The End & The Long Road - G. Michael Hopf
The End: For Gordon Van Zandt life once was one of duty and loyalty to his country, so when 9/11 happened he dropped out of college and joined the Marine Corps. This youthful idealism vanished one fateful day in a war torn city in Iraq. Ten years later, he is still struggling with the ghosts of his past but must now face a new reality thrust on him and his family. North America, Europe and the Far East have all suffered a devastating Super-EMP attack that has caused catastrophic damage to the power grids and all electrical devices. With nothing working from cars to phones and with the total collapse of the economic infrastructure, Gordon must fight for the limited and fast dwindling resources. He knows survival requires action and cooperation with his neighbors; but as daily life continues to break down so does all sense of civility within his community. With each passing day Gordon makes choices that would seem extreme in today's world but necessary in this new world.
The Long Road: It has been 6 weeks since the attacks; the United States is a wasteland of starving bands of survivors, mobs and gangs. Millions are dead and millions more are suffering and will die. For Gordon, Samantha, Sebastian, Cruz and Barone, the turmoil and chaos they dealt with before will seem trivial now as the real collapse of society plays out before their eyes.
They all have suffered great loss but what is coming towards them on the journey ahead will test their sanity. Uncertainty abounds as they all travel different paths in search of a safe place to call home. The one thing that is certain, The Long Road will take its toll on all of them.
I am in no way one of those crazies that thinks the world is going to end in some super traumatic way. I won't lie though, books like this freak me the hell out. Because in the back of my mind, I have to admit this really all is possible. And if this were to happen, I would most likely be dead within a week what with my aversion to the outdoors and having to go to the bathroom outside. I also am a fan of warm water, electricity, music, Wendy's french fries and crispy chicken sandwiches, and shopping.
You can see how I probably wouldn't last long.
The synopsis of these books is basically a super huge EMP is set off above the United States at the same time a huge nuclear bomb is dropped on Washington, D.C. In a matter of seconds, the country is thrown basically a hundred years back or more. No government, no modern amenities, absolute chaos, and everyone is terrified. Rightfully so. Fortunately for Gordon Van Zandt's friends and family- he's a Marine and he knows how to survive in the worst conditions. He beats himself up for not being more prepared, but when you realize how well he pulls things together in a few short hours essentially beating everyone to the punch, you hope he at least gives himself a little bit of kudos.
Once the neighborhood, and the rest of the country, figures out what is actually going on- the grim reality of survival kicks in. It really is survival of the fittest. Those with weakened bodies obviously die first- there is no medicine to help them. Anyone who was in the hospital is basically gone because machines that kept them alive are useless. Then those who aren't in that scenario basically become wanderers. Like referenced in the book- look at Hurricane Katrina and the chaos that erupted there- this would be times a million. You don't know who to trust, and while you're raised to help thy neighbor, you also have to be realistic and save your family and yourself first, so it's every man for their own.
If you are not a fan of post apocalyptic books, you are not going to like these. If you are, and you are really big into military training and government, you are probably going to like these. I'm in the middle. I'll be honest- I didn't really understand a lot of the military aspect of this, but I've never been in the military. I also zoned out a little on the government areas because that is a bit boring for me. What I did pay attention to was the actual scenes with people basically fighting for their lives. It really does make you think about what you would do, hypothetically, if you were in this situation. It really is terrifying to think about. I'm a pretty calm person but you better believe I would lose it. It also makes me think those people on that show Doomsday Preppers maybe aren't crazy after all.