Thursday, 23 February 2017

Book Review: Bugging Out by Noah Mann

Get out. Hunker down. Stay alive.

It came without warning. A microscopic enemy that methodically turned the green earth grey. Decimating the food chain until only the prepared were left.

But preparation alone is not enough to shelter Eric Fletcher from the chaos to befall the world as governments fail their citizens. Seeking refuge at his remote property in the north of Montana while society devolves into starving anarchy, he finds himself facing not only the rigors of survival, but also the appearance of a self-proclaimed ruler promising to set his piece of the withered world right for those who follow. Those who don't will suffer the consequences of his sadistic retribution.

Finding another survivor near his refuge, Eric attempts to steer clear of the conflict brewing in nearby towns. But soon he and his new found partner in survival are targeted by the dictatorial leader, leaving them two options--run, or fight for what is right.

My Review:
A farmer in Poland sees something strange on his crops and the Blight is soon spreading across Europe and then overseas, killing crops and animals. Fletch gets a visit from an old friend Neil who tells him the Blight has just arrived in Oregon and Fletch needs to leave for his safe house before it is too late, and ride out the disaster in the countryside. Fletch flees and finds that having supplies won't keep you safe when a violent militia in the area want everything for themselves.

This is a pretty frustrating story in many ways. It was well written and I very much liked the idea of the Blight. I always enjoy a good apocalypse story with a bug out plot. It had action, bad guys and a solid enough plot, along with a really great character in Fletch's neighbour Del, who I loved. There is plenty to like about this book which makes it a solid three star read. But it should have been a higher rating. I just got so annoyed by the countless stupid things that Fletch chose to do, things that a prepper should have known better than to do. It did affect my enjoyment of the book a bit.

Fletch was given warning about the coming disaster and told there would be an alert when things went out of control. He was a prepper, he had a safe place with supplies to go to outside the city, he was given warning and uses the time to move extra supplies out to his bug out location...but he doesn't move there. He stays at home until the emergency alert goes out and almost doesn't get by the cops roadblock alive. Now how stupid is that? As soon as he got all of his supplies moved, he should have moved there BEFORE everyone knew that disaster was coming! He even waits until the US itself goes into quarantine and sits home wondering when a good time to bug out would be. I was yelling 'just GO!' at the book every few minutes! Even when the alert comes he is so slow to get moving!

Once at his location, Fletch doesn't get any smarter. Despite receiving the warning about a natural apocalypse coming, he forgets to do some very basic things like get medical supplies. The barn where he is storing vital supplies hasn't been repaired and now the weather is going to turn bad and he still hasn't got round to dealing with it. He failed to use all his money to get extra food supplies to last more than a year. What exactly is he going to do when the year is up? He decides to just light fires so the smoke exits the chimney and alerts every bad guy in the area that this house is occupied and has supplies. Even when he knows that people are casing the house, he continually wanders off leaving it unattended and wondering how he got robbed instead of taking care of his problem visitors. The dumb things just keep on coming from him as the story progresses.

I know I'm moaning about it but overall, despite some plot holes, it was a fairly entertaining apocalypse book. There is no shortage of action in the fight scenes between Fletch and Del against the militia. There were plenty tense scenes as Fletch realises that he is being watched, and that dangerous people are nearby. You put your head in your hands at some of the stupid decisions he takes which puts his life in danger. The story gets a bit mad at times but I don't mind that if it is entertaining and it was entertaining for the most part. So I was ok with the story maybe going into far fetched territory.

I was interested in the way the book finished and part of me does want to know what happens next but I'm not sure if I'm going to continue with the series. I'll decide on that at a later date.

Read December 2016. 
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

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