Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Book Review: Escape in a Motorhome by Robert Boren (Bug Out #1)

When society unravels, sometimes the best move is simply to Bug Out.

Bug Out! is the story of Frank and Jane, who are living in Southern California. The State Government is on the verge of collapse. State Pensions are gone. Banking is disrupted. State jobs are eliminated, and it washes through the economy like a tidal wave. Violence Looting. Wholesale destruction of property. Frank and Jane know they must escape. They have a Motorhome. They can Bug Out!

Follow Frank and Jane as they fight their way out of California. What dangers are waiting for them outside? Why are military convoys and tanks moving south
and west on the roads? Why are checkpoints being set up everywhere? Is Martial Law coming? Are the preppers right? What is going on across the southern border? Scary people are coming across. Soldiers from Venezuela. Islamic Fighters. US Army and Private Militia forces are waiting to take them on, and Frank and Jane must thread their way through the battles. They have the perfect Bug Out Vehicle. Will they survive?


My Review:
I stumbled across this series by accident and became hooked on it straight away. It is a 13 part saga following a group of people through civil unrest, invasion and martial law, civil war and frequent attacks by ISIS style terrorists and anarchist militias. It is set in modern day America though it has a dystopian feel and there are two things that make it unique. It is set in RV parks and RVs, featuring people from all kinds of backgrounds staying together for safety. The second thing is that most of the characters are over the age of 50 and some are in their 70's which was a very refreshing change!

Our MC couple are Frank and Jane, with dog Lucy and cat Mr Wonderful. Concerned about disorder and rioting in California getting close to their home, they decide to collect their RV and get out of the state before things get too dangerous. They notice the military heading south as they flee north and news reports indicate that airliners are being shot down as ISIS style terrorists battle government forces along the Mexican border, and that California is being sealed off. They want to find a quiet and safe RV park in Arizona to wait out the trouble before looking to return home but with the situation around them deteriorating, where is it safe to go?

At a RV park, Frank and Jane befriend Hank and Linda. Hank believes that federal forces are fighting foreign invaders to give an excuse to impose martial law and take guns away from citizens, and Frank agrees. They know that Texas are fighting back and refusing to be dictated to, determined to keep their guns and their rights. The theory is fuelled by deserting cops who indicate that they refused to follow these orders and are mounting a resistance to the government, wanting civilians to join with them. Rumours are coming to them about the government allowing the terrorists in to provoke a fight with the civilians, with the US forces fighting alongside the terrorists. Jane has her doubts about what the others believe and decides to reach out to her son to find out what he is hearing in California.

I don't want to go any further on plot with this review as it would spoil all the drama and twists that are present throughout. Frank belives his government has conspired with terrorists so they can impose martial law but underestimated the strength of the foreign army who not look too strong to stop. Jane cannot believe that her government would do that and wants to get more information from someone she trusts-her son Robbie who can tell her what he is seeing in California. So who is right about what is happening? I'm not going to say, obviously, but I loved the conspiracy plotline and having our MCs having different political visions, allowing them to debate what is happening to their country in a sensible manner, instead of the ranting anti-government or anti-prepper characters you see in this kind of book.

This book just appealed to me on so many levels. There is the instant danger of the initial escape from California with the dangerous situations that it puts the RV into. There is the chaos of the IS invasion and terror attacks, martial law, militia rebellions and frequent battles being reported. The characters are struggling to contact loved ones or get a news report that is accurate which causes tension and fear. The characters are people that you care about and the addition of the pets adds a touch of realism as their day to day needs must be met in the middle of war. I found myself worrying about Frank and Jane several times in the book as they faced a host of scary situations and I just found it gripping!

I would warn of two things that might annoy the reader. It can be slightly repetitive in nature over the functions of the RV, as at every stop it is explained how they get everything set up, then put things away ready to leave. I found this to be quite minor though. There is also a lack of editing and formatting in the book which other reviewers have pointed out. It was quite obvious but I was able to overlook that because I enjoyed the book so much.

It was an action packed rollercoaster ride that put our MCs from one bad situation to another, with constant plot twists. I read the whole series back to back in a couple of weeks and I'm ready to devour the various spin off series! 
Read March 2016.
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg

2 comments:

  1. And what's even more startling is that Preppers are so prominent in the US it seems too, people who are waiting out the social, natural or economic collapse. I love watching the US reality show. When I think of Preppers, they seems to go hand in hand with conspiracy theorists too. I think my husband might really enjoy this one. Probably not for me though, unless they are fleeing from zombies. Awesome review, so glad you really enjoyed it <3

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    1. The interesting thing about prepper fiction for me are all the different types you can read about from the right wing gun lobby survivalist to the ordinary family worried about society falling apart. The whole thing fascinates me! I guess if I lived in the US I might be a prepper but with UK gun laws the best I could do in the zombie apocalypse is defend myself with the hoover! These prepper books can usually be picked up pretty cheap on Amazon which is good for people on a budget like me!

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