Earth reels in the aftermath of a savage solar storm, a global disaster of unprecedented proportion which leaves most of the world without electrical power or the means to restore it. Across the world, the responses of unprepared national governments are too little, too late. In the US, order collapses and opportunistic forces rise to fill the power vacuum, as what remains of a self-serving federal bureaucracy prioritizes the survival of politicians and bureaucrats over that of the general population.
As chaos and starvation spread, isolated pockets of survivors unite to survive. In Texas, Captain Jordan Hughes and a ragtag group of seamen and ex-Coastguardsmen gather their families close and resist the depredations of a hoard of escaped convicts. Meanwhile, in North Carolina, a similarly determined group of survivors attempts to use salvaged resources, not only to save themselves, but also to feed the hungry.
But not everyone is happy about the efforts of the valiant and resourceful few. Secure in his Camp David compound, a corrupt president consolidates power and builds a mercenary force to deal with any possible challenges to his absolute authority and to seize all dwindling resources for government use and fair distribution.
Survivors of the natural disaster are thus dealt another blow as they're betrayed by the very government established to protect them. Do they knuckle under to a dictator, or do they push back?
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Solid follow up!
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series "Under a Tell-Tale Sky" and was very excited with the release of book two.
"Push Back" picked right up where book one left off and it wasn't long before I found myself immersed in a smooth continuation of the story. All of the elements I enjoyed with the first book were present and accounted for: an original story in a genre filled with stereotypes, a satisfying balance of big picture vs individual and group perspective, writing that pulled me back and forth between gripping action and emotion...all topped off with another 5-star Kevin Pierce narration. I was late for work more than once as I sat in the parking lot waiting for the end of a scene or chapter!
Some of the same issues I had with book one still exist but they are minor enough to merely make the story a 4 star rather than a 5 star. Representation of inner city gang culture, the way they speak, and the constant referral to them as "gang-bangers" by absolutely every non-gang character in the book got annoying. I've never referred to gang members as "gang-bangers" myself but apparently every other person in the country does. There were a couple, minor editing issues, something I can't help but pay attention to. Again, minor is the key word here and let's be honest, as far as finding flaws, this is definitely digging.
Much of the confusion I felt moving around in book one started resolving as the story progressed. There are some open ends I see getting neatly tied together in book three and I predict a very satisfying conclusion to the series. In McDermott's notes after the epilogue he will have you believe that he has very little knack for outlining the story and knowing where he's heading; this is not at all evident in the story so far.
I did receive this book from the author in return for an honest, unbiased review. I don't ever play favorites though, free book or not, as I don't appreciate reading dishonest reviews myself. This is not a problem with "Push Back", it was a pleasure to listen to and I'm grateful to the author for the gift. I look forward to the completion of Book 3 although it might be a while since McDermott will only go as far as predicting "sometime in 2017". It's going to be a long wait!
Survivors teaming up in different factions.