I love this genre of books and was eagerly awaiting the release of the this book; so much so that I decided to buy it the day it came out at B&N instead of per-ordering, even with overnight shipping I wanted it faster (its cheaper on Amazon BTW). I tore into it a read it one day and with every page that I turned I found myself saying this is going to get better, next page, next chapter, etc. Bad news? It didn't. Good news? It's a short book.
The writing style is disjointed and difficult to follow. Rawles jumps from character to character with no real pattern, he also jumps from 2 years before the crunch to 15 years before the crunch to 4 years after crunch and back and forth. I can't tell if this is a prequel or a sequel or a stand alone book. There are many of the same characters from Survivors and a couple of new ones. It is very obvious that Rawles is a religious person but the 10-15 pages that he explains the religious beliefs of one of main characters does NOTHING to move the story forward and in fact it slows it to a crawl and adds NOTHING to the story. If you are looking for survival ideas or tactics, keep looking... This book doesn't even have the same level of "product reviews" that Survivors had. There are no new tactics or ideas that he didn't all ready introduce in the last book. Religion is a constant and I do mean constant theme throughout the book and while I agree with him that in a survival situation that faith is important; I disagree with his unstated premise that only people that turn everything over to God and pray 60 times a day are going to survive and thrive post collapse.
The book has no major grammatical errors and in that respect is easy to read but the timelines that he uses is...well... in a word HORRIBLE! When he finally gets around to talking about how the PROGOV is overthrown (around page 250 or so), he absolutely blows through almost 4 years of conflict in less then 50 pages (of a ~320 page book). NO details, few "battle" scenes and all of sudden in one swoop it's over and we won and then BAMMMM we faster forward 178 years after the crunch to a world nearly 2 centuries in the future with a short description of how things changed and then mercifully its over.
Bottom line, this book is a weak attempt at post apocalypse/post collapse fiction, if you REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to read it, save your money until it comes out in paperback or even better, the $1.99 Kindle release. It was a pretty quick read and I don't think it deserves only 1 star, but 2 stars for this book is an early Christmas present. Overall this stinker is not worth your hard earned money.