Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Birth of the Peacekeepers

Since buying a Kindle, I've been introduced to so many authors I'd never heard of before, and I'm always excited to find new books in this genre of end of the world and survival. Birth of the Peacekeepers by Ricky Sides was a new one to me & I really wanted to love it, and although I enjoyed it, if I gave One Second After only 4 stars, I can't stretch to more than 3 1/2 for this one.

The story itself is told a little differently to most. Many EOTW books are told from the perspective of average citizens; their struggles for survival, their suffering and very often traveling through the country, seeking food and refuge. Peacekeepers is different. It is the story of three men - Jim, Pete (his friend) and Tim (his brother). All of these men are fully equipped to deal with the atrocities & disasters that have destroyed the world as we know it: earthquakes, tornadoes, plane crashes. Tens of millions dead in America alone. The Government has collapsed, the police forces disbanded, the army killed or turned bad.

Yet all of our characters were prepared - trained survivalists; experts in weaponry, martial arts and general survival. You know the peeps who have not just one underground bunker but two? The stockpiles of food. The semi-automatics hidden in the wall. These are our heroes. But rather than appear paranoid & believing in conspiracies & doomsday prophecies (let's face it, many do), they are calm, collected and organized. They're ready for the end & they know how to survive.

All of these men are basically Good Guys. They'll stop and help anyone in need. They'll teach them survival & they'll protect the innocent. They are Who You Want On Your Team. It's an interesting take on a story that's been written about a thousand times.

Sadly it did fall short in several areas. While the formatting for Kindle is just fine, it needs a heavy dose of editing. Punctuation and grammar -ick! Now, I am not a professional critic, an English major or an editor. I'm just a reader. But the really poor punctuation issues became irritating at the 25% mark & borderline put-the-book-down at the 50% mark. Almost all of that could be eradicated with a good word processor, let alone a decent editor. A thesaurus would be good too. With a print length of 342 pages in paperback, the word marauders was used 236 times. I really just can't imagine that people use that word so often!

The style of writing is very simplistic & the character development needed some work - particularly for Tim and the side characters. Jim & Tim were overly nice at times - always smiling and grinning to show their good side, and their chivalry became a little monotonous & unbelievable. I do believe that, with editing and reducing a lot of the unnecessary word count (he said, she said, then she said, then he said, he smiled, he grinned, she said smiling), much more of the tale could be dedicated to developing the characters, or perhaps demonstrating some of the other struggles the average person would be facing, aside from the sociopathic marauders.

Out of 5, I'd give the concept a 4 1/2 but it loses another point for style. Not a bad story at all, and at a bargain price of just $1 on Kindle, it's worth a look.

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