Posts Tagged ‘dystopia’

CHINABook I: The China Pandemic

Author: A.R. Shaw

Paperback: 278 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 4, 2013)

ISBN-10: 1494368552

Kindle: ASIN: B00H06NGFS

Apocalyptic scenarios come in all shapes and sizes and a variety of dynamics.

The story of The China Pandemic opens with Hyun-Ok searching for a guardian for her five-year-old son, Bang. Hyun-Ok has already lost the rest of her family to a strain of the H5N1 virus accidentally unleashed by the Chinese. She herself is dying from the virus and must find someone to care for her son.

She chooses Graham who seems the most stable of those left in town.

But Graham has also lost his family, most notably his wife Nelly and their unborn child. When Hyun-Ok approaches him, he has just lost the final member of his family; his father. But he reluctantly agrees to care for the young boy.

Only about two percent of the world’s population survives. Those survivors are now carriers of the deadly virus. As survivors, Graham and Bang are carriers of the virus.

As the dangers in the town where he lives continue to grow, Graham feels it would be safest to reach his family cabin on the Skagit River.

He and the boy – named Bang – are off to a rocky start. They pick up twins Macy and Marcy, and a German Shepherd police dog names Sheriff, along the way. When they reach the cabin they find it already inhabited by Tala, a Native American woman suffering a miscarriage, and an old black man named Ennis.

I will leave the premise there so as not to divulge too much.

If you think this is like Stephen King’s The Stand, think again. The Stand has a degree of mysticism: people compelled to meet an old black woman in the middle of nowhere for no reason any of them could fathom.

There is no mysticism here. But there is plenty of stark reality.

On the upside (if there is one) of a pandemic is all the electricity, water and cars still work. Until a human is required to flip any switches to keep the electricity and water running.

Shaw depicts reality with compassion while still gripping the reader with fear. In any post-apocalyptic situation, crazies run amuck and Shaw doesn’t pull any punches with the dangers lying in wait for those unprepared.

Her characters are vivid; most people could relate to them as they each recover from their losses and go about building a new family. Achieving a degree of normalcy after such an event is a day-by-day trial and error experience. They work and learn together how to survive.

If you read closely, you could learn what is needed to survive just about any apocalypse.

There are errors, but the story is compelling and well-written. This book is a good read and well worth it.

Visit A.R. Shaw’s website 

Purchase The China Pandemic here 

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at www.penspen.info 


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Book Review: The End

G. Michael Hopf

Print Length: 408 pages

ISBN: 1478195487

Publisher: Plume (October 30, 2013)

Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

The title is The End but, in truth, it is the beginning.

On December 15, 2014, civilization as we know it comes to an end. Surviving the ordeal is the beginning.

Mr. Hopf paints an incredibly realistic picture of what could happen if this nation were struck with an Electromagnetic Pulse as well as nuclear strikes. He skillfully tackles every aspect of daily life: community, military and political.

On the community level, we are focused on the neighborhood of Rancho Valentino, close to the city of San Diego. As civilization breaks down in the weeks after the initial attacks, the reader is witness to neighbor turning against neighbor in the quest for survival. Gordon Van Zandt’s first priority is to ensure the survival of his family, no matter the cost.

On the military front, we witness General Barone as he and his Marines go rogue. Contradicting orders to help with clean up on the East coast, Barone heads his men and an amphibian ship to California so they might find their families. Going against orders pits Americans against one another and Gordon’s brother Sebastian Van Zandt gets caught in the middle.

In the political arena, with Washington, DC wiped out by an outright nuclear attack, Speaker of the House Brad Connor is now the new President. Connor isn’t accustomed to giving orders but he toughens up fairly quickly.

The government has its own hard-wired Internet system in an attempt to preserve a functioning government and to keep abreast of events. Of course, the government has hidden bunkers across the United States to also ensure a functioning government.

Mr. Hopf’s depiction is realistic: grim but realistic. In all fairness, the situation would be much more grim were attacks such as these actually perpetrated upon the United States. People killing each other over a scrap of food or a drink of water; vigilantes taking what they want; drug cartels and other enemies of the United States attacking and taking over: Losing our humanity in an effort to survive reduces people to hardly anything more than barbarians.

The illustration of the breakdown of society represented here should be a wake-up call for everyone in this country. Not only those in power, but for all citizens.

Which is why I recommend this series as a must-read for every citizen in this country. Preparation for events such as these should be mandatory for every citizen because when the poop hits the fan, it’s going to be every man, woman and child for him/herself.

Arm yourself with knowledge so you won’t be caught unaware. Invest in The New World series by G. Michael Hopf.

