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First let me say that this series is excellent. Great characters, and the story itself is amazing. Book three, broadened the story line, introduced more characters,and was a well written, third installment. I literally read it in two days, (dang job). I need more, and I really hope that the author continues the saga. Amazing read!
“Behind every great leader there was an even greater logistician.” ... This book, the third in this series takes a different tact then every other post-apocalyptic book out there by concentrating on the mechanics of survival in a world of misery. Battles are won or lost often times well before the opposing sides face each other, by which side is the better prepared. Arthur didn't become the Caravan Man without first becoming a master logistician and tactician; someone (perhaps) the only one that really saw the big picture and understood what it would take to accomplish his goals. This was an amazing book for the detail that Arthur put into his planning and execution of those plans. An amazing story, highly recommend.
First two books had extremely graphic language using just about every sexual connotations to acts - the plot was great, action non-stop, killing constant. Premise of flu pandemic killing almost anyone who was an adult but leaving children orphans and targets for sexual predators. Hero rescued orphans and killed, stalked and destroyed evil people. Prepped for huge compound to live and protect survivors, especially orphans.
As I raced through all three of the Viral Misery books, I couldn't put them down. The characterization, plotting, action and imagery (a billion rats streaming on the freeway, eating everything in their path and allusion to Leiningen Versus the Ants) are great. Attention to detail, whether construction, logistics, animal population dynamics.. Some of the language is off-putting, obscene sexual imagery, everyone screams, shouts or shrieks, no one simply "says" and what is a "startle". There are some other problems. Yes, Wilson Combat makes excellent pistols and long arms but nothing to orgasm over. One of the characters puts a thousand rounds of .45 ammunition through the love of his life, a Wilson 1911 pistol each day for ten days. I know a bit about pistols and I've spent a lot of time shooting them. That's not possible. A friend, now deceased, fired 150 rounds of hardball .45 ammunition through his 1911 one day. His forearm swelled to the size of a baseball bat with inflamed tendons. He waited a week as the swelling went down and did it again. Twice more like that and he had permanently damaged his arm. The idea of shooting a thousand rounds of .45 in a day is absurd. I also know about nuclear weapons, more than the Watsons. In the book, the main character claims that the US military made the nuclear weapons arsenal unusable by breaking open a few weapons and spreading around highly radioactive materials to contaminate the other weapons for thousands of years. In fact there are no "highly radioactive materials" in nuclear weapons outside of milligrams of tritium, gaseous unstable hydrogen. The stuff in a bomb becomes "highly radioactive" only after the bomb goes off. Beforehand the Plutonium and Uranium are very long lived, not very radioactive materials. They constitute an internal hazard (a bad one) if dust is inhaled but U and Pu dust would wash away in days to months or under the urging of a firehose (assuming you don't have to file an environmental impact statement). Still, I thoroughly enjoyed the books a look forward to more.
I purchase each Thomas Watson book as soon as it is available. His ability to combine detail, passion, violence, values, romance and well developed characters in a thoroughly engaging stew transcends the normal standard of pulp fiction. The combination of the unexpected with the meticulous development of his worlds is extraordinarily well done. He is a master storyteller.
Only a couple of criticisms. His books could be a bit leaner as they can be exhausting as well as entertaining. Pages of bridge construction methods, senseless chapter long dialogues that are more vulgar and less interesting than the need to be and countless encounters with entitled, squalling children would not be missed- at least by me. That having been said-looking forward to his next publication.