Blake, ever the entertainer is feeling restless while healing. In this new post apocalyptic world, he can no longer blog, but he can use the radio. Can he convey his thoughts and ideas to help others without having pictures and diagrams on how to do things? He hopes to find out.
Supplies are running low for Michael, John and the Kids. It's been some time now since the bombs fell, taking out the power grid in America. Do they risk leaving the safety of their secluding hiding spot in the middle of the Talladega National Forest or slowly starve?
Survivors are being rounded up and placed in FEMA camps by NATO forces. Supplies are running low for even the NATO troops holding the American's prisoners and pressure is building within the nation. Something has to give.
This book follows John and Michael, introduce a couple of interesting new characters and links up again with the survivors at the homestead.
It is decision time for John and Michael as their food becomes scarce. Can they risk trying to get to the supplies that they stored before their run in with the police? It seems like the best plan and then they can finally escape the area. However they are about to face a new menace when they see Russian tanks on the streets around their target. Is there any way to sneak around them to get what they need or is it a risk too far? John has a plan but it carries high risks for all of them and leads to him being seperated from the three kids..
The National Guardsmen are also becoming concerned at being told what to do by foreign troops under the NATO banner and seeing American civilians being rounded up and forced into FEMA camps. Some soldiers like Henrikas, a Lithuanian decide to disobey orders and try to help civilians flee the troops, making them wanted men. These soldiers are also trying to find a way to release all the prisoners and overthrow NATO. Henrikas is a great character and I liked him from the start when his path crosses with John. They are both soldiers of course and agree that the local FEMA camp should be their target. Rebel Radio is going to be vital in pooling their resources and getting a plan together.
Michael is about to endure hell inside the camp which feels like a prison, where you are robbed of anything you own and are in constant danger. He meets King, a tough guy who gives him some advice but won't fight his battles for him. King is a great character. He reminds me of the lifer in prison movies who helps the new guy understand the rules. The FEMA camp is hell on earth and when you read about this version, you understand why so many preppers in America are determined never to end up in one if a disaster should arise. I wouldn't want to be there that's for sure. It sounds like the New Orleans stadium during Katrina in a compulsory form and that would scare the crap out of me.
This is not my favourite book in the series as I didn't greatly enjoy the scenes of Michael being picked on by everyone in the camp. I just didn't like that part of the plot although it was very well written by the author, making you never want to set foot in a place like that. A lot of preppers believe that Americans will be forced into FEMA camps, and when you read about conditions in similar sounding refugee camps that are run by aid agencies and governments, it does not sound like an appealing prospect. This one in the book was very grim, especially for women. It is an important part of the plot here but I'm glad it isn't going to feature long term.
There are still very exciting and tense moments in the book though and there was a bit of a surprising twist at the end which I wasn't expecting. It could be interesting to see where the story goes next.