Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Founders (The Coming Collapse)” as Want to Read:
Founders (The Coming Collapse)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Founders (The Coming Collapse)

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  873 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
From the author of the instant New York Times bestseller Survivors, comes its follow-up: another lightening-paced thriller about survival in America after an apocalyptic socioeconomic crash.

The world as we know it is gone.

It’s the near future, and thanks to a perfect storm of reckless banking practices, hyperinflation, a stock market gone mad, and the negligence of our ele
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 30th 2013 by Pocket Books (first published September 25th 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Founders, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Founders

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 11, 2013 Charles rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was in the mood for some "popcorn" fare, so I grabbed this book off the shelf at my local BAM, thinking "this should be fun." When I got home, I plopped on the couch and launched into it, preparing to be entertained without being seriously challenged. By page 5, I thought "this guy can't write dialogue for shit." By page 20, I thought "this guy reads too much Clancy." Soon thereafter, I noticed that every character was "good church people." Several pages read like a car mechanic's manual. When ...more
Oct 14, 2012 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: end-times
Having read the two previous novels, Patriots and Survivors, I felt somewhat obliged to read Founders.Now looking back on all three I have to scratch my head and ponder on just what the hell the author was thinking, or not, when he wrote these books. This latest one Founders kind of fleshes out some characters from the previous first two books. So now having read all three here is my comment. Take all three books put them in a shredder, copy, edit cut paste, put a page in here and there and you ...more
Jason Taylor
This book never got me interested. I felt more like I was being preached to than anything else. Not my flavor for apocalyptic lit.
Sep 08, 2013 Alan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book was miscategorized. This is more right-wig fantasy that it is post-apocalyptical. The plot revolves around a financial collapse of the United States and an ensuing break-down in society. The only ones that survive were Christians that didn't live in large cities (or got out of them), stock-piled guns, ammo, food, and home schooled their children.

The book was a difficult to read. At times I wondered if I was reading a survival manual disguised as a novel due to the level of det
Chris Sherwood
Jul 05, 2013 Chris Sherwood rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Im giving it one star, and in doing so am being generous.

Rawles needs to stop writing. His first book was pretty good and they got progressively worse, this one I couldnt even finish. I finally said to hell with it and stopped.

" End of the world as we know it" scenarios have so much potential for a good story, just not when Rawles writes them.

A hint for you Mr Rawles, should you decide to continue writing: Not everyone is a born again Christian, and as such do not need a sermon disguised as a
Oct 30, 2016 Shaun rated it it was ok
All right, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s book review time! This time, our focus is on “Founders”. Well, after a hundred pages, I’ve decided to give up on it. I thought it’d be something I’d enjoy, because it deals with an economic crash that more or less renders the U.S. government powerless, and shows the possible results of said scenario. However, even as something of a dreamer of such a thing occurring, the book just felt bland to me. It felt like something you’d have to be on ma ...more
I was disappointed by Founders. After what I thought was a so-so book in Patriots, I thought the author knocked it out of the park with Survivors. This I feel is a significant step back. The first issue I have is that the main story throughout the book is of the Layton’s journey to their group’s retreat after an economic collapse. I knew this was the case coming in but the details of the journey just weren’t interesting and didn’t add much to the overall story of the three books. If you are read ...more
Sep 08, 2013 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an odd book. It is connected somehow to his 2 other books, but I don't know if this is a sequel, prequel, or just part of the same story. There is an overwhelming detail of trivia things - like details of (apparently) every gun he has ever seen at a gun show. If you took out the details that aren't needed for telling the story, you'd only have half the book. In the beginning there is a lot of details about religion, but then that goes away about a third of the way in - kind of a small co ...more
Jan 08, 2013 Taylonbork rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 20, 2015 Joel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of copy-pasting from the other books. The stories from the precedent finish. A lot of preaching. But I'm happy to see that I survived this book.

The only chapter I did like is the 30th and last : 158 years after the collapse, you'll find out what use will Ignacio Garcia's loot find. Among with some very interesting anticipation fiction. Although the environmental points do sound true to me the others made me laugh.

