• The Borrowed World

  • A Novel of Post-Apocalyptic Collapse, Volume 1
  • By: Franklin Horton
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (4,834 ratings)

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The Borrowed World  By  cover art

The Borrowed World

By: Franklin Horton
Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
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Publisher's summary

In a night of devastating terror, ISIS operatives have unleashed a coordinated attack on America's infrastructure. Life as we know it in America grinds to a halt as the electrical grid collapses, communication networks are damaged, critical bridges and dams are destroyed, and major fuel refineries go up in massive fiery clouds. When the government responds by immediately halting fuel sales to the public, Jim Powell finds himself in a terrifying predicament - trapped five hundred miles from home with a group of coworkers.

With thousands of trapped travelers and scarce law enforcement, the miles between Jim and his family become a brutal gauntlet where the rules of civilized society no longer apply. As Jim puts his years of preparation and planning to the test, he is forced to ask himself if he has what it takes to make it home. Does he have the strength - the brutality - required to meet this new world toe-to-toe?

©2015 Franklin Horton (P)2015 Franklin Horton

What listeners say about The Borrowed World

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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

Close and personal story of the apocalypse

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 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.


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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.

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96 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not buying the second book

What was most disappointing about Franklin Horton’s story?

The premise of an terrorist attack taking out the US electrical and fuel distribution is plausible but not the way the author portrays it. Two motor shells randomly launched a refineries may slow them down for a day but I doubt they could shutdown all fuel production for more than day. Examples being recent refinery explosions and fires. Second the country falls apart in the first 24 hours. Having lived through Sandy with no fuel deliveries and no power I am have a different expectation of the fuel already in the ground and the resourcefulness and charity of my fellow citizens in the early hours of a disaster.

Characters are portrayed as good or evil. When I steal food from the vending machines that feed the family of the hotel manager, the author treats this as my good sense to grab extra food that I might need down the road. Yet when the trailer living scum down the road seek food for their families nothing short of the death penalty is appropriate. The same action is treated as moral and righteous or evil and diabolical based on the type of person doing it.

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32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

THE POOP HITS THE FAN

PARANOID OR PREPARED
I am a fan of the apocalyptic novel, not so much the Bug out books. This is the exception to the rule, because of the above average writing. I felt nervous during most of this, because it was so intense. I never knew from one minute to the next what was going to happen. At least with a Zombie book, you can tell yourself, Zombies don't exist. This is so realistic and I could imagine these things happening. The realistic element makes this book scarier than a Zombie book. I am giving this all fives and I am buying the second book.

JIM USUALLY TOOK CARE OF THESE THINGS FOR THEM.
I do have some nit picky things to say about the book, but it is still a great book. This is the first Prepper book I have read all the way through. The other two I could not finish. What they all have in common is the little woman at home. These women are always perfect obedient wives, with no minds of their own. They do as they are told, they are too stupid to do any of the planning ahead of time, there husbands must write it out for them. This woman can't lift anything or back up a trailer. This husband spends thousands of dollars on guns, but keeps it a secret from his wife. I think a husband would look stronger, if he could handle a strong wife. One character is a okay, until he says he does not like guns and then Whamo!! , he is a cowardly liberal. If you don't have a bug out bag with you at all times, you are stupid, yet Jim's bag must have been insufficient, since within 24 hours of the attacks, he is stealing food and blankets from others. Finally we are supposed to hero worship the guys grandpa, cause he is tough, yet he is too cowardly to live as a cripple and he involves his grandson in helping him do the most cowardly act anyone can do. Those are my opinions, but I still love the book, and I am going to continue the series.

The narrator is good. He does make all the men sound like they are in their sixties or older. Not sure they are suppose to be that old.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Women and minorities are morons when SHTF?

Very clumsily written. Author seems to want to write a SHTF guide, but the story line is only a way to get instructions and lists of gear made. Book is written as if only one person is aware of how to survive a social/economic collapse and author seems to revel in portraying how stupid everyone but protagonist is. In point, author thinks that women are clueless, incapable and pampered. I cannot abide TEOTWAWKI novels that portray women as useless or moronic. Insulting gender stereotyping. Also, insulting racial profiling---apparently all Latinos are tattooed thugs and gang bangers. To add insult to injury, the novel ends with a woods/farm family having a handicapped son---oh yeah, because they're all inbred hicks, huh? I felt sorry for the narrator, who has a good voice an did a good job with an awful book. Hope he gets to narrate something worthwhile next time.

If you want great survivalist fiction, read "One Second After" or "The Jakarta Pandemic." Don't waste your money or your credit on this one.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding Find!

Where does The Borrowed World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This story has two very good plots, man who is prepared to get home and home that works to survive until he does. No unnecessary character build up, no unnecessary "this is why I feel like I do" fillers, just a good old start to finish survival story that makes sense and kept me interested. Very, very good find, eagerly waiting for the next book!

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I couldn't do it. Couldn't get past ch. 5

I just..I'm sorry I can't. As a storyteller myself I always try to give the benefit of the doubt and be gracious and generous in my critiques, but I just can't with this one.

To be fair, I only got through chapter 5 or so (I think it was) before I had to turn it off to do something better--anything really--with my time. So the story itself, in it's concept, could be a good one. I don't know.

But I couldn't get past the writing and the attitude of the main character (whose point of view the book is written from). But in just those first few chapters alone, it became clear to me that this was a doomsday prepper fantasy. The terrorists finally attack, and the main character, by virtue of being good at prepping for disaster, becomes a hero.

If you're into that, great. I personally am not.

Now, I might have given it a chance, as I have learned to be open minded in my consumption of media and literature, and allow new and even opposing opinions into my brain to rattle around, inform me of the world, and give a wider perspective.

