Customer Reviews: Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse
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on October 18, 2011
As a huge fan of the author and his blog, I was highly disappointed in this book. In fact I am only thru 50% of it on my Kindle. I had to come back and read the reviews to see if I was missing something. From what I see, I hadn't. I agree with a previous "posters" in that this book is a confusing read (and I have 22yrs in the Army-Retired)and left way to many things open for my liking. It is way to preachy for my taste, and yes, even creepy at times. Too many things were wrapped up in a convieninet little box, so to speak. I loved "Patriots" and it is what got me into prepping. However, "Survivors" comes off as a book designed to take advantage of fans loyalty's. I'm sorry, but thats how I feel. I hope the next book gets back on course. Was not worth the hype and I felt taken advantage of with all the hype on the Blog. This being my first review, is an indication to myself, how strongly disappointed I am with this novel.
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on November 10, 2011

I too was disappointed in this book. I have never written review before, but I felt compelled to write about this book. I LOVED Patriots, but this seemed like an attempt to take advantage of those fans.

Patriots was full of various stories, lot of details about battles, politics, towns and groups of people surviving.....this however was a couple of stories that never developed into anything interesting, a LOOOOONG and BOOOORING chapter in the middle about how a character met his wife which made me wonder if I somehow picked up the wrong book, and a final "showdown" with the bad guys that lasted only a few pages. We spend more time reading about a flashback of a guy flying around with his future wife than we did about people battling it out to survive. I was getting closer to the end and wondering how the heck there was going to be any exciting conclusion since I was running out of pages.

VERY DISAPPOINTING! I am now VERY skeptical about purchasing the next one as I am convinced that he took a Patriots length book and split it into 2 books to double his profits. I read his blog and am a fan, but I can't help but think we all got suckered into helping buy some more acreage for his personal retreat. Maybe his publisher suggested it? He should fire his editor too as the book was full of typos. His veiled attacks on catholicism didn't impress me either.

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on October 23, 2011
This book isn't very good.

Not exactly the nicest thing to say about a book that someone's spent alot of time and effort on, but in some cases it's the truth...this is definitely one of those cases.

The only actual reason that I can see for buying this book is if you have a library dedicated to 'Survival Fiction' and you simply have to buy one of every book in this genre that comes out or else your book collection will be incomplete.

Other than that I'd avoid it like the plague.

His first book 'Patriots' was decent simply because it was part fiction and partly a how-to book and I hadn't run across that idea very often. Plus in the general Survival/Zombies/SHTF/Apocalypse Genre there's not a whole bunch of books to choose from to begin with (which sometimes means that mediocre authors can end up having their books sell like hotcakes just because people like the subject matter).

There were a few things that I didn't care for in 'Patriots', but all in all it was an okay book. With this novel however you can't really say a whole lot that's positive. It's story-line is horrible and it's equally as bad as a 'How-to' book.

For Survival Fiction and Non-Fiction books that provide a much better story-line or that provide much more useful information from a How-To perspective see the books I've listed below.

***Survival Fiction***
- One Second After by William R. Forstchen
- Enemies Foreign and Domestic by Matthew Bracken
- Domestic Enemies: The Reconquista by Matthew Bracken
- Foreign Enemies And Traitors by Matthew Bracken
- The Road by McCarthy
- Lights Out by David Crawford
- Molon Labe! by Kenneth W. Royce
- Lucifer's Hammer by Niven and Pournelle
- Day by Day Armageddon by J. L. Bourne
- The Collapse by Stanfield (even with all the typos in 'The Collapse' that book blows this one out of the water)
- The Rift by Williams
- Unintended Consequences by Ross

***Survival/Preparedness Non-Fiction or How-To Related Books***
- The Boston Gun Bible by Kenneth Royce
- Boston on Surviving Y2K by Kenneth Royce (Yeah, I know Y2K didn't happen...still packed full of good info on preparedness).
- The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse - Fernando 'Ferfal' Aguirre
- Extreme Survival Almanac: Everything You Need to Know to Live Through a Shipwreck, Plane Crash, or Any Outdoor Crisis Imaginable by Reid Kincaid
- Civil War II by Chittum
- The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan
- Total Resistance by H. Von Dach

