Framing the Dialogue

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Raven Rock

The subtitle of this book; “The Story of the U.S. Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself–While the Rest of Us Die” while functionally true, is a bit of an extreme statement.  When their is a pandemic or other world ending event where most of us will die, our government has a COG (Continuity of Government).  That should make you feel less than good as those who are planned to survive are our country’s “best and brightest”…you know, the politicians.


Dark Matter

Jason has a pretty good life; a loving wife, a son, a decent job.  He’s not burning up the world, the marriage has cooled off a wee bit as routine has wiggled in.  He’s happy though…until he wakes up as if in a dream where everything is turned upside down.

“Standing happy and slightly drunk in my kitchen, I’m unaware that tonight is the end of all of this. The end of everything I know, everything I love.”

Based on his last memory he should probably be dead, but he is not…he is not sure of anything at this point.


The Tattooist of Auschwitz

If you’ve ever read survival books like The Tattooist of Auschwitz, you’ll often see how fleeting life is and how one different twist would have lead to the death of Ludwig Sokolov (Lale) and then no story.  That’s not a plot spoiler as the book is about his ordeal in Nazi concentration camps.  You should know that the Nazis were very efficient in their killing to the point that each prisoner was tattooed with a unique number.  Ludwig found himself as the tattooist at Auschwitz, a position that came with some perks.  He tattooed numbers on thousands of fellow Jews and other unwanted before they were killed.


The Day After Never – Covenant

“Like his idols Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun, he would sweep across the land like a plague, destroying everything in his way. The thought made him grin. Finally, he was fulfilling his destiny, preparing for the final battle that would decide who ruled the world – a battle he would not lose.”

In his third Day After Never novel, Russell Blake brings to a climax as evil brings its army to destroy.  Magnus personally leads his evil warriors in an attempt to destroy resistance.  Which is more important, a well defended position or overwhelming force, weaponry and manpower.  This is a classic good versus evil story and you’ll have to read to see who triumphs.  Even winning doesn’t resolve everything in these novels.


The Day After Never – Purgatory Road

Purgatory Road is the second in the The Day After Never series by author Russell Blake. In it, our hero Lucas again faces overwhelming odds to save those closest to him while staying one step ahead of some very nasty people.  In this dystopian novel, the world population has been devastated by a global pandemic.  More than half the population have succumbed and a great many of those left have sunk to brutal levels to survive…generally at the expense of others.  Lucas finds himself pushed to help the two who he saved find their promised land before they themselves were found.


The Test

“During the BVA, subjects are placed in traumatic situations. While government studies show that the vast majority of subjects recover completely given the right medication, most show symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder in the immediate aftermath, often during the test. ASD is similar to PTSD in many ways—patients suffering from the former will be diagnosed with the latter if the symptoms persist—but with a focus on dissociative symptoms. These include, but are not limited to, derealization and depersonalization—nothing around you feels real, not even your own thoughts or emotions. Detachment, emotional unresponsiveness, and a general feeling of numbness.”


The Fifth Season

I’m not sure what to say about this novel.  It seems to be very popular, but it just was not for me. The Fifth Season is the first in the Broken Earth Books where certain people have the means to wield the power of the earth for good or evil.  These beings are both hated and needed and it is a parent’s sorrow should one of their offspring be born with the powers.


Die Trying

Imagine walking innocently down the street, a pretty woman hobbled by an injury is struggling out of a dry cleaners store.  You offer your assistance.  She smiles.  Then two armed men take you both prisoner.  We’d probably freak out, but we are not Jack Reacher.  In Die Trying by Lee Child, Reacher is kidnapped by thugs and driven for days in the back of a van with this woman, obviously a woman dear to someone very important; oh and she’s a trained FBI agent.


The Archer’s Tale

“Thomas’s left hand shook as he drew the bow. He was dry-mouthed, frightened. He knew he would shoot wild so he lowered his arm and released the cord’s tension. Remember, he told himself, remember everything you have ever been taught. An archer does not aim, he kills. It is all in the head, in the arms, in the eyes, and killing a man is no different from shooting a hind. Draw and loose, that was all, and that was why he had practiced for over ten years so that the act of drawing and loosing was as natural as breathing and as fluent as water flowing from a spring. Look and loose, do not think. Draw the string and let God guide the arrow.”


The Day After Never

The Day After Never by Russell Blake takes place in the Southwestern United States.  America is torn apart by a pandemic flu that kills a large portion of the population.  Anarchy rules in this Post-Apocalyptic Dystopian novel.  Pockets of civilization dot the countryside barricaded against the lawless groups that roam; looking for easy prey.

“As with most black swan events, so named because they were unpredictable singularities, the combination of the super flu – regardless of whether brought to the U.S. by refugees, illegal immigrants, or returning servicemen – and an economic meltdown had never been envisioned. There were simply no scenarios for it, and when it happened, civilization had unraveled far faster than anyone would have believed.”