2 out of 4 stars
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Talon has been a military man for much of his life. Now, he takes the odd contract job while trying to spend as much time as possible with his wife and their triplets. He's currently starting a new position outside of Washington, DC when everything "hits the fan."
The morning Talon is supposed to begin work, he wakes up to no power, no cell, and no working cars. Fearing the worst (an EMP and possible terrorist attack), he knows he must make his way back to his family in Texas before things get really bad. How will the world survive now? Will Talon make it back to his family?
I'm always up for a good survival novel, and Lone Star Odyssey by David Wilson promises exactly that. There is strong language throughout as well as violence and adult themes; therefore, I wouldn't recommend this for younger children. The novel is around 250 pages and is a quick read.
Talon himself narrates the story in the first person. This creates a stream of consciousness style that keeps the plot fast-paced. I enjoyed Talon as a character. He knows what he wants from life, and he's just the type to survive in this situation. The author helps us to know him better with flashbacks, and I enjoyed this glimpse into the protagonist's past.
While there are secondary characters, we don't learn much about them. Also, there is a suspicious lack of females with the author having only one token woman joining Talon's group. Beth knows her way around a gun, but she still isn't the strong female archetype I would have wanted. Mr. Wilson missed an opportunity to provide a more well-rounded cast.
The book, though, suffers from an extreme lack of proofreading. I found the first ten errors before the epilogue ended. Run-on sentences abounded along with incorrect tenses, missing words, and homonyms. These were quite plentiful and distracting. Additionally, the formatting needed work. Everytime a new character speaks, there should be a new line, but there wasn't. Sometimes flashbacks were delineated but not always. This contributed to the confusion I felt.
Balance can be difficult to find in a fiction novel. Too few and you haven't successfully created an immersive world. Too many and you've lost your audience. Unfortunately, this author errs on the overly detailed side. Talon lists every item he considers taking with him while he's preparing. My eyes started to glaze over. Similarly, I don't need to know each type of gun, ammo, and holster the characters use. In fact, if you aren't familiar with guns or military abbreviations, you might find yourself lost.
I feel compelled to mention that the book ends on a cliffhanger. This novel merely gives you the beginning of the story. It covers the start of the end of the world and only continues a few days afterwards; it's enough to get your feet wet and have you begging for more.
All in all, I enjoyed reading Lone Star Odyssey as it was a fast-paced, action-packed story. It has potential; however, the plethora of errors, military terms, and extreme details have me rating this 2 out of 4 stars. This would be enjoyable to those who enjoy post-apocalyptic literature, especially survival and prepping (with an emphasis on EMPs). Though the book needs work, Mr. Wilson is an author to watch for in the future.
Lone Star Odyssey
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