It's a bit like the author is tired, so instead of making a good narrative
Mar 14, 2015 Wayne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm on page 70, so the book doesn't have much time to get better. I got the impression from the blurbs on the jacket that there would be some kind of political intrigue or at least a more detailed account of how this society unraveled...but so far, no. Just a bunch of vague, racist anxieties about the urban underclass. The action scenes have been okay, some of the tactical stuff seems overblown, but most of all, there's entirely too much religious crap. I feel like I've been tricked into reading ...more
James Wesley Rawles has improved significantly as a writer, as can be seen in this, his 3rd draft of the first book of the trilogy. We hear the same stories, read the same characters, and get the same outcome as the previous two drafts / novels, but the writing is crisper and the dialog generally more believable.

I'm going to call it quits here, whether or not this is the end of this "series". My soul is starting to feel a little oily, and I'll happily go back to my "comfy catastrophe" novels for
Aug 27, 2014 Blair rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the follow-up to Survivors, but follows the writing style of the first book: disjointed and meandering. It reads a lot more like a bunch of newspaper articles than a novel because it keeps jumping around all over to different characters. There is an underlying plot, but no real hero you can get behind.

The topic is interesting and well-thought-out and the detail behind many of the items in the book is outstanding. If you are a prepper, read this book just for the good ideas. If you're in
Dec 01, 2012 Daniel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Filled in some gaps from the first two books, I think he should have stopped writing after the first book or made the first really long and included all three books into one.
Tadd Gestrin
This most recent addition to Rawles' story of a post-collapse United States was consistent in style and storytelling to his previous work, Survivors, and a lesser companion to his original work, Patriots. As a storyteller, Rawles is competent in piecing together a plot. Generally though, his literary skills pale in comparison to other post-apocalyptic writers like Cormac McCarthy (The Road) or William Forstchen (One Second After). Rawles infuses his writing with his politics and religious views. ...more
In Founders, Rawles picks up some story lines from the first two books and paints a detailed and gripping story for what they experienced post collapse with flashbacks to pre-collapse. I loved Rawles portrayal of realistic scenarios for two members of the group who waited too long to "bug out". I was riveted by this storyline not because I didn’t know the ending but because of the depth of the characters and the all too realistic societal collapse challenges they had to deal with. I enjoyed thei ...more
Oct 31, 2012 Sheehan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If there was a "meh" list for prepper fiction, I would place this book on it.

I'm pretty sure most of the narrative established in the first two iterations of this series, "Patriots" and "Survivors" was sufficient, so this third effort really felt a lot like filling in back stories missed in the other two. Founders is more like a remix album of some musicians greatest hits, it lacks the gravity and effort clearly placed in the original foray, "Patriots." Founders leans heavily on religion and sta
Aaron Kleinheksel
This book continues Rawles' "Coming Collapse" books. Sometimes I get the feeling James almost WANTS this scenario to happen. It would make a twisted sort of sense considering how much of his personal fortune and life he has invested in "prepping" himself.

The editing in this one is actually worse, not better, than the previous 2 books in this series. Did no one who read this prior to its publication have a problem with all the small sub-chapter segments following no consistent timeline? Also, the
Henri Moreaux
I previously read Rawles' Patriots and Survivors books so when I saw Founders was out I was interested in reading it.

Patriots was a great book I'd recommend, Survivors took that formula ran with it but ruined it to a degree with the insertion of numerous Christianity references. Continuing on that path, Founders is basically 80% Christianity propaganda / waffle and 20% decent book - and that's being generous.

I get the authors a Christian, I get that he likes to write about characters that reflec
James Wesley Walker is a talented author and a survivalist with a story to tell.

The plot incorporates the elements of a financial disaster which has changed the world. The price of oil has become so high that it is obtainable. The U.S. dollar falters and electricity goes off the grid permitting gangs and law-breakers to band together as law, as we know it, disappears.

Groups of people have prepared by having a disaster action plan, they get together at various places to defend their freedom. Frie
While not the strongest in the first three issue of this series of "Parallel Novels" Founders is a fun read. Filling in backstories from Patriots and Survivors is the main role of Founders.

The backstories flesh out and explore characters and events.

I would have found a bit of typography helpful - if the "seed text" borrowed from the previous volumes were perhaps put in italics it would be easier to know when Founders is building more on the story. Some of the expansions seem so naturally blende
Jan 11, 2013 John rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've read more engaging fortune cookies, and at least I could eat the cookie. This is one of those novels that somehow made it on the NYT best seller list, and for the love of all that is literate, I have no idea why.
You can actually visualize a cork board in the Rawles writing room in which index cards with character names and a map take precedence over plot or character development. His skill as a survivalist may be top tier, but as a writer? Apathy is about the only thing you'll acquire in t
Apr 21, 2016 Joel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is just a bizarre book. With no discernible dramatic arc, wooden characters sporting some fairly atrocious dialogue, the author seems more intent on proselytizing his own unique flavor of survivalist christian libertariansim than telling a good story.

