I've read many 'end of the world' books. Some supernatural ends, some aliens, some invasion stories, some nuclear... this book treads many of the well..Show More » worn paths of those stories, but it takes a somewhat different tact to most of what I have read.
Most stories like this fall into the "end of the world only just happened" or "it happened ages ago and we are just surviving" stories. This is the former, yet other than an opening chapter/prologue that goes into a bit of the events leading up to the attacks that cause the end of the world Horton doesn't really describe the action and events. We don't really see anything at all from the POV of our characters, because none were there. There is speculation and some small news reports talking of the damage but nothing clear. Our characters are not involved in the major events, they are the small people that get caught up in the results of it.
In this was it reminds me most of William R. Forstchen's "One Second After", showing a small town and the events that occur because of the attacks.
The book follows two groups - Jim Powell and some co-workers, trying to get home, and Jim's wife and kids on their farm. The wife and kids part reminds me very much of Forstchen's book and covers very similar grounds - buying up suppliers, dealing with lack of power and fuel, protecting the property. it is enjoyable but nothing I haven't read before.
Jim's story is the more interesting one and in fact works as a nice counterpart of Forstchen's book, in that Forstchen's characters must deal with travelers and an influx into their town and this book is from the POV of one of those travelers and what it is like to be the outsider trying to get in (or through).
As always in these books the world goes to shit, some people are good some turn super selfish and our characters have to deal with it.
The book is a bit of a preppers and gun lovers book, as that is what the main character is. despite being on a work trip he has his prep bag in case something goes wrong and thus has stuff he can use (like night vision goggles and ration packs etc). it also allows for a small 2nd amendment "aren't you all lucky we have guns" rant from one of the characters
There is also attitude throughout the book that everyone who is poor must not want to work and just wants handouts from everyone else. It's not characters espousing it, it's part of the narration and (I guess) a part of Horton's outlook. This reduces 'the poor' in the book to a stereotype and, in my opinion, weakens the book.
Beyond the story the actual writing is a bit all over the place. It switches between 1st person for Jim's story and 3rd person for the rest. yet during Jim's story he tells of things that he cannot possibly know. At one point he talks about some guy who lost a kid when the kid was in the army and recently had a wife die, so therefore doesn't care if he dies as well. the problem is Jim has never spoken to this guy (and never does because he gets himself killed 3 seconds later) so there is no way Jim knows what he knows. Horton accidentally slips into 3rd person omniscience halfway through a 1st person chapter.
Narration by Kevin Pierce is pretty good. He has a husky "manly" voice that really suits Jim's character. the other characters, and parts where we focus on Jim's family don't fit as well. Pierce differentiates characters well enough, without doing actual individual voices. He puts inflection and feeling into the reading as needed.
Certainly easy and enjoyable to listen to.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of audiobookblast dot com.