Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Blog Tour with Reviews: The New World Series (The End and The Long Road) by G. Michael Hopf @TLCBookTours @gmichaelhopf

Title: The End

Author: G. Michael Hopf

Series: New World #1

Publication date: January 7th, 2014

ISBN: 9780142181492

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.

Available at:
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Title: The Long Road

Author: G. Michael Hopf

Series: New World #2

Publication date: January 7th, 2014

ISBN: 9780142181508

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
The End was just the beginning of the new world….

Only six weeks have passed since a super-EMP attack devastated the United States, but already, life has changed dramatically. Most of America has become a wasteland filled with starving bands of people, mobs and gangs. Millions are dead and millions more are suffering, with no end in sight.

For Gordon, Samantha, Sebastian, Cruz and Barone, the turmoil and chaos they dealt with in the early weeks after the attack will seem trivial in comparison to the collapse of society that plays out before their eyes. Uncertainty abounds as they all travel different paths in search of a safe place to call home. The only thing that is definite is that The Long Road will take its toll on all of them.

Of course, I had to read the sequel! Why would I simply read the first book and not continue on in a series that marks one of the best dystopian worlds I have ever found myself entrenched in. When asked whether I wanted to read the first book, second, or both, I naturally went for all I could get (and that was even before I knew I was going to adore them). After reading The End, I couldn't wait to find out what happened to Gordon and the rest of the motley crew of characters.

In The Long Road, Gordon, his family, and a caravan of his best and brightest neighbors are on the way to Idaho where they hope to find safety and a place to start over. Gordon's family owns property out that way and he figures that's as good a place as any to begin forming his own community. What Gordon didn't count on was that danger would lurk around every corner. He and his group have not even made it out of California before they are plagued by violence and devastation. 

Whereas before Gordon's instincts worked in his favor, now they threaten to be his downfall. His desperation to always have enough resources for his people drives him to investigate a military base outside of Barstow, California. This mistake in judgment and the determination of his eight-year-old son to help his father, leads them both to be captures by a religious zealot and his psychotic followers. Now Gordon can only hope to find a way to escape with his son and find his way back to his wife, daughter, and group. 

Meanwhile, the government is collapsing and Colonel Barone has set himself up to be it's new leader with the help of his Marine followers. Little does he know but the current government AND a drug cartel leader both have their eyes set on running the ruined country. 

Sebastian has sought out his brother's neighborhood but found only death. Others and even, almost, his own when his helicopter crashes. He is rescued by a Mormon community headed by bishop Sorenson and his very attractive daughter. Sebastian is torn between continuing his search for his older brother and staying with the Mormon's to be the leader they so desperately need.

Gordon, Sebastian, Colonel Barone, and others all have a lot to accomplish and a long road ahead of them in all their goals.

This book was vastly different from the first book. The first book set the stage for the new world and this one was more into a concise story line of events and character development. I was more emotionally drawn to the characters than I was in the first one. I felt their plights. I was teetering on the edge of my seat most of the time, reading as fast as I could so I could know what happened to some of the fictional people I had come to admire or love. Avoiding spoilers, I absolutely sobbed my eyes out at some points in the book. My heart broke, my stomach turned, and rage coursed through my veins the likes of which I have ever experienced in all the books I have read. In short, this book rocked my world.

Hopf's New World series continues to make me appreciative of the things I have and the world of luxuries our country has. A Long Road will make it's readers who have children clutch them tight and never want to let go.

Available at:
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Rest of the Tour
January 7th: Bookish Outsider
January 8th: She Treads Softly
January 8th: The Prepared Ninja
January 10th: Bound by Words
January 13th: Prepared Housewives
January 14th: Florida Hillbilly
January 15th: Book Nerd
January 21st: Total Fan Girl
January 22nd: Sara's Organized Chaos
January 28th: Read. Write. Repeat.
January 29th: A Dream Within a Dream
February 3rd: Reading Reality
February 10th: The Weekend Prepper
February 12th: The Bookworm

About the Author:
G. Michael Hopf is the best-selling author of 'The End - A Post Apocalyptic Novel' and its sequel, 'The Long Road'. He spent two decades living a life of adventure before he settled down and became a novelist full time. He is a former U.S. Marine combat veteran and bodyguard. He lives with his family in San Diego, CA>

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