Book Review: The Last Layover by Steven C. Bird

the last layover

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I had the pleasure of reading The Last Layover:  The New Homefront Volume 1 by Steven C. Bird as part of Survivor Jane’s preparedness books blog tour.

What is the book about?  The Last Layover is an e-book, a work of fiction in which an airline crew finds themselves in a grid down disaster while in a layover in New York City.  They must find their way back to their homes while dealing with violence, loss of infrastructure and chaos.

What I thought about the book 

I was very interested in reading the story, as the topic speaks to one of my fears:  being in a disaster while being far from home.   It was easy to place one’s self in the shoes of the characters.  I  liked the characters and agreed with their choices and actions.

The book initially covered much detail about flying and the piloting life.  While informative, I felt the background info was a bit too long.  I would have preferred more details about what caused the breakdown.  I wondered why the local police and sheriffs were strangely absent – the only detail given was they were protecting their families.  Perhaps some of the questions would be answered in the sequel.  I also felt the last part of the book seemed to be rushed, considering the hardships and roadblocks described getting from Delaware to Ohio, the trip from Ohio to Tennessee seemed to go quickly and without incident.

Overall, I thought it had a good story and I enjoyed reading it.  I thought the characters were very believable and it was easy to relate to them.  The book was fast paced and had enough action to hold my attention and I was able to finish it in a couple of days.  If you are looking for a quick and enjoyable read, I recommend you pick up The Last Layover. 

The Last Layover and its sequel, The Guardians: The New Homefront Volume 2 are available Amazon.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

 

Book Feature: Liberators and Interview with James Wesley Rawles

Liberators

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Today we are featuring James Wesley Rawles’s latest book, Liberators.  As you know Mr. Rawles is the author of several books, and is the founder of SurvivalBlog, one of the first survival and emergency websites.

What is Liberators about?

America has experienced a socio-economic collapse that spreads throughout the world.  Looting and rioting affect all major cities.  The book follows Afghanistan War vet Ray McGregor as he makes his way from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to his parents’ ranch in Bella Coola, British Columbia, in remote western Canada. His old friend Phil Adams, a Defense Intelligence Agency counterintelligence case officer joins him in his journey.

Lightly populated Bella Coola, the home of Ray’s parents is not devastated by the chaos but is taken over by a foreign occupation.  Ray and Phil become key members of the resistance in a war that will have far reaching effects.

From Amazon:  Liberators depicts a world that is all too conceivable and terrifyingly familiar. Fastpaced and packed with authentic information on outdoor survival, self-sufficiency, and small-unit tactics, James Wesley, Rawles’s latest thriller will resonate with his dedicated fanbase and encourage new readers to prepare for anything from lesser disasters to the dreaded worst-case scenario.

 Interview with James Wesley Rawles

1. Do you feel the UN has designs on the U.S. in terms of taking control?

Yes, the globalist camp that rules the UN clearly has domination of the US in their long-term-plans. They simply cannot allow a bastion of liberty to survive if they have any hope of instituting global; government.

2. In your book there was a fictional invasion of Western Canada by China. China has been flexing its muscles of late – do you think China would end up owning us, or invading us?

That threat was accelerated in the novel for the sake of drama. Presently, since they lack blue water navy and the requisite transport, the PLA cannot project force across the Pacific. But in another 15 or 20 years, that threat could indeed be manifested.

3. In the story, one of the pseudo governments took over Fort Knox. In our current economy – gold has been dropping in price, “financial experts” say it’s not coming back up anytime soon, however the affluent are buying up large amounts. What is your take on gold right now?

I believe that gold and silver are both undervalued. My preference is for silver. At less than $18 per Troy ounce it is presently a bargain. Buy it cheap and stack it deep!

4. The oil boom in Wyoming, North Dakota etc. has attracted a lot of newcomers to these areas – has your opinion changed on which states are still good for bugging out or establishing a homestead?

My advice is essentially unchanged. The Bakken oil shale development simply represents further diversification of the economy for Montana. However, I would avoid living in the immediate vicinity, because of the many “camp follower” vices that are inevitable in boom towns.

5. The ebola virus is a concern for many, and at lot of advice point to the possibility of having to hunker down in your home and stay in isolation. However this may be difficult for apartment dwellers living in the city. What would be the best approach for apartment dwellers?

I would say extremely difficult, because of sanitation issues that would be created by backed-up toilets (in the event of a power grid collapse and subsequent failure of civic water supplies), or simply hazard one or more bodies in your apartment building that are not removed promptly-or removed without full attention to contaminating body fluids.

6. Most of my readers are city dwellers who are not able to relocate to a small town or rural area due to their circumstances – what are some options if they had to bug out?

Because you may only have ONE trip out of Dodge, you need to pre-position the vast majority of your food and gear at your intended bug out location. Without those supplies, you will just be another hungry person to feed, for the locals. Be part of the solution—not part of the problem.

7. I understand your next book will be a non fiction book. Can you give us an idea what it will be and when is the expected publishing date?

It is titled Tools for Survival. It is a comprehensive book that covers everything from guns to sewing machines. That book will be released by Penguin in December.

Our thanks to James Wesley Rawles for the interview.  Liberators has just been released and is now available in Amazon and other bookstores.  Like his other books, you’ll get involved in the story, and learn some survival techniques at the same time.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

Rivers: A Novel by Michael Ferris Smith Book Review and Giveaway

RiversI had the opportunity to read a review copy of Rivers:  A Novel by Michael Ferris Smith.  It is a tale about a few remaining stragglers who crossed paths in a world that is constantly battered by never ending storms and hurricanes.  The story follows Cohen, who lost his wife and unborn child a few years earlier, as he tries to continue surviving in a devastated area, long after the region was declared unfit for living.

