My anticipation for reading this book was high. I consider Patriots to be an essential book for any prepper, based on amount of knowledge that is packed into that work of fiction. I have also read Survivors, which was the second book by James Wesley, Rawles, but didn't enjoy it nearly as much as Patriots. I actually had a hard time keeping my interest level up in the second novel, or survival porn, and haven't picked it up since.
Now that I have all the background information laid out for you, I'll start my opinion of the novel. Like I said before, I really looked forward to reading the new novel by this author. I even participanted in the Book Bomb Release Date. A book bomb is a preset date in which everyone waits to order the book, this is so that it will surge to the top of the best seller list. It easily made it into the top 20 list for Amazon. It is currently number 74 on the top one hundred with a release date of Sept. 25, 2012.
The new novel had me hooked into the story at a very early stage - page 18 if I recall correctly. This is about 16 pages later than Patriots. The book itself is 288 pages long, and has the usual Rawles quotes at the beginning of every chapter. The book can be read without having any previous knowledge of the other works, which is both good and bad. I did finish it in five days, and this is without letting other priorities slide ( school, work, family ).
I'll admit that I am a big fan of Patriots, the first novel by Rawles, and the new book had a big shadow to overcome. The book settles in nicely like an old recliner. I enjoyed the book, but found it lacking in any new information or plots that haven't been explored in the first two novels. Ergo, this is the main problem with the book. While the story and writing style are familiar, it doesn't break any new ground. A compendium, or short account, of the other two works made into a new novel. I told my wife that "it felt like hanging out with long lost friends, and then remembering why you don't hang out any more". The same stories get retold, and no new experience are shared.
I don't have any regrets about the time or money that I spent on the book, but really would have liked to have seen some new material. I guess he learned a valuable lesson from George Lucas...could he possibly make any more money by riding a dead horse???