Thee_ron_clark's Reviews > Out of the Ashes

Out of the Ashes by William W. Johnstone
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's review
Dec 17, 2011

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bookshelves: post-apocalyptic, action, pulp-fiction
Read in December, 2011

Being that I enjoy post-apocalyptic fiction and needed something lighter to read; I picked up this book. I figured that a series that went on this long must have something going for it. Hmmmm. I'm not convinced on that matter.

The plot is a bit confusing. The world is in turmoil with the Chinese and Russians at the brink of war. There are a number of "rebels" in America aligned under two famous special operations soldiers who are presumed dead. Out of nowhere, all of the world powers decide they have had enough and need a huge war and the rebels appear to play some part in this while not really playing any part in it.

Anyway, a war happens. It's fast and deadly. Nukes. Chemical and biological weapons. Loads of casualties all over the world.

The rebels mostly pull through and are put under the command of a former special forces soldier turned alcoholic author. The author; Ben Raines has no intention of leading the rebels.

The president of the United States becomes a tyrant while Raines reluctantly picks up the pieces to create his own domain with the rebels and others who agree with his uber-conservative politics. The tyrannical president becomes more liberal on crime and such while becoming a terrible dictator.

While this is all going on, race wars break out and Ben tries to resolve the issue of race relations in the new world.

A huge amount of the survivors in America are evil people. They turn to rape immediately after the war and sometimes turn out in droves to rape and murder individuals. Rape is very popular with the bad guys in this story.

Ben Raines is a super stud and practically every woman that meets him wants to have sexual relations with him. Most come on to him immediately after meeting him.

I think that sums it up. Sound confusing? It is.

It appears that Johnstone had some decent ideas going into this. He simply either dragged out or sped through most of it. He also has an issue with flogging a dead horse. That is, he beats the same ideas into the readers head over and over. This is common with other authors as well. Perhaps they simply feel that readers need to be reminded of certain details time and time again. Personally, I prefer skimming back a few pages if I miss something instead of reading an extra repetitive 100 or so pages in a novel.

He also demonstrates some confused ideas of humanity and sexuality. This is pretty typical with Johnstone, who I can only assume is a couple generations ahead of me and shows this in many of his writings. I never know whether to groan or chuckle when the men in his stories tell the women to go make food or clean while they do important things.

Oh well. Typical William Johnstone for the most part, although I did feel that some of his later style improved. I picked up the first three books in this series so I'll get to the rest in due time. When not looking for something that will make you ponder the meaning of your existence, books like this will do in a pinch.

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