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Sean Liscom as the author of "The Ranch Book 1" and "The Ranch Book 2" has done an outstanding job hammering out a post apocalyptic fiction. The plot unfolds after America suffers from the devastating effects of both an EMP and nuclear carnage over many of its major cities. The setting is placed in real time as the thin veneer of civilization is quickly peeled away revealing the violence of a societal collapse. Life becomes a hellish nightmare of death and destruction for those unprepared for this New World run amok with lawlessness. The deceased Jack Sterling, a man of vision, foresight and ultimately a prepper, built a ranch for such a possible event in Nevada. Ordinary people are brought together in this extraordinary time under the leadership of Jack Sterling's son, Jason, within the confines of this small fortress. Outside their walls this small group of chosen patriots attempt to instill justice to the surrounding communities beaten and battered by mass starvation, disease and violence. Here is where the author departs from the usual norm found in many post apoc works by re-introducing the mysterious, departed Jack Sterling and his covert background of murder, espionage and money laundering. This is not your stereotypical story of preppers fighting endless, running gun battles but one accompanied with mystery and intrigue. The storyline is well crafted, action packed, suspenseful and naturally fast paced. Our author is a great storyteller and keeps your interest peaked as you weave through the pages of his two fictional post apocalyptic novels. Like all good books the ending becomes surprising! The one downside of Book 2 are the loose ends leaving us readers dangling. But, then again, there is Book 3 on the horizon making it a trilogy. As an update "The Ranch Book 3" will be released within the coming weeks.
This novel is unusually good from a character development standpoint in this genre. Even if one is not drawn specifically to apocalyptic fiction or EMP stories, this is a book that can be enjoyed just for the quality writing and the drama. I found the story quite realistic despite somewhat improbable extent of provisions within the ranch compound - and that realism was a direct result of the author's skill in pacing and portraying the interactions of a complex mix of people in a believable and entertaining manner. There were no boring parts of this book, and it's long enough that depth could be written without tedium and action could play out with greater realism than shorter quickly-written adventure stories.
This novel is interesting in another, non-literary way. Without preaching or getting political, the author makes a compelling case for being reasonably prepared for improbable but potentially devastating bad luck. He also makes a very strong case (without moralizing) for doing the right thing with respect to one's family, friends, neighbors, and even people in need that may never be met.
Another important thing to me is that this is actually a full novel that stands entirely on its own. It isn't one of those unfortunately common, self-published Kindle books that are chopped into segments and sold as a series. Yes, there is a second book (which I look forward to reading), but this book does not end on a cliff-hanger even though there is clearly an opportunity to add to the series. All in all, a very satisfying read!
I don’t give reviews like all the others like if you want to know what the book is about, read the 1st few chapters. :-)
Not that this book has any, but I also don’t care about the odd grammar or syntax oepsies for our brains misses half of that in any event filling in the blanks automatically. However, it does help if a "typo and grammar dictator" gives it a once over. :-)
The stars given, on the other hand, gives a better idea for it is per individual, not like movie reviews where one individual / or a few, rates a movie really bad yet the masses love it.
For me it is all about the feelings/ideas/fantasies/"living it" a book gives you, when you “get” into the story, it has to grab your attention. THOSE are the best books in my opinion. They deserve the STARS.
Sean Liscom’s book one for The Ranch has just about everything a reader of post apocalypse fiction could want! I mean that sincerely. From the beginning, his characters bring the whole ugly world after an EMP attack to the reader. I can’t say enough about the great character building. He brings together a bunch of very different and very skilled people to accomplish one task, get the ranch up and running. I love how he flushes out every person and place to make the Ranch one of the best books in the genre . I didn’t want it to end and I’m really looking forward to listening to book 2 ! The Ranch is available in kindle or audiobook. Only one so far is in audible, so I’m waiting for book two (not so patiently ) There is book two and three in kindle.
Basically, this book answers the question ‘if I had unlimited resources, how awesome would my survival compound be?’ In short, it’s excellent. A simple, well-woven tale of good vs bad guys set in a dystopian US with a near-mythic Prepper as the hero. Get through the first two chapters before you quit. It’s a pretty good yarn.