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Publisher's Summary

The EMP strike was just the beginning of it all.... Clara Thomas was a 9th grade English teacher, living a simple life at home with her sister and grandmother. She always had plans to settle down some day and become a writer. Sometimes, plans are just dreams left unfulfilled. They thought that the widespread outage was just within their vicinity. They were wrong. Without any electricity and power, Clara needs to help her family survive. The people in society have become restless, and will do anything for food. With the fall of power, law and order have become nonexistent, letting people get away with crimes. Will Clara be able to be strong for her family and those around her to get them through this crisis? Will she be able to get herself through it?

©2017 Max Lockwood (P)2017 Max Lockwood

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jayde
  • Nampa, ID
  • 08-07-17

Not your average EMP tale – By a long ways

This story comes from a different perspective. Definitely first person and takes place in a small town. Lots of details (for better or worse – you decide.) Personally I liked the details. Sometimes it seemed to drag on a bit but it always came back to the important stuff.

One thing that I kept thinking throughout this novel… The roles are reversed. This story is a first person narrative of a female character. Through life’s trouble and turmoil she has become the sole bread-winner in her family. This is mentioned several times throughout the book and these as well as other times I am thinking that these are the thoughts of a male character. Her neighbor is also a sole breadwinner while the husband stays home and takes care of the kids. Also, besides that one, the other primary male character is very soft spoken and avoids violence. They are both walked on by the women in their lives. The feminism might not be in your face but this is very definitely a story about women who are taking care of themselves despite the men in their lives

If you are looking for zombies or violent hordes this is not the book for you. Things progress reasonably downhill for this small town as they discover and deal with the problems caused by the EMP and realize they are on their own because everyone else has their own troubles and can’t come help them with theirs.

This Audible edition included a preview of book 2 in this series. It was a fairly long preview of what felt like several chapters. The story continued almost exactly where it left off and if they hadn't told me I would not have known the first book had ended.

The narration for this story by Becket Royce was well done. It was easy to listen to and the voices fit the characters.


I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audio book by the author, narrator, or publisher.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

an okay EMP story, cliff hanger beware!

Would you ever listen to anything by Max Lockwood again?

yes but not in this series.

Any additional comments?

It Began: A Post-Apocalyptic EMP Survival (Zero Power #1) by Max Lockwood is an audible book I requested and the review is voluntary. The first third of the book Clara should be in Pooh's Corner as Eeyore. She sounds just like him without anti-depressants. This is before the power goes out. She lives with a crazy sister and grandmother that is going senile but I think she is just as bad. The last part of the book gets better but now she thinks she knows everything, I think she found some drugs along the way. It ends in a cliff hanger, a pet peeve of mine. If you don't mind those, good for you...I don't. It does depict, here and there, of what life might be like without power. Makes a person think. It is also different from other EMP survival stories. I doubt, out of all the people there she would have been picked to go find help from politicians seeing how she was just some random school teacher that hated her job... but...it was an okay read overall. What made it all better was the narration. This is it's saving grace for me. The narrator added a lot to the story. If I had been just reading it, I probably would have given it lower numbers but the narration was good and gave it that extra oomph that it needed to keep me going and interested. Worth a read, I mean listen. Will I try another of this author's work? Yes, can't see why not. Just not in this series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • TU
  • 08-15-17

Whiney Anti-gun internal monologue with no action

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

This one really missed the mark for me. I thought the main character, Clara, was really annoying. She whines constantly and shows such a completely liberal slant, it made for an obnoxious experience. Sadly, the narrator was really good on this book. Which is saying something since there was a marked lack of details on what/why/how of this EMP beyond the main character's inner monologue. Even though the world is "degrading into chaos" nothing really happens.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

okay

I was provided a free copy of this book at my request and exchange for an unbiased review.

there are things in the boat that I believe should have been brought up earlier on in the storyline such as what is the accident that happened with the parents and sister? while I enjoyed the book, the main character wavering on her morality began to be annoying toward the end of the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • 08-13-17

No Power = Restart Button On Your Life

The thing that I really liked about It Began was the simplicity of it.  Lockwood didn't try and overdo it and go really deep into anything.  It was, what I would call a "surface level" novel where everything is at or near the surface.  There wasn't some overarching conspiracy or deep plot going on -- Lockwood kept it simple and was able to make a pretty enjoyable book in the process. 

The story itself is about a depresses teacher taking care of her family, who is currently the "other woman" in an affair when the lights go out indefinitely.  Honestly, at first, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about her.  In the beginning, she had a very "woe is me" attitude that really rubbed me the wrong way.  I was worried that it was going to continue like that. I'm not a fan of people who are like that in real life and I definitely didn't want to read a book about someone who was selfish and everything in the world was wrong and it was only affecting her. Thankfully, that was NOT how this story went.  Her character really grew on me after a little while and I noticed that some of her character flaws that annoyed or upset me in the beginning, were starting to become some of the things I enjoyed about her the most. 

Her "better half" was an interesting secondary character in It Began.  He was always there when she needed him, but would kind of fade into the shadows when he wasn't needed.  A sign of someone who really understood Clara.  The other characters in the story were her grandmother (who was sweet and easily tied with her best friend as being the most likable people in the book) and her sister who might be one of the most bizarre characters I've ever read.  I won't spoil anything about her, but be prepared (oh the irony of that statement).

One of my issues with this book was that there was basically zero talk about what happened.  We know that the power is out and we think that it's because of an EMP but that's about all we know.  We also understand that older cars and trucks work (since they don't have any electronics) but that's it.  I guess if Lockwood was trying to write it only from Clara's point of view -- she wouldn't really know what was going on until someone told her. 

