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Half Past Midnight Paperback – December 22, 2011
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About the Author
The storytelling gene was inescapable. A father whose daredevil adventures personified the rebellious preacher's son, a Choctaw mother, and a veritable cast of characters in the family made for lots of "Did you hear about?" stories, as well as the inevitable oral histories. Influenced by martial arts, trigonometry, Star Wars, and ice cream, Jeff finally decided what he wanted to be when he grew up—which should happen any day now—an author. His long-ignored and oft-lamented Attention Deficit Disorder notwithstanding, you hold in your hands the result of many years of patient writing, re-writing, research, and long hours at the computer. Jeff's incredibly organized and intelligent wife's influence may be noted in this novel, but she in no way claims responsibility for any of the content, other than to say the story could use some "spice," which is what you would expect from a fan of J.D. Robb. Jeff and his family live somewhere near Houston, Texas, with two "goggers," three kids, one grandchild, and Dead Tehya, the cat. Half Past Midnight is his debut novel. Note from the author: And that, dear reader, is what you get when you allow your wife to write your bio page!
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In the eerie light from a "second" sun glowing in the sky, Leeland Dawcett and his family flee Houston for a rural cabin, planning to wait out the worst in a fallout shelter filled with their supplies. But they quickly realize that they need the help of their neighbors - and that the nearby town needs their help, too. Unfortunately, on the trip to the cabin, Leeland crossed paths with a man who sees the post-apocalyptic world as a chance to seize power, and views Leeland as an enemy who needs to be dealt with, leading to a violent showdown with an uncertain outcome.
Another reviewer found fault with the novel's lack of detail in terms of the background of the main characters and a feeling that some things (like grief and long periods of skirmish fighting) are skimmed over too quickly. I do think that the story would be more emotionally wrenching if those areas were fleshed out in greater depth; however, I also think that it would have completely slowed down the pace of the book, which would have been a real loss. This is DEFINITELY a page-turner. I also believe that it's more in Leeland's nature to press forward rather than dwell on what cannot be changed, which is exactly what enables him to survive and even thrive in a world that has been stripped bare of safety and convenience. If he spent his time mourning the life he lost, he wouldn't be effective in the present - in fact, his relentless drive forward may be the best tool in his survivalist toolkit.
This book is compelling, believable, and definitely has me wondering exactly what I would do after the nuclear midnight the title refers to. If you are a reader of post-apocalyptic stories, or if you are simply intrigued by the premise, you won't be disappointed by this book!
This is a story of a man who fights to saves his family and create a way to live in this new world. Unfortunately, he is hampered by some who want what others have in order to survive. As his family makes their way from the city to a less populated and "safer" environment, he is confronted with a band of killers and makes an unwise decision that will prove costly.
Obviously, Mr. Brackett has done a lot research to make his characters knowledgeable in marital arts and weaponry. As Leeland and his family try to assimilate with the other survivors, we are introduced to a lot of characters with special talents. All of the characters has an interesting side to their personality which adds greatly to the story. Megan, his daughter for instance, is also trained in martial
Overall, if you enjoy stories of this nature, you will not be disappointed. Actually, I think, if the author wished he could continue with the storyline. The only reason I gave this a four star instead of a five is that I wanted to know who/why dropped the bomb. I also wanted to have an idea of what was going on in the rest of the country, if the government was doing anything to "restart". That is just my curiosity, it really didn't effect the story in anyway and the characters were to busy to have to time to dwell on anything but staying alive.
The people of the small town 200 miles north of Houston, Texas seemed to be very calm after a nuclear strike. Everyone accepted what had happened and there didn't appear to be any type of panic. Larry Troutman, the bad guy in this book, took control of over 3,000 Army soldiers. So how did a civilian get to lead all these soldiers? Wasn't there anyone of any type of rank amongst the 3,000 of them? Where did the 3,000 soldiers come from? Didn't make sense. Also there wasn't any mention of how the war started and the condition of the rest of the world, if they were bombed or not. Once people started getting organized, the town seemed to forget the rest of the USA.
It's an okay read but there are better books out there.