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Book Review

The Storm Before The Storm: A Novel Of Preparedness And Survival
by Joe Russell

#1 in American Sundown

Category:  Dystopian Fiction

Average Rating:  2.0

As an avid outdoorsman and prepper, Dave Galanos has always made an effort to do what he can to prepare for the unexpected. But when something goes terribly wrong halfway through a backpacking trip with his wife and family, his world is turned upside-down and he is tested in a way he had never planned for.

The trip into the Alleghenys of West Virginia starts off well enough, but takes an unexpected turn when the two women, Sandra and her sister, Jen, leave camp and don't return from a nearby stream. Dave and Mike, Jen's new boyfriend, go looking for them and find evidence that the women may have been kidnapped. Miles from civilization and with no working cell phones, Dave and Mike will set off to find Sandra and Jen, unconnected and unconcerned about what is happening in the world around them. Dave has been hardened by real-world, self-defense scenarios in the past, and has naturally equipped himself with tools that may be required for an unexpected circumstance. He will have to work together with Mike, who he sees as more of an annoyance and a liability than a useful ally. They will have to work together to beat the clock, the elements, and a group of dangerous locals, in order to rescue their companions in this realistic, rugged, and action-packed story of preparedness and survival.

The storm is just beginning. Will Dave and his companions have what it takes to survive? The Storm Before the Storm is the premier novel by Post-Apocalyptic author Joe Russell, and the first installment in the American Sundown series.


[2018-02-27 23:17:17]

Rating:  2

WARNING! Cliffhanger ahead.

There are actually 3 distinct threads woven into this story -- none of which are resolved. A fourth thread, a backstory really, is pretty much resolved, but that doesn't excuse the unforgivable cliffhanger ending. In fact, the apocalyptic event isn't really brought into the story until the end as part of the cliffhanger.

Preparedness is certainly a major theme in the story. We're overwhelmed with details about weapons and survival gear. Sometimes it's not even clear whether the item being discussed is a knife or a gun...or a backpack.

The main characters are fairly well developed, but I didn't find any of them particularly likable. However, the story was sufficiently engaging to keep me wanting to find out what happened.

Kevin Pierce's outstanding narration is the highlight of this audiobook.

NOTE: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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