“Joshua” is a post-apocalypse novel that the author ( John S Wilson ), being a fine Loyal Minion who knows I can be bought cheap with free books or silver, sent me for review. Frankly, I thought little of it at first glance. Happily, I was proven wrong. I think that the old adage, Don’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover, needs to be updated for our lovely but short lived Print On Demand era ( transportation and energy costs will absolutely kill the book market after oil gets scarce/dear enough. One wonders if the Internet will survive long enough after that for Kindle to last much longer ). It shall henceforth be read as such. “Do not judge a book based on its authors inexperience, as very talented authors never had a fair hearing under
’s tyrannical reign and are now able to flood the land with their financially unrestrained talent. And thou shalt not judge a book based on its seemingly clichéd story lines. Nor shall you judge, least ye be judged, on past success of other authors and their structured novels. New ways can emerge that are just as if not more satisfying”. If that is too long to remember, feel free to shorten it to “the field is flooded with unexpected amateurs with surprising treasures”. Joshua started out pretty mediocre. I was not impressed with the first thirty pages or so. Luckily, the author suddenly hit his stride and it was a nice story after that. Will it make the Top Twenty? No. Was it fairly typical of the Epic Quest/Long Walk With Semi-Auto’s And MRE’s genre? Yes. And while it had a fair amount of prepper/survivalist tidbits thrown in as a bread trail to suck you in to the end, they were interesting but probably not earth shattering. No, what really impressed me was that after I put the book down, I said “Damn. That was a pretty good story”. Rather than another cookie cutter routine post apocalypse novel, this was more about the character than the landscape. You took a bit to fit into the main characters shoes ( this is a first novel- I’d expect steady improvement ), but once there I could start to identify with him. New York
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I normally don’t care for “feel good” stories. Guys should share two emotions only, lust and hate ( rude and offensive humor guys love to bombard each other with is a bit of “hate”. I think it is a form of bonding and testing. If you are too much of a girlie man to take ribbing about your pecker being small you won’t be much use to the group as protector ). It is okay to sometimes, if presented in the correct forum, share other feeling such as love for your children. But you can’t over do it and you must include it to conform to the hate emotion ( “I love the little bastards so much if someone hurt them I’d tear off their head and shove it up their ass” ). Joshua did the feel good emotion correctly, a fathers love ( even if in this case it is as a foster parent ) interwoven with protectiveness. Most navel gazing moments were in this context. I hate the standard angst most survival stories try to shove down our throat ( I must pray to Baby Jesus for the correct answer to this perplexing question of taking a sacred life- oh, for humps sake dude. Your purpose in life is procreator, provider and protector. Kill the enemy and let God sort it out. Stop over thinking it and stop anguishing over it. Your tribe is The People. Their tribe is Godless Subhuman Enemies ). In “Joshua” you had a bit of this but not too bad. I could live with it. Their might be a few similarities with Joshua and The Road, but the latter was TOO much angst and navel gazing. Here you have a bit more story, back story and plot.
While in general this novel could be quickly described as “ road trip, father protects and cherishes son”, there are hidden nuggets of treasures throughout you should enjoy. I liked the old geezers hidden basement Compound Of Doom, but especially I enjoyed the Cause Of Collapse. Nothing involved, contrived or outlandish. Simply, hyperinflation trashed the currency and the food distribution system collapsed. Rioting started and goodbye
. I was a bit put off initially over such a simple explanation ( “that’s all he could come up with?” ), but on reflection it started making a lot of sense. The world can end without super volcano’s, nuke war, polar cap meltdowns or whatnot. If the US dollar had collapsed in 1930, everyone still had gold, farms surrounded all cities and most people lived on them, and oil was shooting out of the ground in abundance. Today, if the dollar collapses, nobody is on the farm, cities are surrounded by suburbs to accommodate our overpopulation, food must travel hundreds if not thousands of miles, and people are hoarding debt, not gold ( plus, don’t forget our energy decline ). Back then we fed ourselves without paper currency. Today, almost all of us are dependent on it ( if you aren’t saving buckets of wheat before you are saving paper currency, you are an idiot ). It is oh so feasible that hyperinflation could kill us from hunger followed by social unrest. America
“Joshua” is more of a human interest story set in the apocalypse than a training manual for the apocalypse, but I think you would enjoy it as a story. If you can afford it, I’d recommend it.
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