Honestly, going with Becket Royce was a phenomenal idea.  The first novel that I heard with her in it was a dual narration with one of my all-time favorite narrators Kevin Pierce.  Working with Pierce, I was able to hear her slight "attitudey" voice that I thought would work perfectly in post-apocalyptic novels.  This was the first narration of hers that I listened to where it was just her and I thought she did a wonderful job.  Royce has quickly become one of my favorite female narrators working in the PA space today. 

I received a free copy of this book. It has not affected my review of my opinion.

If you enjoyed this review, please vote for it! Every vote helps. If you'd like to see more books like this please check out BriansBookBlog DOT com.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

A cautionary tale

It Began is a cautionary tale. Clara is a teacher. A career that leaves her unfulfilled but it pays the bills and supports her family. At home she provides for her grandmother whose mind is slipping and her sister Tessa. Her sister has visions or a heavy sixth sense that predicts the future. Clara and everyone mostly consider her insane. When an EMP strikes and takes out electricity it changes their lives. All the conveniences used in the characters daily lives is gone and food is in high need.

The story wasn't as suspenseful as I was hoping but was an interesting story. The pace is very slow. There wasn't much solved in this segment except the showing of how Clara and the town she lives in deals with everything. There is a bit of mystery surrounding Tessa and a few spots where delinquent behavior is displayed. I tend to think people would act far more rashly than the book paints but these people are pretty mild. There was a couple other things that didn't add up either but I don't give away any spoilers.

It's a decent listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

What if YOU witnessed the world coming to a stop?

This book starts out slow, building a back story which I can appreciate but after picking up a little bit of steam it does not seem to end up going anywhere. In that sense I believe the author does an amazing job on focusing on what would happen to you and the people around you should all the power go out anywhere you could get to.

This book is not about the terrorist or the government or natural disaster that may have cause "It" to happen but rather how regular everyday people would behave if thrown into the situation with no information and no way to get any. This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

I have high hopes that the next book in the series will start to have some focus. If it does this will turn into a tale that I would not be able to put down.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

3 females caught in the apocalypse

If you could sum up It Began: A Post-Apocalyptic EMP Survival in three words, what would they be?

3 people in the web of a disaster. A psychologic look at a electromagnetic pulse disaster . The old confused grandmother, a bratty sister and the main character Clara the we view her new world from her eyes

What was one of the most memorable moments of It Began: A Post-Apocalyptic EMP Survival?

I think it was the realization it was not a bad dream... But real and Clara who had "issues" was the leader of her family even if not ready and clueless

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

I had not heard him before and he was excellent. He adds a lot of drama and timing is great. One of the things I can't stand in books is a rushed pace.Mr. Royce is good

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

perplexed I believe. They seemed at the start as if fat chance they would make it - but they grew and adapted. I had believed they would be emotional wrecks

Any additional comments?

I was given this good to review and the thoughts are my honest feelings after listening

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Solid narration, horrible story.

I enjoy survival stories. Whether it's an EMP, an alien invasion, or a zombie/virus outbreak, I enjoy them all. Well...no, I guess I can't say that because I did not enjoy It Began. A post-apocalyptic EMP survival story? Could have fooled me. This is definitely unlike any other survival story I've ever read. Forget the fact that the lead character is completely unlikable, so much of the story makes ZERO sense. Main character is in a car when the EMP strike happens. She notices a plane coming crashing right towards her so she gets out of the car. Cool, right? We're in for some excitement. Okay so two minutes later some random woman hands her a gun?!? Say what? Totally random and nonsensical. Then days later, she goes into town because the cops are looking for help. What can you do? She rides a bike to the next town to talk to the mayor about trading gas for food. So let me get this straight the people running her town are just sending out random people to negotiate for them? And the mayor of the other town actually sees her and says sure we'll trade a truckload of food for a bit of gas. Say what? Food is would be one of the most valuable resources in this situation and yet the guy is willing to trade it away for gas...when at the time he wasn't even sure they had a working car...and oh wait does his town not have any gas stations? Let's not forget the main character's sister, who seems to be a crazy shut in who must be psychic because she not only predicted the end of the world, but seemingly has been stockpiling food in a shed in the backyard. Almost nothing happens in the book. And it seems as if there is almost no one out in the streets in this town that supposedly is home to thousands. No mass looting happening. In every other survival book I've ever read you see a breakdown in society, but doesn't seem to be happening here. Sure we see 2 maybe 3 random looters, but even they aren't truly 'dedicated' to looting. Had I been reading this and not listening I'd have given up on it. You spend so much time in the main character's head where all she does it ramble on about nothing. Her actions are not even remotely realistic.

That being said, Becket Royce's narration is extremely enjoyable. I listened to her a time or two before, and had high hopes for this one when I saw her name attached to it. She didn't disappoint. Unfortunately even her talented narration couldn't save this story.

I'll definitely be listening to more stuff narrated by Becket Royce, but I will not be continuing on with Mr. Lockwood's Zero Power series.

I received a copy of this audio title for free in exchange for an unbiased review.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

BORING and seriously lacks detail!!

As a reader (or listener in this case), I expect the author's detail to draw me a picture of each scene. What do the main characters look like? (height, build, hair ,clothes, etc) Where does this story take place? (if not specifically, at least regionally... give me an idea of the weather and terrain). I gave this book over 4 hours of my time and still can't answer these simple questions.

The MAIN character is not likeable nor relatable... How do you expect to captivate your audience if your main character has less personality than a pine 2x4?? A post-apocalyptic novel is supposed to be exciting, informative, or maybe even funny. This novel contains NONE of these characteristics.

I feel like the narrator did a good job, given the boring storyline. I've listened to some of her previous work and have enjoyed her style.

*This audiobook was provided to me at no cost in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful