Being a huge fan of the original Red Dawn, released in 1984, I was excited to watch the latest incarnation of this fictional World War 3 invasion of America. Let’s just take it as a given that the logistics of such an invasion make it practically impossible. With that said, the idea of a small group of regular people engaging in guerrilla warfare tactics on familiar turf has a certain appeal to the John Rambo kid within all of us! Obviously, with the Cold War era behind us, the threat of such an invasion is even more unlikely. Not to mention, why would anyone bother to invade a country physically when they already own it economically? Though the invaders are North Korean, the implication is that they have the full support of China. With practical matters out-of-the-way, the recycled story of resistance against a superior enemy is enjoyable. Though it has its share of superficial relationships and some teenage “corny” moments, Red Dawn is packed solid with action and the scenery is much more enjoyable in high-definition compared to watching it on the giant old 200 lb 24 inch tv on the videocassette recorder! Part of the enjoyment in this remake is nostalgia, I suppose, but as long as your expectations aren’t too high and you are able to accept an unrealistic plot, Red Dawn is a fun diversion.
Written as a prequel to The Last Pilgrims, W1CK is a compelling story that takes place just days before the devastating apocalyptic war that leads to the return of a new Dark Age. Though W1CK started as a short story, Michael Bunker and Chris Awalt have created a thoroughly entertaining and surprisingly thoughtful and contemplative apocalyptic novel. W1CK begins as Clay Richter, a disenchanted widower, makes his way through the devastation and aftermath left by Hurricane Sandy as he travels to his country home in Ithaca, New York. Unfortunately, Clay, who is hopelessly unprepared for his journey, stumbles upon a decades old plot, set in motion by secret forces in the former Soviet Union, to destroy the United States. This dark apocalyptic conspiracy is depicted through a steady stream of colorful metaphors and dialogue, creating a deeply human story. In some ways W1CK is a fictional exploration of the very notion of imprisonment. Initially Clay seeks to escape an invisible prison ruled by consumerism. Later, through a series of unfortunate events, he finds himself in an actual prison filled with dangerous sociopaths. Through his imprisonment, Clay has an epiphany of sorts and realizes that he is indeed imprisoned mainly by his own desires. Regardless of ones political or religious views, isn’t it, in fact our desire for safety and comfort that is the very structure of our jail cell? One of the very causes of our suffering is our constant struggle to escape from suffering. (as if spoken by the Buddha himself! ) Conspiracy, espionage, survival and understanding in the early days of the apocalypse, W1CK is quite an enjoyable and insightful book that I can easily recommend.
V for Vendetta meets the American Patriot. Isn’t it interesting how the ideas of self-sufficiency and smaller government have indeed become revolutionary in modern times? Wouldn’t many of us be on a POI (person of interest) list In an era where taking responsibility for the well-being of yourself and your family is considered subversive by the powers that be. Glen Tate’s 299 Days series forces a person to question their ever-increasing dependence on a bloated, incompetent and corrupt government. In The Stronghold, the fourth book in the 299 Days series, the faltering economy has the government on the ropes, grasping to power through bribery, propaganda and downright thuggery. The economy has failed on a massive scale. Food, fuel and medical supplies are becoming scarce. The government is handing out electronic ration cards called “FCards” to feed the masses. These “FCards” are funded through the confiscation of funds in bank accounts and 401K’s which people can no longer access. Unfortunately, through desperation, many people, especially in larger urban areas, are happy to get help from the government and eagerly hand over the last of their civil liberties for these rations. In contrast, Pierce Point, while dealing with the same scarcity, is becoming a bastion for common sense cooperation. People are looking for a simpler, practical, common sense approach to community. Don’t misunderstand, Pierce Point isn’t some self-sufficient, Constitutional utopia but Grant Matson, his friends and neighbors are willing to work together in a fair and common sense way that might just make our grandparents proud. The Stronghold presents some compelling possibilities and is an insightful exploration into the all too real possibility of an economic collapse.
Not to mention, we’re quoted on the back cover! :)
It looks like the Governor bit off more than he can chew in The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 7 “When the Dead Come Knocking”. Rick and his crew have seen their fair share of hard times and won’t be bowing down to Woodbury and its cronies. There is some undeniable karmic righteousness when evildoers underestimate their victims. Call it what you will but a natural order exists that is inevitably restored to all circumstances, eventually. The Walking Dead is like so many other well told stories and stirs up some ancient archetype that we recognize unconsciously and find so appealing. Or maybe it’s just some good old zombie skull crushing fun. You choose, either way, or both is just fine with me! Enjoy!
The Reawakening puts a brand new slant on the zombie apocalypse. Joseph Souza’s mutant monsters, which come to be known as “fuckers” are different from traditional zombies in that they often take on features of the infected animals that bite them. Not only that, in the moments preceding their “reawakening” these creatures have some type of unearthly insight into the true nature of reality. I think that mutant zombie is an appropriate name for these reawakened creatures as it becomes apparent that their origin involves some type of genetic experimentation that has gone horribly wrong. Shortly after Thom and his daughter Dar arrive on a trip to visit Thom’s brother in rural Maine, animals and people begin to act very strangely and become increasingly violent. Apparently this abhorrent behavior is caused by some type of new disease that turns the infected into violent maniacs. Worse than that, the diseased are somehow able to reanimate after death and turn into monsters that are driven to consume human flesh. Under constant threat of attack from these reawakened creatures, Thom, his daughter and a small group of survivors are forced to spend a nightmarish winter barricaded in a fortified cabin that is surrounded by an improvised perimeter wall made up of snow, ice and rotting mutant zombies.
Faced with their own destruction and the insanity of their disgusting new world, the survivors have some ”reawakenings” of their own. Like some other post-apocalyptic, kick ass female characters, Thom’s daughter Dar discovers her true purpose through the traumatic, violent events in the early stages of the apocalypse. In the spirit of Stephen King’s Cell ( is something in the water up that way? ), Joseph Souza reinvents the traditional zombie and creates an entirely new mutant freak. He deserves a great deal of credit for venturing out in his own direction instead of recycling the standard zombie concept. While it may upset some zombie purists (if there is such a thing?), I think most fans of zombie fiction will find The Reawakening to be a bold, surprisingly refreshing and thoroughly entertaining story.
In honor of the recent release of books 3 and 4 of Glen Tate’s timely new book series 299 Days, I am giving away paperback versions of books 1-4. As if torn from the current headlines, 299 Days places you on the precipice of an economic disaster and then pushes you right over the edge. Enter for your chance to win the first 4 books in this powerful and eerily realistic book series below:
Brushfire Plague, written by R.P. Ruggiero follows the early stages of a worst case viral pandemic that devastates the population. The publisher, Prepper Press, has provided us with a hard copy of Brushfire Plague to review but I will be giving this copy away unscathed since I am reading this on my Kindle. I’m thoroughly enjoying this book so far (I’ve read approximately 3/4 of it) and will be posting a review when I finish it. In the meantime, enter the giveaway by liking Apocalyptic Fiction and Brushfire Plague on Facebook through the Rafflecopter widget below: