Dies the Fire: An advanced EMP takes out all electronics and even disables gun powder, sending America into the Iron Age where previous strangers must band together for survival. Excellent storytelling and characters who work to rebuild tribal civilizations and defend themselves. This is the first book in a series of eight that evolve into a post-modern Game of Thrones.
Lights Out: An EMP hits America and a small group of unprepared office workers organize their community for survival. The story is an enjoyable ride following the main characters through vital decisions and heroic bravery. They have a healthy skepticism of the government and propaganda following the attack which allows them to adopt a plan to be self-sufficient. Much can be gained from the many realistic survival situations and circumstances that play out in this story.
Lucifer's Hammer: A new comet is heading to Earth and is not anticipated to hit. However, a newsman works with NASA to promote the discovery to gain more funding to explore the comet. While doing so people begin to fear that the comet will actually hit, which it does. Some are prepared and others must band together and organize to survive. But no one was quite ready to handle the barrage of tsunamis, wild storms, and the creeping ice age. Solid practical survival information, but it's also a compelling story.
The Postman: The Postman is a classic that was made into a lackluster movie. The post-apocalyptic setting is 16 years after the Doomwar that brought nuclear devastation and various forms of dangerous bandits. The story follows a loner, Gordon, who is a wanderer in search of some shred of hope that humanity can live in peace. By luck and circumstance he casts himself in the role of a leader trying to re-establish the US Mail to give hope to surviving villages. Wonderful read, but somewhat lacking in practical survival advice.
One Second After: An EMP hits a totally unprepared America. The story focuses on a small town in North Carolina struggling to survive and weigh life and death. Good storytelling and a believable account of what would unfold in this scenario. This book contains some good practical survival advice while also being an enjoyable read, but it relies heavily on the government ultimately coming to the rescue. That may be the only unrealistic aspect to this novel.
77 Days in September: An EMP terrorist attack hits the continental Unites States stranding the main character 1500 miles from his wife and children.
The book is a narrow tale of his journey to walk from Texas to Montana to get to his family. Scattered throughout is a general idea of how society would break down after such an event, but little in the way of practical survival information.
This story is also unabashedly trusting of the government's official version of events and optimistically hopes for the federal savior to come.
Distant Eden: This is the best book in terms of practical survival information with just enough of a story to keep you reading. The main characters are expert survivalists who have prepared for the EMP that takes down America. It involves a tight-knit family in Texas who make their way to their safe haven location at their father's country house. This is a must-read for the useful prepping information alone.
The Survivors (Series): These captivating books follow a band of survivors of a multi-city nuclear attack perpetrated by rogue elements inside the United States. They must overcome radiation, violent storms, EMP fallout, gangs of cannibals and each other to begin forming a community. To add to the intrigue, the community's leader is from an Illuminati bloodline and the son of the Vice President who was responsible for the attack. He is of pure heart and in search of other "special" survivors to build the future. Excellent story and solid survival tips.
Boca Chita: Prepare. Escape. Survive. This first book will be part of a trilogy that is an all-encompassing look at the aftermath of a the "NOEL" plague released by terrorists on Christmas. The plague has a mortality rate of 99.9%. The few "immunes" who do remain find themselves battling the elements, cholera, their own skill limitations, and each other in a search for the four main sources of safety: food, water, shelter and fuel. It is a frightening and compelling read told in a unique "snapshot" manner with a multitude of sardonic and witty asides, social commentary, and historical notes.
The book's central character is well-placed on a 46-foot trawler off the coast of Florida and is the epitome of a survivalist. As he seeks a safe place away from the contact of anyone infected, he finds the island of Boca Chita to be his perfect secluded outpost. As he forms a safety zone, the reader is treated to just the right combination of fast-paced storytelling and the essential minutiae that all preppers and survivalists must focus on. This new addition to both the island and survival genres is sure to please the casual reader and hardcore survivalist alike. Gaye Levy at Backdoor Survival has just conducted a revealing interview with the book's author, Lance Long, as well as a book giveaway.
Patriots: Patriots is an excellent account of what would happen to America during a monetary collapse. The story follows a small band of preppers through their training and extensive prepping. As the economic collapse unfolds and grips the unprepared nation, even this well-prepared group must face tremendous challenges. The story is not as exciting as some of the other novels on this list, but the detailed practical survival information is worth the read.
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