Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Preppers Road March: A Review

Peppers Road March is the first part of an apocalypse-in-progress in the area of  Atlanta, Georgia after an EMP-Solar Flare event. The series eventually came out as a collected compendium with all chapters under one cover.

Ron Foster is part founder of the Prepper Archaeology  website, and appears to have a number of entrepreneurial adventures going on at any one time..  I suppose not too surprisingly has the extremely varied education and career of a restless person.  Some of that training has been in the area of disaster management.   His novels are written very specifically toward a “prepper” audience.
It is a relatively cool (95º) summer day in Atlanta.  David has been interviewed and offered a position with FEMA's Atlanta office, and the wind down is taking place in a bar.    As happens with these books, the lights go out, and given that we are in Atlanta, possibly more importantly, the air conditioning stops.  The FEMA crowd is ex-military, so they are pretty much aware immediately what has happened.  It is either an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) or a large Solar Flare.  The protagonist has left his bug out bag at the motel, and did not bring his concealed carry piece to the interview.   So he is a little shy on his emergency kit.  He does have a money belt with $500 cash.,   and decides to head home.  The bar's enormous bouncer Dump (as in Dump Truck sized) is headed the same way, so  they start walking south to go home.

David is a fairly light hearted fellow.  He may not have his goodie (bugout) bag with him, but mentally he is well prepared.  Although it is not immediately obvious, he has no wife or children.  He has touching concern for his mother and an ex-girlfriend that are back home in Alabama.  Our hero makes friends easily, and dispenses much needed prepping advise to each little group he encounters along the way.  There are some signs of trouble, but rather realistically, it is of a rather sporadic nature.  Our hero avoids much of what trouble there is by staying off the highways and built up urban areas.

Although what I have is the front part of a longer novel, it does stop at a reasonable place.  David is not left hanging from a cliff with a bunch of hungry cannibals sharpening their steak knives down below.  The length of the story here was worth the price of admission.  Obviously if this story is something you think you would enjoy, it is more cost efficient to buy the now available compilation.

Its a fun little read.   It is unusually light hearted for a book that features the collapse - possibly permanent- of the modern world.  It is a travel story where you have an optimist for a companion.  In this case that unusual rarely seen creature - an optimist prepper.  If you don't mind the frequent breaks where Dave goes over some amazingly esoteric survival concepts with his latest new best friends, you will likely enjoy the book.

Now for our descriptive (versus qualitative) ratings: reality (sometimes referred to as grittiness), and readability.  The ratings run from 1 to 7: with 7 being high.   The Reality rating does not usually include an assessment of the collapse scenarios plausibility, unless it effects the ongoing story line.

The book is happening in the here and know.  It describes events from Dave's retrospective viewpoint.  Normally that would give it very high marks.   However, as I noted above,this a relatively cheerful book.  There is very little real tension.  Dave is much more competent than the people he meets.  For the most part he is able to plan for all eventualities, and Dave has grateful people supplying him with needed gear and alcohol along the entire route.  Dave is clearly the authors alter ego, and there is a little bit of wish fulfilment going on here. Dave is awfully spry for a fifty year old.  Although I am not taking any points off  Dave, an Alabamian, thinks 95 degrees in the Summer is hot.   I'll mark it at one point below maximum:  a 6.

Readability is a little harder.  I find the constant prepper advise asides mostly interesting and occasionally humorous.  Given the actual usefulness of such a short pep talk, one wonders if the life span off most of the clueless people he runs into is one-week past their last meal.  But any normal (sane?) reader is going to find them very distracting.  There are the usual self publishing typos.  They are so common now, that I barely notice them.  Not a page turner, with one point off for all the advise interruptions puts it at one-point above average:  a 5.


PioneerPreppy said...

I need to check this one out.


russell1200 said...

PP: If you think you will like it, the compilation is the way to go. Not that I planned it that way, but this one is better if you are trying to make it through all the EMP-Flare novels so you can do a review roundup. :)

Stephen said...

You sold me. I just hit my one-click at Amazon. Thanks.

russell1200 said...


I hope you are O.K., I see grey clouds posted in your neighborhood.

I have almost no control when it comes to the one-click and kindle items 3.99 or less.

Stephen said...

My life, the last two days, has turned towards the 'sucky' side. Time will tell. Yes, that one click button haunts me too...

russell1200 said...

Well you know you have a lot of people hoping and praying for the best.

Anonymous said...

That darned one-click button gets me every time.I am helpless when confronted by it!Love these books!Wayward Angel

russell1200 said...

Wayward: Maybe we can form a new demographic: the one-click poor.