by A. American
Plume/Penguin Books, $15.99, 451pp
Release Date: July 24, 2013
Morgan Carter, a believer of emergency preparedness, survivalist gear, and sweet tea, is on his way home to his wife Mel and two daughters. 250 miles to go and his car stops. No other traffic goes by. His cell phone and laptop do not work. The power is out no lights can be seen. Morgan does the only thing he can do and it’s a good thing he’s prepared for it loads up his back pack and his weapons and starts walking.
He finds dazed people with no water and he shares his, knowing he can always replenish his supply using his filters and purifying tablets. Some are grateful for his help; others try to forcibly take more with often fatal consequences. Many demand he “share” his provisions he has so much, they have nothing; can’t he see their children are starving? After all, isn't that what nice people should do? Morgan sees what he always feared society would become: dependent on others, with no ability to take care of themselves.
He tries to stay away from trouble, but finds there are some things that he can’t ignore. He saves a woman with 2 small children and her elderly neighbors by killing the two men who are attacking them. He has no qualms about shooting a gang leader when the gang tries to steal his prep bag. He finds that gas powered and mechanical devices such as generators, tractors, ATVs, and older cars and trucks still work. This validates Morgan’s theory that electromagnetic pulse caused a nation-wide power outage and stopped all electronics.
Along his way he meets others who are trying to make their ways home, but his intuition keeps him from trusting them. Eventually he meets up with two people he can trust: Jessica, an attractive college co-ed, and Thadius, a long-haul trucker and a giant of a black man, both of whom are assets and contribute much to his journey, well-being, and supplies. After being stalked by a band of men who mean to take what they want (including Jessica), our three heroes kill them all and take their truck, but Morgan gets shot. Thad drives them in their appropriated truck to a nearby survivalist friend’s home/fortress where Sarge and his military “family” help Morgan heal and sets them up with enough supplies, weapons, and radios to help them continue on their journey home.
One-by-one, our three protagonists get home, to learn that, although their families have survived, marshal law has been declared, and society has deteriorated to a dog-eat-dog mentality. Although I had a difficult time deciphering the survivalist brand names, technical jargon and acronyms; understanding it is not required to enjoy this story. I simply substituted the words: guns, tents, radios, and backpacks; it worked for me.
I commend the author for taking me out of my comfort zone with this well-written warning of future chaos and his need for preparedness. ~~ Marie Davis