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

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

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Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Summer Reading: Agenda 21 by Glenn Beck and Harriet Parke

Agenda 21 by Glenn BeckI didn’t originally have Agenda 21 on my summer reading list until I saw the post about it on Survival Common Sense.

I got interested and decided to read it for myself.  The story starts slowly as a description of the world inhabited by the characters enfolds.  We are following Emmeline, a young girl who has just reached puberty and is now required to “pair up” with someone so she can reproduce for the good of the republic.  We learn that the citizens no longer have control over anything in their lives:  they are given nutrition cubes and a set amount of water to drink; they spend their day generating energy for the State, on a stationary bike.  Every move they make is monitored by local “gatekeepers.”  It’s the “nanny state gone wild” scenario, where  even the choice of partners and the raising of children has been taken over by the government in the name of efficiency and universal welfare.  Emmeline does give birth and the baby is immediately taken away.  Piece by piece she comes to realize the truth about how their freedoms got taken away, and her horror in finding out happened to her family is unrelenting.   Can she find a way out?  You will need to read the book to find out.

I was pulled into the story very quickly and I read the book in a couple of days.

What is Agenda 21?  In a nutshell, Agenda 21 is the U.N. grand plan for “sustainable development,” to be implemented at local, national, and global levels.  It is voluntary, and seeks to control behavior, land and home ownership, natural resources, transportation, food and water.  In short,  anything that impacts the environment will be regulated.

You can’t help but wonder, “Can this happen here?”  I am the practical sort and normally not given to conspiracy theories and speculation.  It seemed a bit far fetched at first, but if you read the Afterword, you will understand what Agenda 21 goals are about, and notice all the small but notable actions that are being taken all around us.  This is a long term plan, and every change is started with very small steps.

I don’t want to give away any more details,  you will just have to read it.  At last check, the book is available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble as well as at the public library.   Agenda 21 is definitely a page turner and is a great summer read.

 

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.

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