***Some examples of what I didn't like about this book specifically in no particular order***
- Poor character development or the characters were just uninteresting and flat.
- Too many characters in number altogether.
- I got sick of being preached to by the author : In many novels of this type you can tell what demographics the author falls into it and to tell you the truth for the most part I don't really mind. In this book though the author is WAY over the top.
- He takes WAY too much time going into detail on stuff that simply doesn't matter.
- Suspension of disbelief is DEFINITELY needed for some of this book because the odds are always in the characters favor.
- The dialogue between characters is irritating: I realize that the 'Good Guys' (and Gals) are supposed to be Christians (I'm pretty sure the reader understands THIS at the very least from the amount of time talking about it), but in an extremely stressful time even the biggest Christian on earth is going to slip.
- The actions taken by the characters are too unbelievably moral : In survival situations not everything is going to be black and white from a moral perspective and that's how Rawles tries to lay it out.

At any rate that's my perspective on this book and there's more that I don't like about it, but I'm getting bored just talking about this book.

I'm pretty disappointed as Rawles's blog is pretty good in my opinion (I'm beginning to think that maybe his blog is pretty good simply because of all the reader contributions and not because of Rawles himself) and 'Patriots' was at least a fair book. However given that THIS book isn't very interesting I'd rather spend the asking price on something worthwhile (a gallon or two of gas, a Mora knife, a box of ammo, a sewing kit or whatever).

In my opinion just read the blog (which is free) and skip this book altogether.
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on October 24, 2011
Having read and enjoyed Patriots - as soon as it was available to do so - I put my Pre-Order in for this one.

Won't make that mistake ever again for one of Rawles' books. Blah!

This thing felt like someone started a half dozen loosely connected novels and never bothered to finish ANY of them, then packed them all together in the same binding just to get it sold.

I visit and enjoy Rawles' website daily but I'd rather just donate money in appreciation for his work there than chance laboring through another unfinished, tediously preachy and shallow series of storylines like this one. You can bet the survivalist farm that I'm going to be waiting to read the reviews here before giving another one a chance.

My copy is for sale on Amazon - competing with a lot of others.
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on October 19, 2011
I have read Patriots several times, own multiple copies and have gifted copies to several friends. My disappointment with this book cannot be overstated. I just read a sampling of the reviews and will not take much of my time or yours now to restate the facts.

I looked forward to reading this book and purchased it the first day that it was available. After a few chapters it became obvious that I was in for a struggle.

I am a supporter of Rawles and his blog. It is truly disappointing (I will try not to use that word again) that the effort that went into hyping this book far exceeded the effort to pen it. To read this book, especially following all of the fanfare, makes me feel duped. I have de-promoted this book with every bit the same zeal that I once promoted Patriots.

Just to touch on a few things that I am certain have already been said:

No development of characters (they were uninteresting to start with)...except for Andy and the eternal courtship which was beyond stupid and the very definition of lame (how often do two people decide to get married after the second time they have touched one another on the shoulder/arm) and had no bearing on anything...countless inconsistencies (if Andy would have just sat still for a while he would have had enough gold coins (Eagles or Krugerrands? depends upon which chapter you read) to buy the world..they must have been breeding in his pocket. Please follow up on how Andy got his gun and other stuff back from the guy he stored it with at the dock..after a 6 month absence.? That would have been interesting reading...but he just all of a sudden had it and later the rest magically appeared. I could go on..............He was one heck of a shot though...2 guys in prone position on a speed boat at 60 yards from a sailboat with a pistol that he had seldom even shot...2 bandits at 220 yards with a folding stock AK47(one crawling on the night!!!!!. Come on maaaaan!

I can only assume that he did not have an editor, or at least someone with guts, to tell him "STOP!! This is beyond lame!!" How one could take as long as he claimed it took to write this book and then apparently not even make sure the sequence of events matched or check for grammatical errors is positively beyond me.

One reviewer stated that there had been a comment by the author that the poor reviews were racially motivated..? Not sure if any or all of that is true or not and don't care. I am sure of this: This book is not worth reading. I don't care what your religion, race, color, creed or national origin is.

