SURVIVORS by J. W. Rawles

Discussion in 'Survival Reading Room' started by tacmotusn, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I just finished this new book. In my opinion it was not even close to being as good as "Patriots". I did pick up on a couple of things I had not previously thought of. On that point alone, I guess it was worth every penny. YMMV
    Guit_fishN likes this.
  2. Gafarmboy

    Gafarmboy Monkey+++

    same thoughts here

    I also was very disappointed in the book. It was OK and readable, but did not hold my interest like the first did. I had no mental attachment to anyone in the book. Definitely not his best work. Just to let ya'll know, I am an everyday reader of his blog. His website is my go to site. But this book is just mediocre at best.

    If you can not protect what you own, you won't own it long.
    Guit_fishN likes this.
  3. wideym

    wideym Monkey+++

    I was also disappointed with Survivors. It shifted between too many charaters very quickly in the first half to the point of being confusing. I also disliked the re-telling of Ian's story, it seemed like he was just trying to fill pages.

    Lastly the ending was just so lackluster. I know he was problably trying to make room for a sequel, but if this is an example of his future writing, I'll pass.
    CATO likes this.
  4. Dropy

    Dropy Monkey+

    Just finished the book. It was interesting to say the least. Kinda left me hanging in the end. WAY too many characters spread out all over for my taste. Woulda preferred theat all characters had some of story relation to each other.

    Please dont take this a knock on your book. I enjoyed it overall. These are simply my tastes.
  5. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I'll reserve judgement on Rawles's latest effort,

    Until I read it, but if Patriots is anything to go by, It would have to be a substantial improvement on Patriots to excite my interest.

    Having read Patriots, I am of the view that Rawles's fiction writing makes L Ron Hubbard look like a literary giant.
  6. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    I think Rawles must have read and taken note of all the people criticizing his writing and character development in Patriots. For example, in Survivors, he devotes a whole chapter to how Ian Doyle and his wife, Blanca (the two who flew the kit planes in Patriots) met. I found this chapter superfluous.

    When I read Patriots...I saw immediately that this guy wrote a novel around a survival handbook. That is, you could have a dry, technical manual that describes how-tos on several situations, or, put those same situations in a novel and tie everything together in one plausible story.

    When I read his stuff, I'm not really looking for Steinbeck or Mary Shelley. I keep a pad and pen ready and I jot down concepts/ideas when he brings them up in a story. For example, the section describing the portable radio that Andy Laine uses to listen to and contact his brother was fascinating. I took copious notes with instructions to learn more about the transceiver. Ditto that for the description and utility of the All American 5 radio.

    The writing/story...meh, just a wrapper to good info IMO.
  7. ChrisNuttall

    ChrisNuttall Monkey+++

    This is pretty much my opinion. It's unfair - Rawles writes useful non-fiction stuff - but the book is so bad that one tends to damn the ideas by association.

    Tully Mars and chelloveck like this.
  8. sjoerdvan

    sjoerdvan Monkey+

    I was not impressed

    He has a great idea but can't put it to paper correctly!
  9. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    Please explain.
  10. ChrisNuttall

    ChrisNuttall Monkey+++

    The basic idea behind Patriots is cool, but there are a number of problems with the story.

    1) The characters are all flat and wooden. They don't react to the situation like true people. Some of the enemy characters are bad parodies. Some characters seem to have no purpose apart from declaiming a certain political view.

    2) The geopolitical situation post-crash beggers belief. WTF is the UN doing invading the US or even trying to 'peacekeep'? And with what? The crash would have hammered the EU even worse than the US.

    Don't get me wrong. A really cool novel could be formed around the 'UN invades US' premise, but this isn't it.

    3) Much of the war consists of wishful thinking and handwaving. Some of the examples given by the good guys are absurd. In at least one part the whole plotline is derailed while the book expounds on radio tech. And then the whole war is barely touched upon.

    In short...too much detail, too little character development.

    chelloveck, Tully Mars and jasonl6 like this.
  11. jasonl6

    jasonl6 Monkey+++

    I agree, Chris i love your writing style, write us up a good SHTF novel that is not based in outer space :)

    STANGF150 likes this.
  12. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Did anyone else notice that "Survivors" appears to be a prequeal to "Patriots"? I have to admit I missed it until it was pointed out to me by a prepper who doesn't post here. Of the 2, I preferred "Patriots". Maybe "Survivors" was written first. ..... jmho
  13. wideym

    wideym Monkey+++

    I loaned my copy to a co-worker who had already read and liked Patriots last week. He also is disappointed in Rawles second book, citing all my reasons.

    He was mainly disappointed that Rawles character development and story line seemed worse than Patriots, when he (like me) expected it to be much improved over his much earlier work, not the reverse.

    It kinda reminded me of those kids auditioning for American Idol, who couldn't carry a tune in a bucket, yet someone must have kept telling them they had the voice of an angel. Where was his editor?
  14. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    It very well could be a prequel to his book "Patriots".
    That would make a lotof sense. Many writers start something, get distracted then they come up with a better idea and finish it, only to return to the first and try to make it work. As in this case it rarely is their BEST work.
    Maybe JWR will have yet another, better novel...?
    It's a lot like comparing a 1st movie, then try to sequel it later on, not unlike the star wars series....When it was rewritten to be 1, 2, and was not great in comparison to the 4 th, 5th and 6th!
  15. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    This is explained in Survivors. They did not invade...they were asked to come here by the provisional govt (and bribed).

    It's not a happens concurrently. There is only one "crunch;" this just happens to be another set of stories within that same time period. In Survivors there's a bit of overlap when Ian and Blanca land at Todd Gray's retreat. To put another way, the same event happened in both books.

    Regardless of either book's literary merits...they make you think, and when you think, you're no longer 'sheeple.'
    jasonl6 likes this.
  16. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I tried to read Patriots, just couldn't get into it so I never finished it. Doubt that I will read Survivors.
  17. jasonl6

    jasonl6 Monkey+++

    I enjoyed the book. Anyone from texas area know what he were talking about shooting 2 5/8 pistons out of makeshift cannons?

  18. ChrisNuttall

    ChrisNuttall Monkey+++

    It still doesn't make any sense, for several reasons;

    -The Provisional Government would suddenly become very unpopular with the American public. Given what little we saw of it in Patriots, it was pretty useless...but I'm not even sure that the foundation of such a useless government is likely to happen.

    -The Provisional Government would also irritate their local military force, who would resent the newcomers and see them as offensive.

    -The European Governments would NOT be able to provide more than a small number of troops. Given the massive geopolitical earthquake, the EU will have FAR too many problems at home to make a major commitment to occupying large parts of the USA. What price American soil if the homelands are lost?

    -Assuming that the above point is somehow neglected, the EU would have to provide literally millions of fighting men to the US. The US is not exactly a small country and the communities that survived the crash will be tough, hardy and armed to the teeth. Counter-insurgency is dangerous enough at the best of times; bear in mind that Iraq, which is far smaller than the US, was still a very close-run thing for the US military.

    It would make a great deal more sense, I think, to have the newcomers be effectively mercenaries looking for a new home. The provisional government could promise land to those who fought for it for five years. (Humm...that could be in a story I might write.)

    jasonl6 likes this.
  19. ChrisNuttall

    ChrisNuttall Monkey+++

    I could do that...

    We could all brainstorm and then I could whip it up into a story...

  20. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    I can tell you haven't read the book, so I don't really see why you would comment on it...either good or bad. It's like giving a bad review of a Chinese restaurant, even though you haven't been there, because you don't like Chinese food in general.

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