Except once again, the attitude of the main character completely turned me off to the point it wasn't worth my time. As someone who isn't silly enough to be terrified by every brown person with an Arabic name, the fact that the bad guys are all one color and the good guys are very much all another color, I couldn't get past it. As someone who also takes the time to learn my female co-workers names and CALL THEM by their names, I couldn't get past the fact that the writing repeatedly says "John did this, Bob did that, Joe did this, and *the women* did that." Yes, literally. Men were individuals, women were a collective.

Maybe, just maybe, Horton was purposely writing a character who was a walking sphincter with the aim for him to grow into a full-fledged person by the end of the book, but my good faith had already been stretched too thin by that point.

Read at your own risk. Maybe I'm wrong.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

adventurous and exciting right from the beginning

This is your 2-in-1 kind of book including a tutorial about what to do in an apocalypse like situation and also a nice story neatly encapsulating that tutorial part of the book. For anyone looking for what happened to lead to an end of the world kind of situation, this isn’t good for you, it’s rather about what all you should expect or may be hints to avoid dying in such a scene.

Jim is one of those guys who is paranoid about “anything might happen” and has always a backup plan ready. His paranoia is what helps him and his family to get through these appalling circumstances. To justify Jim’s character about being paranoid but smart, he has actually prepared a training journal for his wife mentioning all “what to if this happens” type solutions.

The story is interleaves between Jim’s journey from a business trip to home and his wife trying protect herself and her two kids from the predators. The writing style is pretty seamless and the flow of the story continues not confusing you about the two accounts running parallel.

The narration by Kevin Pierce was quite extraordinary even though the narrator never used a female voice for the female characters, yet the idea was clear and crisp. The production had some minor issues, there was a scratchy sound sometimes but you’d only notice it if you were listening to it in a very quiet surrounding with no single external voice around.

This book is short enough to finish it quickly and has all the elements of suspense, thrill and drama. It’s gets adventurous and exciting right from the beginning, directly cut to the chase and getting it right till the very end. The end, however, makes sure that you would want to keep going to the second book.

Audiobook provided for review by the narrator.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

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    2 out of 5 stars
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unlikeable prepper gets the disaster he hoped for

This tale of post-apocalyptic events is nothing original (it feels a lot like 'One Second After' and several other PA tales I've read. It's not a story that explains the event that causes the devastation as much as it centers on a few people and their reaction to the effects in a very small geographic and rural area. That part I very much enjoyed: the immediate and visceral description of what life would be like at a Richmond hotel, nearby highway travel center, and most strikingingly, a section of the Appalachian trail in rural Virginia as the fear, despair, and anger at the situation takes over the population. Our protagonist, Jim, is a "prepper" who travels with his "bug out bag" of emergency supplies (rations, clothing, med kit, night vision goggles, guns, cord, duct tape, and knives) to a company conference, and is thus better prepared than his compatriots to survive the disaster. Jim is tactless, strong, and misogynistic, and made for a pretty unlikeable hero, even if his preparedness is invaluable to survival in the end times. He is loyal to his friend (a sort of devotee with his own bug out bag) that is also on the trip, and shows grudging admiration for one woman that elects to stay with him on the effort to get back home to his family across the state - but he speaks so deplorably about his other female co-workers as to their pettiness, useless social niceties, and shallow self-centeredness that I almost abandoned the book in the first third because Jim was so grating and so rude. I also had issues with a few points in the book where Jim seemed to know things that he could not have known (inner thoughts of another character, etc.) - as though Jim was an omniscient narrator. I think the book would have been stronger written all in third person from the point of such a narrator, as it would have given us more of the story of all the characters.

The book splits its time between following Jim in his quest to get himself (and maybe his car of coworkers, if they listen to his orders and don't cause too much trouble) back home and Jim's wife and kids back in Richmond following the orders Jim left in a very prepared binder of instructions for them to follow in case of such a situation. Jim's narrative chapters are told in first person and include many scenes of peril, death and violence. Jim's wife's chapters are told in third person and function mostly as a checklist for readers that may want to become preppers themselves with all the supplies, procedures, and lists that Jim left for his wife to follow. She does run into some peril of her own from marauding neighbors from a nearby trailer park, but very strongly defends her home and family with force and Jim's anti-invasion preparations in place.

I didn't know this book was not a stand-alone story. It ends in the middle of the action, and I admit I'd pick up the sequel despite my annoyance with dismissive, abrasive Jim. Jim does redeem himself a little by showing concern for an elderly couple he meets along the way, but mostly he acts as though he is smarter, better, and more capable than anyone else because of his preparedness (and paranoia) that this would happen. My dislike of Jim, the amount of very quickly escalating violence in the story, and the almost total lack of humor or softness (Jim's wife chasing cows out of her garden in her underwear and a few moments with her kids as the only exception) made this book a cold, dry read. While that may be the raw truth of a disaster that humans will quickly turn voilent and show their basest instincts, tragedy and hard lessons are stronger when sprinkled with a little human kindness and resiliency for contrast.

Narrator Kevin Pierce did a fine job with the book, with a voice masculine enough for Jim and yet neutral enough for the chapters about the wife. His able performance could not add warmth to the coldness of the writing.

Note: This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com.

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14 people found this helpful

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Great prepper book

Any additional comments?

Loved the book! Excellent narration and great prepper and survival info. Looking forward to book 2 and other books by this author!

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Meh

Kevin Pierce brings the story to life masterfully. However, while the story line has a plausible initiating sequence for a post-apocalyptic novel, the author believes that chaos will reign in only a matter of hours. The story has more in common with a B grade action movie script. Maybe that is what the author was trying to achieve.

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