Author: G. Michael Hopf
Series: New World #1
Publication date: January 7th, 2014
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
What would you do to survive?
Young Gordon Van Zandt valued duty and loyalty to country above all, so after 9/11, he dropped out of college and joined the Marine Corps. This 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 when a new reality is thrust upon him and his family: North America, Europe and the Far East have all suffered a devastating Super-EMP attack, which causes catastrophic damage to the nation's power grid and essential infrastructures. Everything from cell phones to cars to computers cease to function, putting society at a standstill.
With civilization in chaos, Gordon must fight for the limited and fast dwindling resources. He knows survival requires action and cooperation with his neighbors, but as the days wear on, so does all sense of civility within his community--and so he must make some of the most difficult decisions of his life in order to ensure his family's safety.
I originally signed up for this tour because I was approached about it and I had not read any dystopian books in a while. I need a break from the vampires, werewolves, and romance just to clear my head of all the love triangles and debauchery that often happens in stories of romance. I needed something exciting and that would keep me on the edge of my seat. This book and it's sequel definitely sounded like they fit the bill.
Gordon is a born soldier. He was the best of the best when it came to defending his country and fighting for his government. That was until he gunned down what appeared to be an unarmed Iraqi in the heat of war and was plastered all over the media for being a bloodthirsty tool of a ruthless government. Afterwards, Gordon lost his faith with his government and left the military. Ten years later, he lives a happy life with his wife, Samantha, and two children, Haley and Hunter. He had zero worries. Until the United States started suffering attacks from an unknown assailant which resulted in a Super-EMP being detonated over the country.
Gordon must now put all his long forgotten military training to use. The world with no electrical capability (including those that are used to produce food and drinkable water) has turned into an apocalypse only heard about in stories. Gordon rallies his neighbors and attempts to establish a harmonious community to get through the devastation. But eventually, lack of resources starts to plague even his small gated neighborhood.
Human morality and the customary code of conduct instilled in every living person is tested. It has become a world of kill or be killed. Starvation, gang violence, radiation sickness, and even small diseases and wounds left untreated threaten the lives of all. Gordon's main priority is to care for his family to the best of his ability. And he is set to kill anyone who risks the success of that mission.
I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. I am not a fan of politics. I normally just feel they are a means to debate people about things that can't be changed anyway. But I actually found myself not only intrigued by the decline of civility in the United States populace, but also the scrambling to save and perserve the government after a catastrophe of such epic proportions. It is interesting to see politicians struggle with who to help in the new world and who to leave out to dry. Then you add in the desperation of one man to keep his family safe, the determination of Gordon's younger brother, Sebastian, to find his older brother, and the rebellion of a decorated colonel against his government... you have the makings of a truly astounding work of realistic and believable fiction. Hopf outdid himself in this first novel and I hope that his streak of good fortune continues in the sequel, The Long Road.
If you are looking for a post-apocalyptic read where safety and peace are unrecognizable terms, then The End is definitely for you.