To complete their self sufficiency, Blake and Sandra take a team to check out the area and acquire some livestock. Things aren't always as easy at they seem on the surface.
Neal and Patty escape the inner city in Michigan to flee. An odd acquaintance gives Neal an inheritance that may just save his life. Can the computer specialist cope with the grid going down?
People must learn and adapt to survive in wreckage left behind when America's grid goes down and lives become meaningless. Their only hope is to hold on to their humanity, safety and security.
Neal has autism and tries to avoid people but has to help his neighbour Patty when a group of ISIS supporting men try to rape her in the EMP aftermath. The men are released due to the disaster getting worse and the radicals are attacking everyone, but the arresting cop manages to get warning to them that they are all targets now and it is time to flee. Back at the homestead, the group are trying to find out more about the cannibals which puts them all in danger, while David gets word of when the rest of the raiders are coming.
This is the first book in the series where a new story is introduced to run alongside the group that we know from the previous books. In this second plot, we learn that ISIS caused the EMP and sleeper agents are ordering a radical uprising to attack Americans and strategic targets. Neal and Patty stumble across the plans in a dead terrorists backpack and wonder who to give it to. We follow their story as they try to flee, keeping away from places where they might encounter people but of course things don't go according to plan. I wasn't sure at first about the new characters but I grew to like them as they made their journey. It was interesting to have a character with autism and see how it affects his ability to survive in the apocalypse. Patty was the kind of person you want a best friend to be and meeting her under these circumstances, you get sucked into her story.
We also get to see how things are going at the homestead with Blake and Sandra trying to juggle newly married life and the responsibility of adopting Chris child as their own child. The women from the harem start integrating into the community, giving them more numbers for sharing chores and guard duty. I like seeing the ordinary tasks of day to day living going on as the apocalypse looms in the background. I also liked seeing the development of David as a character, with him wanting to prove that he is not a bad guy, and wanting to become part of the community.
But of course it is the apocalypse which causes most of their problems, or to be more accurate, the other survivors. Somewhere near them are a group of modern day cannibals who hunt with bow and arrow, and Blake is anxious about the danger being posed to them every time they leave the homestead to hunt or grab supplies. Medicine is high on their list but with cannibals roaming nearby, Blake wants to find out where they are living before the cannibals discover the homestead. Of course I was very nervous of this plan as there isn't a character that I don't like. It does make the book exciting though, when our characters go off into potentially dangerous situations!
For me it is the mix of characters that you care about, well written action, tense scenes of danger and the emotion of when things go really great or badly wrong that make this series so enjoyable. They are not superstars, just normal people learning new skills and adapting to a different life from what we take for granted. I could imagine the homestead and being there with them. This series certainly has me gripped and I was speeding through the books one after the other!