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The Wayward Journey (Volume 1) Paperback – May 9, 2013
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From the Author
If you like survivalist, post-apocalyptic, dystopian and TEOTWAWKI books, this book is right up your alley.
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Top Customer Reviews
No one is immune from disaster of some sort. Nathan Hale Jefferson offers one man's view of the efforts one can expect to make to survive and persevere. The book also shows how others might respond.
Most of the post-apoc/teotwawki books I've read involve as the main characters one of the following: hard-core preppers who are ready survive while lovely describing the caliber of every weapon they own, "normal" people who every so conveniently just happen to have background hobbies that make them deadly martial artists (that convenient super duper black belt in tae kwon do) or the ultimate outdoors man or the convenient owner of a sailboat or some other stupid, unlikely, contrived thing, or actual normal people that do lots of stupid things that turn out poorly. This book involved normal people, legitimate upper middle class professionals, with no more preparations than a gun safe, an vegetable garden, and the good sense to go to the store and fill the car up with food when things look like they're about to get bad. Those are all relatively normal, rational things. While it's fun to read about preppers and their toys sometimes, and vindicating to those readers who live the lifestyle, it was refreshing to see something like this. It's rare.
I enjoyed also that the book portrayed both the home front and the survivalist road trip, in tandem. The journey home thing wouldn't have made much of a plot by itself. Watching the neighborhood, where the main character's wife and kids are, go bad was probably the most fun of the book.
There were a few elements that were a bit distracting- mostly the teotwawki event, or I should say events, which were a hodgepodge of everything the author could think of to throw in- fuel shortage, economic collapse, governmental incompetence and massive earthquake all in one go- which felt a bit like overkill. Also, if I were the protagonist, I would have considered acquiring a bicycle early in.
Overall, I think I'll buy the sequel.
The plot is based on a massive Midwest earthquake that disrupts the entire USA. While this is a new apocalyptic approach (in my wide reading), the plot seems to have a lot of events from other P-A books. Somewhat disruptive in the flow is the chapters leading off with a "radio broadcast" not really connected to the chapter or the plot flow. These could have been condensed and placed at the beginning of the book to set the stage. Then, he has millions of refugees migrating to --where? like Lemmings. Unlikely in an earthquake situation.
Second, the book was supposedly edited by "Edit Queen." There being many grammar, spelling and punction errors too numerous to mention, I suspect that "Edit Queen" didn't do much proofreading past the first 10 pages or just scanned it. Many sentences changed direction in the middle. Many had unconnected orphan words stuck in the middle. Many words were the wrong ones, such as "site" for "sight, and "can" for "could." There were a number of missing words. Suggest that author refresh his English Grammar Text Book, use a dictionary, and spring for a professional proofreading. However, good writing comes from much, much readinng experience and writing practice.
The reason I gave it four stars (B rating) instead of three (C rating), was because there was much instructional food for thought in the descriptions of what happens in a small community or neighborhood when a sociopath takes over, and corrupts a few into following him unquestioningly, with most of the residents acting like trusting sheeples. Very scary. Of course, in an emergency situation, food and guns become the most valuable commodities. Those without the means for self defense in an emergency situation are luckless victims.
In summary, the author (a History teacher?) spins a scary plot full of evil characters. His moral is: Don't trust anyone or anything to be what they seem to be. Good advice.
This book isn't as gun crazy as most SHTF stuff. The villian is pretty one dimensional. The last couple of chapters are pretty abrupt, with basically nothing happening to the protagonist for the last 200 miles or so of his journey.
There's nothing new here.