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Blackout

Still Surviving, Volume 1
Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
Length: 6 hrs and 14 mins
Non-member price: $27.79
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Publisher's Summary

Westley Flagg isn't your usual lawbreaker. He's a poacher, a moonshiner, and a prepper, out of necessity. Despite trying to live on the straight and narrow, he knows the law can turn things on you in a heartbeat. When Wes has to come up with money for his Grandpa's surgery, he gets involved with an unsavory group. Living deep in poverty for most of his life, he's become resilient and flexible, but college education can only take him so far. A solar storm sends the northern lights as far south as Texas, and cascading failures in the grid cripple the nation. Now, without communications, Flagg has to prove he has what it takes to still survive.

©2018 Boyd L Craven III (P)2018 Boyd L Craven III

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • RJ
  • 27-04-2018

Familiar plot with exceptional characters.

After some of the books I’ve been listening to lately I was ready for a good book. Thank goodness for Boyd Craven and Kevin Pierce. Blackout is the opening salvo to an apocalypse/survival series featuring a small town community’s reaction and response when the lights go out due to a CME. In this scenario martial law is declared rather quickly and the military waste no time in rolling into town to confiscate weapons and excess food supplies. The character development and personal lives of the main characters continue throughout most of the book, which may sound tedious, but the characters are quite likable and the accounts are excellent; especially Raider (you’ll see). Then, we are fortunate to have Kevin Pierce narrating and that is always a huge plus in my book. I enjoyed this opening tale quite a bit and wish I had the next book(s) to follow up with. This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jack Bean
  • 25-01-2019

Good story but not worth the money

Paying full price for these 6 hour audiobooks isn't worth it. Instead of getting a regular length story, the author, like many others, is cutting the story into small pieces and charging full audible pricing for each short segment. This is the equivalent of a 150 page book, which you don't see selling for fulll price at book stores. Don't get involved in the story - not worth it. I've listened to the first two volumes, but won't be purchasing the next ones. Not worth the money.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • 16-05-2018

Raider is the Real Star

4.75 out of 5 stars

Blackout tells the story of a down-on-his-luck guy Wes.  He lives with his grandparents, is looking for a job, and oh yeah - sells moonshine on the side.  He's a likable guy who seems like he would do anything for the ones that he loves and cares about.   Insert Raider - the dog that stumbles upon Wes and his family one day.  He decides he's going to train Raider since he's part German Sheppard. Little does Wes know just how quickly he'll rely on Raiders help.

You can tell that Craven loves dogs (or maybe his dog?) I own an Imo Ino (American Eskimo/Shiba Inu Mix) and he does some of the things that Raider does in Blackout.  He chuffs and will huff when I'm talking to him and he doesn't want to hear it. He'll sigh when I'm talking about him in the same room, etc, etc.  This is the third story by Craven I've read where there was a dog main character and they are three of my favorites.

The story itself starts off a little different than the typical CME story (thank you, Boyd, for not calling it an EMP, thank you, thank you!) We get to know Wes, his grandparents, and a little about their history being bootleggers. I found that part just as interesting as I did once the lights went out. It was a totally unique take on the main character and it made him much more believable and real.

The insertion of the dog trainer (and her entire background later in the story) was unexpected and something that I did not see coming at all.  Wes, the trainer, and a third party (trying not to spoil anything) and their interweaving stories also added another dimension to Blackout that I enjoyed quite a bit.

This isn't a perfect five because I'm mad at Craven. I was driving home and I stopped at the store to grab something.  I thought I had at least 10 more minutes in the story.  Then I heard the dreaded "the end". Wait, what? Craven! Don't do this to me! Sure I want to read much more about Wes, Raider, and the families but that felt cold man. (I'm not really mad, I was just genuinely surprised that the book was already over).

Overall I thought that Craven did a great job making a dog a better character than most main characters in Post-Apocalyptic books I've read. Combine that with narration by Kevin Pierce and you have a winner. If you enjoyed the two Opus stories by him - you'll enjoy this one, too.

I was voluntarily provided with a free copy of this book. It has not affected my review in any way. If you enjoyed this review, please vote for it! Every vote helps.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Alex
  • 24-01-2019

Half a book

The ending to this is pretty abrupt, and while not quite a cliff hanger it is in the middle of an unresolved situation.

Also, the constant dog references did become kinda annoying. The dog manages to get a mention in every other sentence and is imbued with a pretty remarkable intelligence for a dog...

Not sure if I will buy the next one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 23-01-2019

Not bad but a bit vanilla.

A decent story, but it lacked in punch. What I believe to be the climax felt rushed through. Aside from the main character, the rest were underdeveloped. I will listen to book two in the series since I want to know where he goes with the story and they’re short books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Julie
  • 08-01-2019

Good story, abrupt ending

I this was a good book, and I’ve read a lot. This book has similarities to the borrowed World Series. Kevin peirce -great narration. It gets 4 stars because I despise the way it ends. An author with a pair would write a book that has a decent ending leading to the next in this series. But, if you’ll notice, Boyd craven seems to try to keep all of his books at 6 hours or less, regardless of what’s going on so instead of an 11-12 hour book, he makes sure we have to pay double to read two 5-6 hr books. Kinda feels cheap. The series so far is as solid as an old US made Tractor, but the chop of gives it a “Chinese Goods”” quality.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-05-2018

a new and refreshing twist on the theme.

Average(?) country boy can survive. I liked that it wasn't the usual uber-prepper takes on the world.

Kevin did an excellent job with the narration. He disappears and leaves you just the characters.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Deedra
  • 15-07-2018

Blackout

I liked this book.It was good,not great.It's a story of moonshiners and an emp.There are always bad men and militia.Ended much too abruptly,but then it is book 1.Kevin Pierce was the perfect narrator.I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • BookBelle
  • 05-07-2018

Not bad...

This one wasn't bad, but it's less about a blackout and more about the life of a moonshiner and his family that go through a blackout about halfway through the story... The blackout isn't the primary topic of the book, it's barely secondary. While the story itself isn't bad, it wasn't at all what I was expecting so I was a bit disappointed. The title is a bit misleading - if you're looking for a book about an EMP or similar disaster, and the subsequent fallout, this likely isn't for you. This story is more about a long-term prepper and moonshiner, his family, and what their life is like in general when a blackout happens in the middle of their routine existence. The book is well-narrated, and was and easy enough listen, and was enjoyable on a long drive. *** This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.***

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bonita
  • 17-05-2018

Interesting, but...

I have mixed feelings about this book. The characters are very interesting, and I love the dog! But the story is slow to start, and has a very abrupt ending. Not even a cliffhanger, it just ends as though in the middle of a paragraph.
The writing is well done, and Kevin Pierce is a wonderful narrator.
Not disappointed, but it definitely feels like not enough gun happened.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • daniel c.
  • 24-04-2018

another gem

Another great read. I could listen to his voice every day. it's just perfect for these books.
Can't wait to hear the nxt one.