Penguin Group; 10/30/13
Paperback, 336 pages
Book 3 of The Survivalist Series
My Thoughts:When society ceases to exist, who can you trust?
After the collapse of the nation’s power grid, America is under martial law—and safety is an illusion. As violence erupts around him, Morgan Carter faces one of his most difficult decisions yet: whether to stay and defend his home, or move to a more isolated area, away from the prying eyes of the government. He and his family are hesitant to leave their beloved Lake County, but with increasingly suspicious activities happening in a nearby refugee camp, all signs point towards defecting. Morgan and his friends aren't going to leave without a fight, though—and they'll do anything to protect their freedoms.
From the author of the hit survivalist novels Going Home and Surviving Home, Escaping Home describes the struggle to live in a world with no rules, and how, sometimes, the strength of family is the only thing that can pull you through.
Escaping Home by A. American is the third book in the Survivalist Series. The first two books are Going Home and Surviving Home (previously reviewed).
In Escaping Home Morgan, his family, Thad, Sarge, Jess and the rest of the characters are back and the story continues. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continue to perpetuate nefarious deeds on unsuspecting Americans, now in containment camps. The DHS and FEMA want all survivors in camps, but they are also keeping track of anyone who comes into the camps who is a known subversive based on previously collected information about citizens. In the camps, there is rampant corruption and an abuse of power of those in charge.
"Life in the camps isn’t what it appears to be. While there is food, water and warmth, the price is near slave labor and virtual imprisonment. In the care and custody of FEMA, backed up by the DHS, those inside the camp have no rights, no freedom and, worse yet, are exposed to the possible brutality of their caretakers. Every barrel has a bad apple, and over time those bad ones start to rot the good ones. Left unchecked this rot can take over the entire barrel. With so much absolute power over so many helpless souls, horrors are bound to be committed. Among those in the camp is our friend Jess, who walked with Thad and me on our long adventure home. We don’t know how she’s faring, but with the mixed reports about the camp, one thing is certain: surviving in the camp may prove far more difficult than the struggle outside." (Location 21)
Once he was trussed up, the DHS woman who started it all came up and spoke with one of the guards. “Here’s his paperwork.”Jess is in a camp and hears from another survivor/prisoner that Morgan is alive and with a group that may be near the camp. She is hoping to find a way to escape the camps.
“Which list is he on?” the man asked, looking the forms over.
“He came up on a couple. He’s subversive by nature.” They grabbed the man by his arms and dragged him out of the tent. Jess slowly got back in her chair, thinking, What have I gotten myself into? (Location 79)
As they went through the line turning in their trays, Jess whispered in Mary’s ear, “I want to find out if they know where Morgan is. If he and Thad are nearby, we can go there.”I agreed to review the latest installment of this series based on the sheer entertainment value found in the action contained in the first two books and not the writing. Here is my dilemma: This time the actual quality of the writing is noticeably better but the forward motion of the story has slowed w-a-y down. Essentially this is a middle book in a series that will be continued for another book (or more). While there is a prologue for new readers the first two books actually introduced the characters and developed them more fully than this third installment. I knew all the characters and what they had been through from the first two books, but new readers won't have that luxury.
Mary cocked her head to the side. “If we can get out of here.”
“Oh, I’ll find a way,” Jess said, with a devious look on her face. (Location 392)
The first two novels also go into much more detail on the preparedness and skills Morgan and others used in their ongoing survival, so anyone interested in a survivalist life style might want to start with the first two books. There certainly are some survivalist techniques present, just not as many.
One thing I want to note is Morgan's strong love and devotion toward his family and his commitment to protecting them. Morgan's affectionate demeanor toward his wife and daughters is actually a nice reflection on the author since it seems that these emotions are obviously a representation of how the author feels in his daily life.
I am conflicted on rating Escaping Home. Based on the improved quality of the writing, I'd be willing to rate it higher than the first two in the series - except the point where Escaping Home ends feels like it was originally just a chapter break rather than an actual stopping point for this installment. The story just stops. It appears that most of the action is yet-to-come in the next book (or two?).
Disclosure: I received a digital advanced reading copy of this book from Penguin Books for review purposes.