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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 won't regret it.
18 people found this helpful
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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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on December 4, 2012
I read this book after reading the reviews carefully and decided to take a chance. I am so glad I did. The characters were realistic, the situation truly horrific, and the action seemed to explode from the pages. The slow beginning may have turned off some readers but I appreciated the author taking time to properly set the stage for what was coming. Readers should also prepare themselves for some scenes which are extremely graphic in nature; a couple of times I felt my stomach turn while trying to get through some passages. Also, this author will break your heart with his unflinching approach in an attempt to honestly portray what the world could be like in such a situation. I know some of the other reviewers took offense at the "negative" nature of the author's take on human nature, but I interpreted these passages more as a comment on people's reaction to fear and the will to survive at any cost. What would a parent be willing to do, to sacrifice, to save the life of their child or another loved one? At its root, that is the primary point I took from this book. My only complaint is the poor job of editing done, thus the one star reduction, and which is all too common in self-publishing.
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on November 29, 2012
- 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?

- 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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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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on January 20, 2014
It took me a bit to really get into this book. I don't know what was slowing me down but something just..dragged out. It might have been the development of the characters but after about 1/3 way through 50 Falling Stars really picked up.
I thought the plotline kept a good pace, development of the story improved considerably with a stand out antagonist and a very good protagonist ( who remained a bit of a mystery for a while).
As a fan of SHTF books and movie's I did pick out a few glaringly overlooked items that I would have looked into a bit more as the storyline progressed, but none the really would have affected the outcome.
All in all...I really did like 50 Falling Stars. After finishing I could not help but compare with 'Lucifer's Hammer' without the comet. And as I looked for the Kindle edition on 'Lucifer's Hammer I found a great alternative.
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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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on August 6, 2015
A well written story. I like the way the author showed how some survivor skills can mean the difference between life and death in a SHTF scenario. When there is no rule of law then it comes down to survival of the fittest. So good skills; be it (military, old world, modern) and a good community are essential. Enjoy the book.
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on January 16, 2013
I hope this author continues writing books like this. I simply could not put this one down.

Right from the start, the story draws you in. It is plausible, given the current economy in the U.S., and what we hear about the European Union and its problems. Add to that mix, the stellar relations we have with the middle eastern countries, and you have a very realistic scenario of how a collapse might happen.

If this is a first book, this is stellar!
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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.
3 people found this helpful
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