I seriously could go on but I think you get my point. Don't.
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on October 21, 2011
Sadly, I find myself agreeing with all of the negative reviews so far. And like many others, I admire Mr. Rawles for his work on Patriots and the very informative, which I try to visit daily. One of the main problems I have with this work, is the author's apparent inability to identify with anyone who is not an active duty member of the military (or at least a veteran)and those who are not hard core fundamentalist Christians.

In a very simplistic, almost juvenile, manner, he casts all of the good guys as people with heavy military experience and strong Christian beliefs, while the bad guys are the rest of us "liberals" and non-military "weanies" who are apparently not worthy to lick the soles of his military characters' combat boots. Maybe Rawles just needs to get out of his compound more and rub elbows with members of the real world. Then maybe he will see that people of all races, religions (or lack thereof) and even no military background, have worth too.

Not being a hard core, bible thumpin, neo-con Rambo, does not make someone a bed wetting (or bed hopping) "liberal" either. There are many of us out here in the real world, who have no military experience and choose independent,rational thought, instead of following any religious dogma. And we are quite capable of surviving and are active members of the growing prepper movement. Many of us even own guns and livestock, Mr. Rawles. Just because we don't limit our circle of influence to religious zealots and combat veterans, does not make us any less capable, or worthy, of survival when it all finally hits the fan.
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on October 31, 2011
Being a big fan of author James Wesley Rawles, I bought this book the second day it came out with high expectations. I loved his previous book "Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse" and was hoping this would be even better. Unfortunately it was a HUGE disappointment. The flashbacks were totally useless and I had no connection whatever to any of the characters at all. As I reached the end, I was hoping and expecting everything to tie together somehow ... but it never did. The end fizzled like a dud. I feel like he quickly rushed to write this before our society has a SHTF scenario. Hate to say it but this might be one of the worst books I've ever read. If you've never read his aforementioned Patriots book, start and end there. Another fantastic book that is very well written in a similar scenario is One Second After by William R. Forstchen. I think Rawles has some excellent survival ideas and everyone can learn from him via his blog - but regrettably not much from this book.
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on October 31, 2011
Huge fan of Rawles. I have read Patriots two full times and hit various chapters here and there. I also visit his website on a daily basis. With that being said I think I was just ripped off and Rawles just capitalized on his fan base. This book was a jumble of characters and story lines with no depth or significant detail. Anyone who is putting down cash to purchase this should consider it a charitable contribution to Rawles own survival.

There are "jump the shark" moments and this book will probably go down as being just that for Rawles.

His previous work "How to survive the End of the World as you know it" got a pass from me just because it was a easy reference but failed to really provide anything new. It was basically the work of his website contributers. I saw it for what it was and it was not that expensive. This book was clearly a lame attempt to scam his fanbase of some cash and provided nothing of real value in return and was not even that good from a purely entertainment angle.

Any fans of Patriots can fully pass on this book. You are not missing anything.
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on October 23, 2011
I'm a big fan of the author's other books & his blog but not of this book! When it ended, it wasn't really was just unfinished.
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on October 18, 2011
The author's previous work, called "Patriots" was actually the 3rd version of a shareware novel, first the Gray Nineties, then Tripple Ought, then Patriots... After nearly 15 years, Rawles produced a novel worth reading. He's got all of the ingredients, but can't seem to combine them well.

His first effort in the early 90's was good enough I sent him a silver dime (as he asked at the time). He revised and edited it over the next 10 years and made it better. His God theme is fine for his customers, but not for a more varied audience.

This novel is a rehash of his earlier work. He missed opportunities to make his work matter. He's on the minor gravy train, but he's not going to get enough money to make his efforts matter.

When you read a book, you anticipate the story, and the end, and it's going to be good. I'm telling you all who have read past 50%, it's not going to get any better.

I would avoid this book. I spent 10 bucks (kindle) learning that it was almost the worst thing I have ever read. If you want to prepare for something unexpected, google is your friend. This author is caught up on minutia and is self served by his own blog. What you are looking for you won't find unless you cough up some cash.

It takes a good book or a bad book for someone to really care enough to post a review. This is simply a bad book. My review will add to the collective. If your idea that everyone must pause for 10 minutes of prayer before you make any decision, you might really love this book.

It's just bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. I regret the time I spent reading it. And I like his premise.
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