Sunday, 28 August 2016

Book Review: Neighbors by Jerry D Young


Hank Smith was a prepper. But he was a prepper with a problem. He lived on a cul-de-sac road, which was good. The bad part of it was it was on a hill. This would normally be good but in this case it put him in full view of the approach to the cul-de-sac and of most of his neighbors. The result of this was that everyone in the neighborhood saw his large garden, his solar panels, his hand well, and the other items that indicated his ability to get by without much help from anyone else. Even though his neighbors thought Hank was a little nutty, they respected his right to live the way he wanted. However, when a world war breaks out, will they respect his right to his own property?

My Review: 
Hank is a dedicated prepper, determined to be self sufficient and quietly prepare for any disaster that should come. However it is impossible on his street to keep his prepping low key and he reluctantly has to tell people what they are seeing in his garden. Hank is getting concerned that everyone is going to come running to him if disaster strikes and decides to start trying to get his neighbors to turn preppers as well.

I liked this story a lot. Hank starts out as a man who doesn't really want to interact with his neighbors but when he realises that they know he is a prepper, he doesn't want to end up looking after them during a disaster. He starts trying to lead his neighbors into preps like food storage and generators with common sense suggestions for why to do it and gradually they start thinking that it wouldn't hurt to do a bit more for themselves. As the book progresses, a community of preppers is slowly born and Hank finds himself a big part of things instead of just being out for himself. I very much liked how Hank's focus to start with was to get other people out of his hair, but he comes to look at them as friends by the time trouble starts.

The world situation is gradually getting worse and we see through Hank's eyes that a nuclear disaster is becoming a real possibility. This is a game changer for this community as they now have to look at how to survive if their country is attacked, and how to protect their small community from the unprepared people who will want to take over what they have.

The book starts its journey as the story of a man who doesn't want nosy neighbors prying into his business but soon evolves into building a prepper community where everyone works together, and I liked the way both Hank and the story developed. It was a good set of characters that you liked and they were normal people that you expect to see in any street, not a group of super skilled military people. I enjoyed seeing how the community developed.

We also get the tense build up to the disaster itself and see what happens to our characters as the nuclear attack begins. It becomes an exciting and nervous read at that point as several dangerous situations threaten the community you have come to care about.

This was a well written plot with excellent characters and I really enjoyed reading it. It is the first book I have read by the author and I am certainly going to look to read more of these apocalypse type books he has written. Recommended for fans of dystopia, apocalypse and prepper fiction.
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