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  • Writer's pictureCheyanne Lepka

Book Review - Dead End: EMP Prepper Thriller (911 Book 2) by Grace Hamilton & Jack Colrain

Rating: 2/5 stars

Genre: Thriller, Sci fi

Publisher: Relay Publishers

Pub date: April 2018

Pages: 376

This is the sequel to Dead Lines, a thriller that proposed an EMP strike that turns Jim Parker’s world upside down and throws it in chaos. In this continuation, Parker has new information that might lead him to his daughter, who was kidnapped years before. As they struggle to traverse the ravaged US in order to rescue Sara, his daughter, and other girls from the Church of Humanity, they’re faced with danger from both the Council and scavengers along the way.

Note: I received this book free through Netgalley in exchange for a review.

This post-apocalyptic thriller left me hoping for a lot more. The authors have a knack for detail, but unfortunately, I found it overdone. In combination with a couple world-building and characterization issues, this left me pretty disappointed in this book.

Now, I think there may have been something here, but the two things that really bothered me while reading were over-description and characterization. The over-description slowed the pace of this book quite a bit, and I would argue, not something in you want in a thriller. The dialogue was also stilted in places, and I struggled to differentiate the voices, especially between the girls. With Parker, I wanted to see some growth, but the problem is, he’s not presented as a character who needs growth, except of course, for his convenient drug addiction that he randomly develops at the beginning of the book. To me, Parker is still the same cocky, too perfect alpha male protagonist. Overall, I found him difficult to connect with; he seemed to lack much personality. I thought I would really root for him because he’s aiming to save his daughter, but generally, I was just disinterested in him.

Something else I really struggled with was the world building. It’s nothing remarkable in terms of post-apocalyptic fiction; in fact America has turned into a monolith of men who only want to rape and kill people. Perhaps I’m too much of an optimist, but I would like to believe that the majority of people wouldn’t behave like this in a crisis. Now, I see looting and hoarding, protecting what supplies they have, but I would have liked to see a greater variety in the type of people presented (I had high hopes, given the encounter with the looters early on). Additionally, I just struggled to believe that these three people are going to go up against a lot of armed men (both military and not) and come out alive. Yes, they come out injured, but I'm also questioning their ability to keep going after all their injuries.

Overall, I had to struggle to finish it, even though there was a lot of action. I found myself skimming the vast amounts of detail to figure out what was going on. If a lot of this over-description had been cut down and a little more variation in the encounters had occurred, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more and struggled to put it down.

I would say I don’t really recommend this book. I’m going to put a big content warning here: there is a lot of violence, swearing and rape in this book, and some readers will most definitely find it upsetting. But:

It would appeal to readers who enjoy a lot of violence and heavy description.

This book can be purchased here.

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