Spoiler Alert: When the end of times comes - which is never fully explained - apparently the only way to ensure you survive is to believe in Jesus, and obey James Wesley, Rawles' stereo instructions for living off the grid.

Tried my best but h
At the start there was some duplication of the second book just as there had been duplication of the first book in the beginning of the second; brings you up to speed in case you read these as stand alone novels. I suppose it could be done, but I think one would be somewhat confused if they didn't read these books in order. There is some closure from books one and two, but it seems I lost track of some people and/or couples; specifically the couple that flew in to the retreat in the ultralights. ...more
Oct 19, 2015 Rashel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
the story is lacking. it bounces across 3 different groups of people and 15 years. And i don't think the groups ever run across each other... a story should be about something specific. this one is like the writer wanted to make points about how to escape a city during unrest, or how to hunt/gather to survive, or how to setup a secure perimeter, or how to barter - he put those parts down on paper, then tried to build a story around them. its disjointed. he could have picked one group of people, ...more
Sep 19, 2015 Andy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't know where to start with this book...

It's a jumbled mess where the bulk of the book has nothing to do with the story in general.

There are weird comments that are out of place with the story like where he notes how glad a lady is that a tattoo shop is closed. It didn't fit with the story, pretty obvious the author just wanted the readers to know tattoos are bad apparently? It was just weird.

The author, a (self-proclaimed) survival expert apparently had no idea about basic science. In th
Nov 10, 2013 Jonah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What I took away from this novel:

Christians have a special insight that makes better preppers, better Americans, and without God, America is doomed to tyranny.

If you want to survive the coming collapse, you'd better brush up on your acronyms. The book contains a fifteen page glossary of them. I am not exaggerating.

Canada and Mexico were also under UN control, for some reason or other that I missed. I know because it was mentioned on page 322. Cool cameo for the rest of North America!

Wait, haven'
William McLoughlin
Sep 09, 2013 William McLoughlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, dystopian
I have read all of the books in this series and, for the most part, enjoyed them. They deal with a socio-economic collapse in the near future and are unique in that their stories run concurrently. The subject matter is extremely interesting as are the experiences of the many characters.
The books can be faulted in a number of areas, however:
~The characters are very one-dimensional and speak woodenly.
~There is an excess of extremely detailed technical information dealing with weapons and equipment
May 18, 2015 George rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
I previously read Rawles' Patriots and Survivors books so when I saw Founders that it was going to be more of the same. However, it is connected somehow to his other two books, but I don't know if this is a sequel, prequel, or just part of the same story. This third book continues part christianity, part apocalypse and part gun catalog. This is an odd book with a lot of copy/paste from the other two books. In the end, the nationalism wins out and all good people go home. It demonstrates, once ag ...more
Oct 03, 2012 Greg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could have liked this book. I have nothing but respect for all the work that Rawles has done in the preparedness community. I couldn't even finish this one.

The "preachy" religious overtones were just too much for me to get past. I read about 70 pages and there was mention of prayer, Christian forgiveness, rhythm method birth control, and the history of arcane Jewish religious sects on nearly every single one.

If you are an exceptionally religious person, you may like the book. If not, y
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Apocalypse Drift
  • Castigo Cay
  • The Pulse: A Novel of When America's Grid Goes Black
  • The Visitors (299 Days, #5)
  • Perdition (The Days of Noah, #3)
  • Unintended Consequences
  • Half Past Midnight
  • Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises
James Wesley, Rawles (born 1960) is an American author, best known for his survivalist-genre Patriots novel series. Rawles is a former U.S. Army Intelligence officer. He is the founder and Senior Editor of, which covers survival and preparedness topics, and has published collected material from this in two books. He also works as a survival retreat consultant. Rawles is a Constitu ...more
More about James Wesley, Rawles...

Other Books in the Series

The Coming Collapse (5 books)
  • Patriots (The Coming Collapse)
  • Survivors (The Coming Collapse)
  • Expatriates (The Coming Collapse)
  • Liberators (The Coming Collapse)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »