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Publisher's Summary

Last Stand: Surviving America's Collapse: John Mack, a prepper and former soldier, struggles to save his family and community after an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) takes out the country's electrical grid. With most electronics, communications, and transportation destroyed in a matter of seconds, the nation quickly collapses into anarchy.

For John and the other residents of Willow Creek Drive, the breakdown of social order throws them back to the 1800s. As the community tries to come together, a powerful outside force appears that threatens their survival. Will John's years of military and prepping experience be enough to keep them safe?

Mixing tons of useful prepping tips into an action-packed story, Last Stand: Surviving America's Collapse is a must-listen for any fans of survival fiction.

Last Stand: Patriots: Three months after the EMP cripples the United States, John Mack and his family find their peaceful new existence shattered when a tyrant seizes control of the nearby town of Oneida. Soon John encounters a group of patriots who've sworn to stand against the growing despotism. But John will learn that nothing in this new post-EMP America is what it seems - and that the deadliest threats are often the ones you didn't see coming.

Last Stand: Warlords: Tormented by a past he can't forget, John Mack is about to face the toughest fight of his life. The tiny town of Oneida, Tennessee, stands in the crosshairs of Russian and Chinese armies threatening to push across the Mississippi river. With the United States fragmented and on the brink of military collapse, John will need to dig deeper than ever to defend his loved ones from enemies both foreign and domestic.

Last Stand: Turning the Tide: Foreign armies are poised along the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains preparing for the final assault and America's inevitable defeat. For John, turning back the tide will mean going deep behind enemy lines and organizing the very insurgency he fought so hard against in Iraq. But more than that, it'll mean coming to terms with the brutality of war and the realization that sometimes the deepest scars are the ones that can't be seen.

©2017 William Weber (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about Last Stand: The Complete Box Set

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Mixed feelings on "The Last Stand" series

Pros –

• Narration: Consistent narrator; in a few sections, he handled switching Caucasian and Asian accents quite well.
• Overall Story: Very interesting, very plausible premise.
• Characters: Some interesting characters.
• Tasteful Content – very little swearing with no F-bombs. You could play this in the car with the family present. And fighting scenes are described but in very restrained ways.
• Chapter Construction / Travel ability: Short, easy-to-consume chapters. Most chapters are under 10 mins in length.
• Prepper Info: Helps build appreciation for preppers, their states of mind, etc. and opens the mind to the myriad considerations there are for prepping.
• Geography: Use of real locations that can be found on any map of the Knoxville area.

Cons –
• Preachy Prepping – There were, at times, places where characters were almost put down because they didn’t know what they should have done to prepare for a cataclysmic event. Other times, the book turned into a to-do list for prepping instead of a subtler manner of sprinkling this info into the story. I have to admit, I’m not sure I would know how to do that. But then again, I’m not an author.
• Look at me - The unrelenting need for constant/repeated detail about each firearm / piece of weaponry in each scene. It seems like you could mention a firearm once (even in all its detail), but when having to mention it again, call it by its generic term rather than its full make, model, stock vs. personal customization – Smith & Wesson M&P BodyGuard coated with black and gray midnight camouflage with laser sight and extended magazine. Imagine that mouthful every time someone in the story gripped it, held it, practiced with it, shot it, etc. You rarely hear, “He pulled his pistol.” No. You hear “He pulled his Smith & Wesson M&P BodyGuard coated with black and gray midnight camouflage with laser sight and extended magazine.” It comes across as either a page-filler technique of a writer struggling to fill some space. Unless the majority of your readers are well versed in firearms, just keep it simple and keep it moving along. “He drew his assault rifle” or “The rocket launcher was aimed at a nearby house” or “The tank armed with heavy artillery was on the move again.” Like those examples, just keep it simple. All else is fluff that only caters to readers who share the same intimate knowledge of firearms. It is lost on the rest of us.
• Flashbacks to previous military campaigns – entire chapters (though short) are dedicated to military flashbacks of the main character that barely gives any additional insight into the main character’s motivations or actions. If a flashback doesn’t add new, sufficient insight to a character, keep it out.
• Flashback/Forward - The last book in the series uses a trick annoyingly used in the movies – flashback and flash forward to present. This can give some minor insight to characters and relationships but I didn’t think it was necessary.
• The perfect protagonist – John Mack has supreme knowledge of all things – apocalyptic preparedness (water filtration, food prep, medical prep, etc.) , the weaponry gamut (personal, ground, air, etc.), war strategist from his military career, managing people, negotiator, etc., etc. Bottom line: the main character is far too perfect. There are a handful of times across 4 books where John admits he didn’t think of something that someone else did. With a character this perfect, no matter what happens, if John is involved, it will get resolved with very little surprises along the way.
• Wandering – the story doesn’t necessarily wander, but my brain wanted to wander quite a bit in the 3rd and 4th books. SPOILER: once the story settles into Oneida, it becomes stale even in view of all of the potential danger that surrounds them there. Why did I finish the books then? I figured I came all this way, I would see it through.

Overall
• The narrator did a very good job. He is very easy on the ears.
• The story (for me) was good in the first 2 books, but I started losing interest after that.
• A few nice twists and turns in the plot.
• The constant and unnecessarily overly-detailed descriptions of every weapon on each page where one is mentioned. It felt like a page filler technique rather than anything meaningful for the average reader.
#Survival #FamilyStruggle #PostApocalypse #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

72 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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The story is good but the main character is just a little too perfect.

Have you ever read a story that the main character seems to know all the correct answers? Well if you haven’t you really need to read this book. This character would be infallible if he would just stop claiming that he may be wrong when he makes everyone else look childish and borderline stupid. After the third book you realize that this guy is batting a hundred constantly. The author does appear to know some history but if I were to have to guess I would say he is a realllllly big fan of Ulysses S Grant. Overall a good story but it would have been nice to see the main character do something that was wrong once or twice. Come on, you can’t quote historical facts and quotes constantly off the top of your head while being a top notch special forces coordinator and a interrogation specialist. Not to mention great husband, awesome father to both his biological children and a semi adopted one, great friend, perfect mayor, and so on and so on. If this book would have had 3 or 4 more characters like this there would be no need for the allies.

31 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Good character development. I particularly enjoyed the detail provided in the narrative regarding equipment and tactics. Especially enjoyable was the historical references to military battles in the past that contributed to their success or defeat. lots of good twists and turns in the plot. It was refreshing to read a book series without gratuitous profanity. The authors' faith in a higher power is apparent, however, the book does not come across as preachy or overtly spiritual. I have read many books of this genre and highly recommend this author.

19 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not a bad story, but has major flaws

If you could sum up Last Stand: The Complete Box Set in three words, what would they be?

Missed the mark

What does Kevin Stillwell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator took some getting used to. The awkwardnesss of how he reads "S&W M&P 40" is painful to listen to. That said, he has talent.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes - ... actually, the whole premise of how easily the opposing forces bring america to its knees is just unbelievable. The rest of the story is fine, but the authors approach to this was so ... unjustifiable that it nearly ruined the books for me.

Any additional comments?

Worth the read I guess, but it will probably really angry the patriots among us. Makes America look bad and makes our military look weak, unjustifiably.

11 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Some EMP, Some war drama, Some nation/family

The first book focused mainly on EMP and the after effects. Following that, the EMP element all but went away in favor of nationalism, war and the country being under attack. The story focused on a small area and group of townsmen, and didn't cover much outside of them and what they were doing in their area. The narration was dry at times, but not outright annoying or dislikable. I listened all the way through, was engaged, and enjoyed the story, which means I would recommend it, but I cannot say this book took me or my breath away. It was worth the read, engaging, and I liked it, that was about it.

4 people found this helpful

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Well worth the time & money invested in this book!

With this long of s book, one would often expect to become slightly bored at some point. I'm happy to report that surely wasn't the case with the "Last Stand"! Nicely done Sir!

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

SPOILERS. Gets progressively more childish

Prepper authors are destroying post-apocalyptic stories (a genre I love) for me personally. They always have to be the single greatest hero/human being alive on the planet, the 2nd best is either their daughter or wife depending on the story, here it's the wife.

The 1st book was acceptably decent, I wouldn't recommend anyone read/listen beyond that.

Further, historically authors have been of above average self awareness, and it was that keen awareness that unlocked great story telling that delved the human psyche. Alas, that is not the case now that producing books/audiobooks is cheaper than ever. That said, this author in particular needs therapy and needs to be receptive to said therapy. I've wasted enough time on this series as is, so if you are curious to the specifics, listen to all the books.

In closing, the author has potential, they need to learn about their hidden self a bit more, then not model the lead character after themself. Also, draw upon the realism they created in the 1st book vs the fantastical world of every book in the series. ie most Americans are literally stupid, except the hero, yet even the profoundly ignorant Americans are superior to the 3 major powers that colluded to perpetuate the most devastating attack America has ever seen. The heros wife is even physically superior to russian invading forces in hand to hand combat.

13 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Nothing special.

I've read my share of prepper books, there's nothing special here. If anything it's pretty boring. Way, way, too much preaching and history. The hero of the story knows everything and can do no wrong all while appearing humble, of course. I know I zoned out many times but when I did check back in I felt in no way compelled to hit rewind. The narrator wasn't awful but not great either. A better, and more interesting, series is from William R. Forstchen beginning with One Second After. It's not perfect, what is, but when I did zone out I always hit rewind! I'd recommend passing this one up unless you are a die-hard fan, I'm obviously not there.

21 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Bogus

When the author writes, “Last night at 0600....”, it invalidates the entire series in this book set. Yes it’s fiction, but no amount of fantasy will ever make 0600 at night.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Book is awful.... godlike prepper saves everybody, again..

I love the genre and saw that this was a single credit for a 24+ hour book, what could go wrong?... the story and especially the main character. The main character of course is indestructible and knows everything to stay alive and also knows every bit of history. John Mack is the main protagonist and he is a wealth of knowledge who everybody depends on to stay alive, knows more than generals of active military, is a force to reckon with and takes tanks out no problem, knows every recipe to make IED’s. His wife and children berate him with stupid questions like they never lived with him their whole entire lives. The author made the secondary characters out to be complete idiots and not even capable of barely breathing on their on without John’s guidance. The prepping aspect is barely ok, weapon knowledge is laughable (Kel-Tec’s are garbage).... doomsday/EMP/CME books are a dime a dozen, hopefully somebody will ready this and not listen to this book. Save your credit for a great read/listen like ‘Surviving the Dead:No Easy Hope’, that’s a great story!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Danielle Allan
  • 07-10-19

Not sure. Edit: boring

1-3 hours in : I'm not totally sure about how to feel about this story so far, the guy knows what hes doing but it's all a bit relaxed, if you know what's happening you'd be telling everyone you could. You wouldn't care about money you'd just roll on out the door with the food. I'm not sure how I like how it's written, the wife and kids are just boring, made for convenience. Theres no description either. I have no idea what the characters look like and it seems everyone in the book has never watched a zombie movie I mean seriously most 10 year olds know what an EMP is but no one but the mc in this story has any clue. Also it's all so calm, in a normal black out people get annoyed and frustrated but everything stops and people just stroll about uncaring.

3-4 hours in: I've given up. It's boring, monotone and just very un interesting, the guy has no personality, theres nothing interesting happening and to be completely honest I'm getting the feeling every apocalyptic book is exactly the same, boring mc either stupid or just does the bare minimum and I cant be bothered with this genre anymore. If someone knows of an apocalypse book with a smart, determined and just basically interesting male mc, with a good plot maybe something similar to TWD then please tell me

3 people found this helpful

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  • Shane Scott
  • 07-25-18

excellent

Slow burner but well worth it. great story and narration. a bargain. I like the fact that I don't have to wait to see how it pans out. great value for money

