This book and the second in the series “Soldier On” are written by Shawn Chesser. I am going to discuss/ review them together because it is just easier that way.
They are pretty much your quintessential zombie/ doomer porn type book. The basic plot is that a man is traveling across the country to find his family during a Zombie Apocalypse. A cynical person might say the author took “The Survivalist” series and added zombies. The main character is that a former special operations type, who used to be in an organization that rhymes with Shmenta Farce. They live in Portland, Oregon and his family went on vacation in South Carolina and he decides to go find and save them. The first book begins with the initial outbreak and ends at a logical break while he in inland West searching for his family. The second book takes off more or less where the first ended and finishes shortly after he is reunited with his family in Colorado. The plot leaves me with some solid ideas on where book three is going and it should be good. [I actually got confused and read them out of order but the second book does a good enough job catching you up that I got caught up enough for it to be OK which is always good. Also they aren’t exactly what you would call super deep.]
The Good: They are light, fast paced and entertaining. The action is consistent but pretty realistic. One guy doesn’t kill 30 dudes with guns who are shooting at him in an open field or head shoot 200 zombies in a row, no matter what his background is. Guns need to be reloaded and people run out of ammunition.
Also I appreciated that the books are quite fairly priced at 3-4 dollars for the kindle versions. Given the length and type of book they are I though it was a good value for my entertainment dollar. I do not think a physical book is available.
The main characters made use of back roads and forest service roads to get around. Certainly your best shot for travel in that sort of scenario. Also they used some basic convoy methods and had impromptu plans for communication (albeit on an open channel) which was smart, especially for a cobbled together group.
The main character uses an AR-15 and Glock 9mm’s pistols. Clearly he is a man of taste and distinction. I know it is dumb but I kind of like that they used guns I like.
The Bad: That the core of the book is that a guy decides to travel all the way across the country during the Zombie Apocalypse to find his wife and kid is a little bit implausible to me. I just don’t see that working for so many reasons. A nice sentiment and all but it is too ridiculous.
Also the supposed connection the character has, and the favors they get him are just not realistic. He a bit too conveniently always stumbled into an old buddy who can move mountains to assist him. Even for a guy who has better than average connections and a crazy time where folks bend our totally break rules it is just a bit too convenient. . I have a decent idea what kind of favors one can pull off and my BS detector was going off like crazy.
The Ugly: There really isn’t any ugly. If you are expecting a literary masterpiece you will face disappointment. One needs to realize that this is a definite nitche area and most folks in it are not professional book writers. For $4 doomer porn it is pretty solid.
Recommendation: It wouldn’t be my first recommendation for preparedness/ survivalism/ zombie fiction. However if you have worked through most of the more popular titles it is worth looking at. I didn’t really draw any lessons out of it but it was entertaining and fun to read. For the price it is well worth it but if you can get a copy free that is even better. Barnes and Noble promotional codes might save some change on more zombie or survival books.