with a couple of minor plot problems, but these were few and far between. Overall the prose was MUCH cleaner than I've come to expect from rookie novelists. And they weren't enough to throw off my reading rhythm or to affect my enjoyment of the story.
And I did enjoy it. I found myself tearing through the story faster than I usually do with some of my favorite big-name authors. This is presented as book one in a series, and I find myself looking forward to the continuation of the story. Well done, Mr. Gayou.
I just love the characters and their interactions - Joshua did an excellent job at bringing the reader into the scenes and making the reader empathize with the characters.
I enjoyed how the author dealt with the realism of normal, everyday people not knowing their way around firearms. It really brings a sense of reality to the book! I do, however, feel like it might be a bit much sometimes. I'm kind of torn on the point because on one hand the information is correct, but on the other, it just seems to happen a little too often for my liking. There were a few typos here and there, but nothing that took me out of the story. Between these two issues I had, they were the only reason I didn't rate as five stars.
The author did an excellent job at bringing a different slant to the military during/after the apocalypse... all too often, we see the military as "the bad guy". I like how Joshua brought some humanity to the servicemen as well as making me actually give a damn about the characters. Joshua really has something here. I've already purchased book 2 and will most likely get the audiobook as well.
To sum up the complicated beginning, picture the solar storm of 1859 meets present day infrastructure. This is the Flare. Shock and awe precede inevitable chaos and anarchy, but enough order remains to get a handle on the riots and get a good start on getting the world back on the grid. But then comes the Plague; a disease with communicability AND mortality rates of nearly 100% that wipes out life and hope on a global scale. Those that don’t die only live to endure a different kind of hell. Because all that remains is a desolate shadow of what was once the world as we know it. And to make it in this new world, one must have exactly the right amount of luck, skill, determination, and humanity. Commune Book One begins the story of a few such people and how they found one another.
So, what do you do as a reader? You prepare yourself for a tale in which almost nothing and no one are what they seem. You try to avoid becoming too attached to any of the characters, but you bond to some of them anyway and you hope that they don’t ultimately betray you. You know that not every character you grow to care about is going to make it, and you hope that they don’t suffer too greatly. You know that several characters will turn out to be vile, deplorable psychopaths, and you hope that they will get some level of a comeuppance. All you can do is go along for the ride, never knowing when and where the next “Oh sh!t” moment will jump out at you, and continuing to hope against hope. Because this story delivers the bottom line right up front: no deux ex machina is coming. At all. These characters are not going over, under, or around, they are going straight through and fairness no longer exists.
The largest part of my enjoyment of any fiction is the character development. This probably explains why I enjoy dystopian stories so much. No matter what kind of cataclysm has struck, the real story lies in the characters, what they do to survive, and who they become as a result. To that end, I particularly admire Mr. Gayou’s integrity in creating his characters. Each has their own individual identity and unique voice, but despite his obvious investment in these characters, Mr. Gayou throws no bones. As the story unfolds, no one is spared hunger, violence, or terror. No one gets a free ride. Yet it is this authenticity that will likely make this story a difficult read for some. The reader gets no sense of safety, just a moment here and there to catch your breath (and maybe have a laugh) before the next shoe drops. While I read, I bounced from feeling thirsty, anxious, incensed, tired, sorrowful, and back again. But I also felt invigorated and keen to know what was going to happen, even if I wasn’t going to be happy about it. If you can handle all of that, you will enjoy this book as I did.
Now on to Book Two!
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