Landfall – Entertaining and Instructive

When the big one hits, such as an EMP, many of us will be miles from home. But what if you were even farther away, like out at sea?

That’s where a handful of people find themselves in Scott B. Williams’ novel, Landfall: Islands in the Aftermath. It’s volume four in The Pulse Series. It’s a story that lets the imagination go to places far away, while giving you and me the chance to ponder how we would face life that’s different than anything we’ve known to date.

There’s a lot of post-apocalyptic, prepper-oriented fiction out there these days, but I’m not interested in most of it. Scott B. Williams has a way of writing about ordinary people struggling to survive, which appeals to me.

At the risk of sounding cliche, Landfall is a page turner. I spoke with Scott about it on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio. Below I’ll tell you about the book, and I’ll drop a few hints about our conversation.

The Novelist

Perhaps you’ve heard one or more of my previous conversations with Scott, and you may be familiar with who he is. He’s a soft spoken and pleasant show guest.

If you don’t know Scott, here’s some background.

Scott B. Williams has been writing about his adventures for more than twenty-five years. His published work includes dozens of magazine articles and fifteen books. His interest in sea kayaking and sailing small boats to remote places led him to pursue the wilderness survival skills that he has written about in his popular survival nonfiction books and travel narratives such as On Island Time: Kayaking the Caribbean, an account of his two-year solo kayaking journey through the islands.

With the release of The Pulse in 2012, Scott began writing fiction and has since written multiple novels in The Pulse Series and The Darkness After Series, with more sequels in the works to each, as well as a new series coming later in 2016. To learn more about his upcoming books or to sign up for his new-release mailing list, visit Scott’s website at: www.scottbwilliams.com.

 

Landfall - Islands in the Aftermath

 

The Novel

Landfall: Islands in the Aftermath continues the saga of a small group people who have sought escape and refuge out at sea in the wake of a giant solar EMP, which has crippled much of the U.S. and beyond. But things don’t go as planned.

As the story begins, their catamaran is grounded on a reef. Larry’s partner Scully is missing, left behind in Florida waters, where the coast is under lock-down by the U.S. Navy. The impulsive actions of a stranger named Russell puts the group of survivors in still greater danger.

Ponderings

As with his other novels, Scott knows how to leave you and me in suspense. Action happens at just the right time. Cleverly planned chapter breaks will make you want to keep reading.

When Russell makes himself known to Larry and Artie, they must decide if they can take him along. Also, as Scully teams up with a couple he rescues, Thomas and Mindy, he ponders their usefulness to Larry’s growing community.

To me, this points out the need to have useful skills for survival if you’re to help both yourself and others. What do you have to offer the group you’ll be part of?

Most of the story takes place at sea in or near the Bahamas. Scott and I discussed how geography, particularly tiny islands, reefs, sandbars and wind, plays a significant role in events.

A little romantic tension is woven into the narrative with the interactions between Jessica, Grant and Casey. Then Russell enters the picture. Jessica isn’t Gran’ts girlfriend, but he finds himself protecting her from Russell’s unwelcomed advances.

As fate would have it, Larry and Jessica find themselves together later in the story, but you’ll have to read the book to decide if there’s any romance going on.

Characters

I enjoy reading the reflections of Scott’s characters at various points throughout his novels. It makes them more real. Scott says his stories are character driven.

The variety of characters is instructive to me. While each day you and I deal with individuals with different temperments and talents, think of what it would be like to have to get along with them in a survival situation.

When we first meet Russel, he has been stranded on a small island for weeks. He’d been abandoned by some Canadians he teamed up with to make their escape. As the novel unfolds, we see why he was left behind.

In early conversations on the boat with Larry and Artie, Russell brings up conspiracy theories about the EMP and it’s alleged real cause. He shows shallowness of character when he asks for pot and alcohol.

Larry pegs him as a harmless loudmouth–someone who has to be tolerated. But he underestimates Russell’s ability to pull a stunt that jeopardizes them all. It leads to a series of events that separates the group once again and puts each one in peril.

We catch up with the resourceful Scully as well, who is trapped with a couple, Thomas and Mindy, on an island in the Florida Keys. He rescued them by killing two assailants. In turn, they let him navigate their little boat to meet up with Larry and the rest.

Thomas represents those who see no need for firearms for self defense. But the solar EMP and its aftermath changed all that.

This may be a bit of a spoiler alert, but here goes.

Thanks to the loyalty the group members have for one another, as well as a fortuitous set of events, they find themselves back together at the end of the novel. But we’re left knowing there must be more to the story. Let’s hope it comes sooner than later.

The Further Exploration

There’s much more to my conversation with Scott B. Williams than I can relate here. Hear what we talked about by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for November 3, 2016 (Right click to download.)

At the risk of repeating myself, I enjoy Scott’s novels because they’re about ordinary people doing ordinary things, trying to survive in the aftermath of an unforeseen, widespread disaster. Though this series of novels portrays post-apocalyptic life, you don’t have to totally suspend your sense of disbelief as with so much fiction. And yet the story provides a means of entertainment and escape, as a good novel should.

Apparently other readers agree as evidenced by favorable reviews on Amazon. Get your copy of Landfall: Islands in the Aftermath by clicking on its title wherever you see it in this post.

Read and enjoy.

 

Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

4 thoughts on “Landfall – Entertaining and Instructive”

  1. SHTF stories are great fun. Of course they come ready made with trials and stresses for the characters to deal with. They also come with the fun of imaging the world with the state gone. The state is so often gone in these kinds of stories. It’s interesting that the state is running and, of course, in the way, for this one.

    I very much enjoy the freedom people have when the state is gone. Of course, in the Walking Dead, this year, the state is coming back with a baseball bat and barbed wire.

    1. I’ve never seen The Walking Dead, so I can’t comment on it. For most of us though, we don’t have much contact with government. Whether we have more or less contact with it in the wake of a disaster, I’m most interested in seeing how the average Joe and Jane will fare.

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