The constant misery and greyness of the weather pervaded the entire atmosphere of the book.  There is really no explanation of what is caused the violent weather patterns  it just is.  The idea of having daily storms pounding one area of the country may be a bit hard to accept at first, but as I continued on, I found myself suspending my disbelief and becoming more accepting of the idea.  The writing is rich with vivid images and story moves along in a fast pace that the reader quickly becomes caught up in the story.

You are not going to pick up any ideas about living through a disaster, but it portrays how people react to life threatening situations and their mental states are depicted quite thoroughly.  Many of the characters have done evil things to survive, though they would not inherently consider themselves evil.  They “just had to.”  The road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions.

The story moved along in a good pace, and it was easy to become “immersed” in the story, so to speak.  The characters are well written, however I had trouble relating to characters’ choices.  In many instances, I did not feel a connection with the characters, and disagreed with many of their actions.  In spite of this, I still felt invested enough to  find out how they fared.  Not wanting to provide any spoilers, I won’t say how the story ends.  Though this is a completely different story, there are some parallels to The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, in the struggle to survive and find redemption.

All in all, Rivers:  The Novel is a highly engrossing book and I liked reading it.

Win a Copy of

Rivers:  A Novel

Just add your comment below:

Have you experienced a hurricane or flood?  Describe your experience.

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Saturday, November 30th at 8 pm Central.

*Winner will be notified via email.  Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn.  

I look forward to reading your entries.  Good luck!
Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

What Doomsday Films and Shows do for Preppers

The World's End

There have been a variety of doomsday movies recently:  World War Z, This is the End and The World’s End just to name a few.  Some are action-adventure, suspense or even comedy, but the theme is the same:  the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI).  In addition, there are a number of reality shows such as Doomsday Preppers,  Doomsday Castle and others that deal with people trying to prepare for disasters.

These type of shows are so prevalent, but what do they do for the average prepper?  Do you watch these shows?

As with everything else, I see the Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • They get people to imagine what they would do in such as situation.
  • Once people start thinking about various scenarios, they start talking about it, and a dialogue is always a good thing.  I’ve mentioned in a past article how watching The Walking Dead was a good conversation starter about preparing for actual disasters
  • The idea of prepping becomes more acceptable.

Cons:

  • The more outlandish characters featured may cast preppers in the “nutty” category, and not to be taken seriously.
  • If the story is too far-fetched, it can make people more detached and consider disasters as being “only in the movies”
  • Fear of being labeled

I’ve personally seen several of these type of movies, watch episodes of Doomsday Preppers, as well as survival shows such as Survivorman’s Survival Secrets.   At the very least, I think these shows get people who may never have considered it, thinking about the need to prepare.  Some people may appear more extreme than others, and thus may be labeled as a “fringe” element, while others will fear being associated as one.

All in all, the way I see it, we’re all better off if everyone became more prepared for emergencies.  I’m not even talking about doomsday, or anything collapsing; natural disasters and financial disasters can and do happen.  If survival and prepping shows get people to start preparing for any emergencies then that is a good thing.

An upcoming new show that I will watch

2073779_blackouts-a-history_wpqcl4sp5hrctsdllz4ccbpndxncurxrbvj6lwuht2ya6mzmafma_610x343I just heard about a new show that I am interested in seeing and here is a brief description:

AMERICAN BLACKOUT:  a two hour special is coming up on Nat Geo about what can happen during a catastrophic blackout across the United States.  No cell phone service, no ATM withdrawals, no working street lights, no available gasoline … no escape.   From what the Nat Geo rep told me, American Blackout combines user-generated footage from recent real blackouts and disasters like Hurricane Sandy intercut with the feature film.   It will follow the struggles of ordinary Americans wrangling through the chaos, and witness one prepper family who prepared for the worst.

The show will air on On Sunday, October 27, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

 Here’s a trailer to American Blackout

What would you do if power was gone?

 

Water is one of the biggest needs when it comes to survival.  Whether bugging out or sheltering in place, you can never have enough clean water for survival: For your water purifier needs, please visit:

 For beginning preppers

Good ideas for building a food storage plan can be found here:

DebtProof Living

Book Review: 299 Days

 

299 days coverpage

 

I received review copies of 299 Days:  The Preparation and 299 Days:  The Collapse by Glen Tate, and now making progress on my fall reading list.  These are the first two installments of a book series about the challenges and struggles of Grant Mason, a suburban dweller who awakens to the need to become prepared for the difficulties ahead.

The story’s premise of a gradual collapse of the country’s economy due to overspending by all branches of the government is plausible and a bit “too close for comfort.”  You can imagine something list this unfolding before your eyes, and therefore it is easy to put yourself in the main character’s shoes.  Any person who has felt the need to prepare will also be able to relate to his challenges of trying to convince his family to prepare.  How do you deal with someone who is in denial, even as you see your worse fears coming true?   This is a struggle that would resonate with many readers.  I don’t want to give too much of the story away so am trying to refrain from revealing too much detail in this review.

I enjoyed the pace of the story which is engaging and entertaining enough to make the reader want to continue.   The writing style can be a bit choppy at times, and some of the political generalizations may be something you’d have to overlook depending on your inclinations.   Not a major flaw, just an observation:  the second book, The Collapse seemed a bit short, compared to the first book, and could have been easily combined with the first book.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and would continue to read the subsequent books.  I look forward to reading the entire series, as well as additional works by Glen Tate.

 

 

 

For beginning preppers