Publisher's Note:  

The day was like any other day—until it became “The Day.” At 4:05 p.m. the United States was attacked with an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) weapon. A 20 mega-ton nuclear warhead was detonated high in the atmosphere above Kansas, blanketing most of the contiguous United States and parts of Canada and Mexico with an electro-magnetic pulse that damaged nearly all microprocessors and electronic controls beyond repair. Nearly every system that depends on computers and electronics has ceased to work. The electrical grid goes down. The water system goes down. The sewer system goes down. The phone system goes down. The cellular system goes down. Cars stop. Tractors stop. Radio and TV stations go dark. The internet is no more. No more ambulance services. No more emergency services. No more government services. No more 911. In the twinkle of an eye America is sent back deep into the 19th century. Jill Barnes, a single mom, finds herself stranded on the side of Interstate 459 near Birmingham, Alabama. Jack Chance, a bank vice-president, is stranded on Interstate 85 near Montgomery, Alabama. John Carter, a contractor, finds himself stranded near Leeds, Alabama. Each must travel home to Clarke County in rural southwest Alabama. Follow them as they each make their decisions and journey home while the fabric of American society is torn asunder and criminals run amok. The story is exciting and enlightening, compelling and fast moving, infuriating and redemptive, heart-rending and heart-warming. Keep some tissue close to hand, just in case . . . .

Once Upon an Apocalypse: Book 1 - The Journey Home - Revised Edition

by Jeff Motes

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Overall Review:  

What would you do if the power went out... and didn't EVER come back on?  The author, Jeff Motes, explains the consequences of just that.  Book 1 of 3, Once Upon an Apocalypse: The Journey Home, follows two main characters who are out of town on business when an EMP (an Electro Magnetic Pulse) hits the United States, disabling all electronics.  Jeff introduces many people in this book: some ordinary people who are well prepared, some who are kind of prepared, and some who are woefully unprepared.  The pacing is riveting and very well-written.  Each chapter is from the point of view of one of the main characters so be sure to pay attention to the chapter title to know who is speaking.  Interestingly, each chapter overlaps the action a little so the reader gets to see what the other character is thinking as the story progresses.  If you have an active imagination, this book may make you consider being prepared in your own life.  It has wonderful teaching moments, complete with lists and things the characters had prepared themselves with--or without.  Included are many realistic situations that show man at his best and worst.  This book could be categorized more of an "Emergency Planners Worst Nightmare" than science fiction or dramatic story.  It is definitely a teaching book with a good tale.  The author seems to be well versed in human behavior and what people might act like if things go bad.  It's not about the warrior or the perfect hero; it's about regular people facing the unimaginable.  The reader's emotions will rise and fall with everyone between the covers of this book.  Some are inspiring.  Some could cause the reader to cry.  Some might even incite rage.  In an age of Starbucks and Walmart, Jeff Motes asks the reader to answer a simple question, if the power goes out, are you ready, "just in case"?  I'm not sure if I look forward to book two; however, I do know I have to read it.  There are three books in this series that are already published.  The author does a good job of bringing book one to a fairly good conclusion yet also spurs the reader on to NEED to read the next book.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  5 mild obscenities; 107 derogatory names; 1 scatological word; 1 anatomical term.

Violence/Gore:  3 men attack 2 women and 2 children with intent to rape the women, 1 man shot, blood, death; man is hit on the head with something, passes out, blood; girl found dead, naked and raped (no details); teen boy punches woman in the side of the face and tries to steal something; 3 men attack woman, knock her out, abduct her with intent to rape her, cutting her clothes off, some details of nudity; man tries to take something from another man, 1st man detained; man steals an item and gets shot, some description, no blood; man throws beer bottle at another man; teen boy dead with a bullet in his chest, no gory details; 1 teen boy beaten, tied up, 2 girls beaten, held captive, raped, some nudity but not details; man kills 3 men who are attempting to rape a woman, details of shooting and some blood, no gore; woman is not breathing, man does rescue breathing; man shoots at and runs into 2 people in a vehicle, bullets hit man, lots of blood, both knocked out; 2 men threaten to beat up a family with 2 kids unless the woman has sex with them in payment for something they used; man shoots 1 man in the head, some gory detail; man punches and knocks out a man for being stupid and willing to use his wife as payment; man shoots 2 men who are intent on raping a woman; 6 men are attacking a family, men are intent on raping the wife and young girls, evil men killed; many men attack an unarmed husband and wife, woman raped, man beat up; man & woman kill evil men, some gory details, some blood, death; damage by an IED; gun fight between good and evil, several dead; man kills vigilantes, gets splinters in face, some blood; man points gun at woman; evil men attack police, several dead; man punches another man for making a suggestive offer. 

Sex/Nudity:  Mention of a woman changing clothes, brief mention of bra & undies; woman showers, washes undergarments, clinical, no details of nudity; mention of going braless, clinical; 2 teen girls found naked & raped, no details of rape or nudity; 3 men attempt to rape a woman, cut off her bra, mention of touching, trying to take off her pants, brief details, very emotional; multiple mention of woman's breasts being uncovered, no descriptions; woman strips and takes a shower, no details, clinical; man notices nice curves of woman's hips; woman sleeps leaning against man's back, he thinks it's nice; 2 men want sex as payment for something used; man overhears men talking of raiding a house and raping women; armed men tear off woman's clothes and rape her, details of screaming, mention of nakedness but no details; man and woman are attracted to each other; man and woman sleep in same bed but are fully clothes, no cuddling or sex; man and woman hug, kiss; woman finds naked body of a friend, no details; man makes a suggestive comment.

Mature Subject Matter:  

EMP (electromagnetic pulse), rape of teens and adults, theft, vandalism, collapse of government, militia, revenge, collapse of sewer/water/medical, Armageddon, murder, gangs, guns, vigilantism.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Alcohol used by adults.

Reviewed By Beth
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