They have been preppers for four years, and have prepared a retreat where they can hunker down and survive an EMP that cripples the entire country. The group, consisting of three couples, must now reunite in Prescott, Arizona, the site of their bug out location. Two of the couples must use power line easements and old cattle trails to find their way to their ranch in Prescott. They face many challenges during their grueling journey, which they make on ATVs. Meanwhile, the third couple hunkers down at the ranch and prepares for the arrival of their friends.
When the EMP goes off, three couples are more prepared than most people. Bud and Mary meet Ed and Ann at a prearranged place on their ATVs with agreed in advance supplies. They need to escape from the populated area they live in as quickly as possible and take a rural trail through the hills which will lead them to the ranch of their friends Don and Kate, where they will live and work together to survive the disaster.
For four years, since they first met, the friends have been gathering supplies and getting ready with a plan in case an unexpected disaster should happen. Each person takes responsibility for areas like medical supplies, food, weapons etc and they share financial resources to buy and stock everything they need, storing it with Don and Kate as their home is the most secluded and safe. On the day of the EMP hitting, Don and Kate take a final supply run into town and see how things are going, and people are already rattled. Now Don and Kate have to wait for their friends to make the dangerous journey to meet them.
I took to this series of short novellas instantly. There are six characters that we get to know quite well. Don is the master prepper and instant group leader, the one who has things organised and knows what needs to be done. He is the one who introduced the others to the idea of prepping just in case things go wrong and the government can not get help to them straight away. Don has no qualms about doing whatever it takes to protect the people and the property that they have. Kate, his wife, is equally capable and dedicated to their cause. Their friends are less certain about it. Bud and Mary in particular have a moral issue with taking another life even in defence of their own, which concerns Don as any weak links in the group could be trouble for all of them.
Don can be a bit overpowering and he knows he needs to take a step back and not dictate to people all the time but you understand why he wants to take charge of everything. Kate is the voice of reason who tries to keep him level headed when required. They are a good couple and I liked them. It will be interesting to see the group dynamics as the series unfolds.
The main focus of this book is the journey that Ed, Ann, Bud and Mary take. They know that their friends are waiting for them and expect the journey to take three days or so, stopping off at various camping areas along the rural trail, but trying to avoid people at all costs. The journey is filled with tension as they try to avoid being seen by potentially unfriendly people who might try to take their supplies. Put it this way, it is not a journey that I would want to take but it is better than risking life in a populated area when things go bad. You like these people because they are just normal and are scared by what they have to do, so you are already rooting for them.
I read each book in the series back in February 2016 and I'm just catching up on my review backlog to publish it here!