Find The End here: http://amzn.to/1wf4EKf

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website at http://bit.ly/1yYsNH2 follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at http://www.penspen.info Contact her at mytuppenceblog at yahoo.com to inquire about proofreading, editing and formatting services.

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Start Prepping Now

Book Review

The Long Road

Michael Hopf

344 pages

Publisher: Plume

Sold by: Penguin Group

Post-apocalyptic scenarios fascinate me. I find the indomitability of human survival against overwhelming odds oddly hopeful.

Michael Hopf gets into the action in The Long Road pretty quick.

Even without the advantage of having read the first entry in the series – The End – I had no difficulty catching up and understanding what had happened and what was going on. Mr. Hopf deftly wove the backstory of the first book into the second, thus enabling the reader to follow the story without lengthy explanations or the absolute necessity to read the first book.

The characters are rich and vivid. I had no trouble empathizing with the good guys and despising the bad guys. And the bad guys are truly detestable.

It is a race against time for survival as what was once America continues to break down into a primitive, apathetic, lawless and frightening world in which to live. And with three sanctions vying for power in this post-apocalyptic land, it’s anyone’s guess what the country will look like once the dust has settled.

The intensity of the action and drama had me glued to my seat: I actually read the entire book in one sitting, reluctant to take a break to even refresh my cup of tea. It is rare that I am so compelled to read a book that I don’t want to break away from it to refresh my tea!

Yes, the book could use some editing, but that can be said about the books of Dean Koontz, James Rollins and countless other tomes coming out of traditional publishing houses these days. I have developed a degree of tolerance for errors because that isn’t going to change anytime soon. The errors in the book are few so it doesn’t interfere so much with the reading experience.

The only drawback, of course, is that now I need to acquire the third book to find out what happens next. Several cliffhangers were included (no spoilers!) and inquiring minds must know. The fourth installment isn’t due out until 2015, so I have a little time to catch up.

The scenarios painted in The Long Road are grim but very realistic. It’s easy to visualize those events actually occurring should our nation be attacked on the level depicted in the book. With the current state of the world and people being people, I am surprised something like this has not already occurred.

Although when I view the 6:00 news, I wonder just how far off those events truly are.

With those words, I’m going to start prepping now.

If you’re interested, check out G. Michael Hopf’s Amazon Author Page where each novel in the series is listed. http://amzn.to/1vWDEiA

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and ebook formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle is a fictitious account of an EMP attack. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website at http://bit.ly/1yYsNH2 Follow her on Twitter @penspen, visit her website at http://www.penspen.info or follow her blog www.mytuppence.weebly.com Contact her at mytuppenceblog at yahoo.com to inquire about proofreading, editing and formatting services.

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What would life be like without electricity? Without all the conveniences like cell phones, cars, computers, television and the Internet?power-line-433419_640

To say life would be different is probably the understatement of the decade if not the century.

Imagine: for entertainment, we’d have to read. Or go for long walks.

We’d actually have to talk to our kids. Play games with them. Games like Monopoly or checkers or chess: No more video games without electricity.

Think of how quiet it would be without planes zipping overhead. No traffic on the highway. No television or radio blasting 24/7. Wow, a person might actually be able to hear her- or himself think.

What would we think about? Well, without electricity, money is pretty much useless. How are you going to purchase something if you have no online access; if money cannot be transferred; if cash registers simply don’t register?

Why, there are all kinds of things to think about. Who you are and your purpose in this world. What your next meal will be and when (can’t keep groceries on the shelves without electricity). What you are going to do now without the convenience of electricity. Can’t get to your job; the car won’t run without working electrical components.

You’ll have time to think about – actually think about – your faith, belief system, spirituality and how you feel about it.

What to do, what to do?

You could learn to sew: May have to, now that you can’t purchase new clothes every other week. Of course, you’d have to use a needle and thread, sewing machines won’t work without electricity.

You may want to take up writing. Keeping a journal is fine way to while away the time.

Teach your children to love reading, to play hopscotch, to take joy in the simple act of chasing fireflies on a summer evening.

You’ll have to learn to wash clothes by hand and hang them up to dry.

You’ll also have to learn how to be satisfied with what you have. Consumerism would come to a complete halt without electricity.

Oh, and you’ll have to learn basic medicine. Hospitals won’t run without electricity. Nor will emergency vehicles and emergency personnel can’t be contacted by phone.

Give pause and give thought to all the things you would have to do without if there was no electricity, no communication, no transportation.

Where would you be? And what kind of life would you have?

It’s something to think about.

Nero’s Fiddle – a world without electricity – is coming 10/27/14


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