Monday, 15 August 2016

Book Review: Band of Preppers by Chad Evercroft


Derek Evers, a grocery store manager, his wife Amy, a nurse at the local hospital, their son Adam and their dog Roadie live a perfectly normal life in suburban Missouri. Between barbecues and everyday activities, nothing seems out of the ordinary. That is until uncle Buckle, a die hard prepper and survivalist, springs the news of a new viral disease originating in South America on the family of 4. What seems like just another unimportant news flash quickly becomes a daunting reality in this Post-Pandemic Prepper fiction novel. The family is forced to learn the traits of a Prepper and pick the brain of their prepping relative who has long spread the word of government corruption and social instability. 

My Review:  
Derek lives an ordinary life with wife Amy, son Adam and their husky Roadie. Derek's brother Buckle is a dedicated prepper who is on alert for signs of social collapse, and tries to get Derek to take the threat seriously. When a strange smallpox type outbreak occurs in Mexico, Amy investigates online while Derek goes into panic mode and starts prepping. As the virus spreads in South America, the family start to fear the worst...

Buckle and Derek are so different as brothers. Buckle has thrown himself into the prepping lifestyle and scans the media for any potential threats that could become a problem, which is how he finds the first mention of the smallopx type virus. He has turned away from relationships to make friends with other people and his only family is Derek who he keeps in contact with. Derek and Amy spend time with Buckle but are not interested in his theories or in following his example: until more appears about the virus. As a nurse, Amy is interested in what the virus is but Derek is starting to get nervous about his lack of preparedness and turns to the delighted Buckle for help.

Buckle starts telling Derek about preparing lists of things needed and gradually getting in supplies, as well as preparing bug out bags which may be needed if the family have to flee their home. Derek is a bit overwhelmed by it all but he starts to get himself slowly organised. The problem occurs that the virus is now rampaging across South America and the media is finally starting to report on it as the threat to America becomes real. Infected people are crossing into Texas and time is running out, with Buckle getting anxious about his family.

Derek makes a lot of mistakes but that would happen to someone new to the prepping lifestyle. I understand that he uses the store discount at the place he works to save money but it alerts everyone he works with that he has extra supplies, and he is talking to them about prepping. The idea generally is to keep quiet about what you have so that you don't become a target for desperate people in a crisis. He fails to keep the car fully gassed up, he didn't follow Buckle's lists or have the bags prepared as he was told to. It's an example of thinking you have time until it actually runs out. Derek isn't ready to leave even when the virus lands in their town. Now he has to get to safety at Buckle's place with the town in chaos and everyone trying to flee.

Buckle is living at a prepper compound which is safe and secure and where everyone works together to get things done. This is to be the new home of his family if they can get there safely but Buckle is concerned that Derek has already left it too late and might be in trouble. But the compound itself is being watched by people in the woods who want to take the supplies they have so how safe will it be there?

This was a good apocalypse showing how things can go wrong so quickly when a virus is running wild with no cure. It also shows that however well you prepare you can still be caught out by small mistakes or the speed of events. It was an enjoyable book with good action scenes in the second part and it is very much centered on the human side of the story, with characters that you care about. As always I was anxious about the welfare of the dog! Roadie is a gorgeous big fluffy husky who gets a bit of hero time in the book...who doesn't love a big soft husky!

Enjoyable if slightly over the top story towards the end but I don't care because it was fast moving, interesting and entertaining. Ideal for those interested in prepping, apocalypse fiction and viral pandemics.

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