Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Book Review: The Last Layover by Steven Bird (New Homefront #1)


In The Last Layover, an airline crew finds themselves on an overnight layover in New York City, far from their homes when a series of events take place that bring our modern society to its knees. Join them as they face the dangers and difficulties of trying to make their way back to their homes and families in a rapidly deteriorating society, without our modern transportation and communications infrastructure, all while dealing with the lawlessness and violence that quickly ensues in a desperate and broken society. Discover with them the dark side that humanity can quickly take, as well as the good that can come from faith, family, and friendship. 

My Review:
Evan and Jason are pilots and dedicated preppers who are concerned about the decline of America and have a plan to team their families up for security if the SHTF. Their worst fears are realised when America is attacked by terrorists while they are stuck in NYC with flight attendant Peggy, and a long way to go to get to Jason's family in Ohio and Evan's family in Tennessee. Their fears increase as they hear how quickly society has fallen apart and fear for the safety of their families at home.

This was one of these books where I liked a lot of what I read and got frustrated with it in equal measures. I knew going into it that it was going to be from the viewpoint of republican gun users as most prepper novels are written from that perspective. However, every conversation the men had with each other or other people they met at times turned into full anti-democratic rants with conspiracy theories about the President working with foreign terrorists to bring down America. And I do mean rants. It was scathing against anyone who doesn't share their views and was extremely preaching in tone about what the reader should believe. Now, I am not going to be critical of the author's right to have his characters share his viewpoint, but at times even I felt that the right wing bias was too much and was affecting the story a little. I don't mind a bit of politics in my prepper reading but not to the extent where I start to feel a bit bored by the continued ramming home of a point.

The other frustration I had with the book were the mind numbing info dumps. Having two and a half pages of weapons description, complete modifications to the family transport etc was just too much. A brief paragraph was enough to get the point across but every time the men found a new weapon, every single part of it was described in more detail along with range, performance etc. It just wasn't necessary and eventually I started to skip through them to get back to the story.

Ok frustrations aside, this was a decent apocalypse story. I liked the main male characters-Evan, Jason, Damon and Griff, who are all capable and ready to do what it takes to protect other people. Peggy starts off by questioning their use of guns but this quickly stops so it doesn't prove annoying as it has done in similar books. I would have liked more character development in the women though especially Sarah. It does seem strange that the wife of a prepper would be silly enough to cook outside during the apocalypse and alert the psycho neighbour that they have food, putting her and the kids in danger. While I liked seeing the trouble it caused, it felt a bit like the usual dumb woman plot time.

So did I like the book? For the most part, yes I did. The story was good and I liked the finale with Molly at the house. There were some good ideas and good action scenes, though the final chapter or two did feel a little rushed, but that was just my personal taste. Overall I am interested in seeing what happens next but I'm not sure if I am willing to sit through more info dumps and conspiracy theories and stuff to get there.  
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

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