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sean Hambridge
  • 03-23-19

Excellent Prepper story

Involved and developing story, well thought out and full of detail. Highly Recommended, and full of challenges faced by a family trying to survive, the troubles that continue to escalate throughout the story, heading towards a battle with invaders, both foreign and domestic.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-27-18

more war history than futuristic

only listened to all of it cause i had paid.
obsessed with pointless war detail n referring every other paragraph to some war or other.
missed the mark re. futuristic novel.
i fast forwarded a lot of it.
unless you enjoy a LOT of war n weapon info, I'd advise you steer clear.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • MR
  • 10-12-18

narration good, story not so much

the book started well with the emp and the family and street's response. but it gets very boring when it comes to the enemy invasion. I like a good battle scene as much as the next person, but these were boring full of irrelevant gun statistics and soon got tedious. Even in a post apocalyptic genre I find the whole situation unbelievable. I am sorry to say even though it was a bargain for a credit at 24 hours I couldn't finish it, sending it back for a new credit.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Garethman
  • 02-27-19

Tough guys vote Republican

The is not so much a narrative, more an advertisement for the Republican and right wing US politics. Is listened to the first 20 chapters and got fed up of pious Christians and tough guys referring to various amendments , the constitution and and the threat of communism. Good family guys who served their country and look after their family and have no patience with those who need food stamps. It really undermines any joy from listening to the book. If I had wanted a political tract, that is what I would have bought. However, if you are a Trump supporter you will love it.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tyrone poet
  • 02-28-21

Difficult to take plot seriously but not too bad

This is one of the post apocalyptic books in which the background story is very difficult to believe could actually occur and it reads as though two different authors wrote the beginning and the end. There is just so much of a plot change its as if two different books were welded together as even the behaviour of the major characters change accordingly.

One other issue I have with the book is that the book's major protagonist develops almost single handedly into a super hero who is able to overcome whatever is thrown at him.

OK now I have gotten that of my chest, you maybe asking yourself why did I bother to continue with the series. Well for one thing I almost always finish a book that I have started, it takes a particularly dreadful book to defeat me and even with my misgivings all in all The Last Stand is not that bad,

But would this be a book that I would be happy to pay the full price for ? No this is strictly bargain basement, good enough to read to while away some spare time and then to instantly forget

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Davey_Boy
  • 02-22-21

Good as a boxset

I felt the first part of the series was very shallow, with lots of background story skipped over. As the story progressed it got a lot better. There were some good characters, but the narrator was bland with his voices, so sometimes I didn't know who was speaking. The inclusion of the goose (for some sort of comic relief?) was a waste of time. The story moved along nicely and didn't drag. The final battle was ok.

Overall, this collection is very good value for one credit. Otherwise, I couldn't recommend it, as it's basically a b-movie type of novel, not top tier. Again, worth it for a credit.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John Wilmore
  • 02-20-21

One story, four fantastic books

I started listening to audio books a little over two years ago, since when I have listened to hundreds of hours of good stories, from classics to sci-fi, history & fiction and I have to tell you that the story told within these four audiobooks, counts as one of the very best.

Although fiction, like any great story it is based on the possible, the author clearly knows the military, weapons and tactics as well as human nature and the joy of family and friends, the books are read by a superb story teller.

As story of epic proportions surrounding events on a world changing set of events, challenging civilisation as we know it and making every chapter about survival.

Don’t just take my word for it, listen to the four book set and judge for yourself!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • huw thomas
  • 01-09-21

last stand

great book hard to put down great story will have look for more from this writer

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ken
  • 05-12-21

Excellent

One great thing in particular is the realism, the unexpected turns, and the fact that John, our hero, is not as the book says, Rambo. I'd highly recommend reading it. Lots of potentially useful info, and an entertaining story that never really stops for a rest. Wonderful value for a single credit.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MM
  • 11-17-20

A good, fast paced story. Delivered really well.

A very believable story.
Nice touch with interesting historic battle references.
Also some nice references to some basic survivalist prepping skills.
I wouldn't call this a classic, but it certainly had no problem holding my interest through the entire box set.