THE GUARDIANS BY RICHARD AUSTIN

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Copyright 1985.

It is the nineties and tensions between the U.S. and Soviets have been rising. An incident on the East German border involving a family escaping to the west starts a Soviet attack. The attack falters and soon is driven back. This setback starts a chain of events. China invades Siberia and the various ethnic groups rise up in rebellion. The Soviets then launch a nuclear strike against America starting the One-Day War. Millions are dead and the country is in ruins.

The Guardians are a four man team assigned to escort the President to a secure complex in Iowa. President Lowell is killed on Air Force One during the nuclear strike. Now an untested Vice-President MacGregor is sworn in. The Guardians must escort him in armored cars through a post-nuclear America. Armed mobs and the collapse of the rule of law. Radioactive fallout and roads clogged with refugees. In addition a faction of the CIA is trying to take over the country and is out the capture the President. At the end they must fight a power mad National Guard colonel who is setting up his own fiefdom.

This is one of my favorites from the eighties. The Guardians were a four man team formed from a member of each armed services. After safely delivering the President they find out their real mission. There is a Blueprint for Renewal that is designed to rebuild America after a nuclear war. Key experts and facilities are scattered around the country. Unfortunately the Blueprint was lost when the President’s airplane went down and they must now piece together clues to find it. This series was inspired by a role-playing game from the seventies called The Morrow Project.

The series was written by Victor Milan under a pen name. He really creates a detailed world of the near future. A world that the U.S. is in an economic decline and engaged in shadow wars all throughout the world. The main villain is Yevgeny Maximov a sort of George Soros type financier. A Ukrainian immigrant who heads the shadowy Internationalist Council. He has already taken over Europe and formed the Federated States of Europe. He is behind the CIA coup and also wants the Blueprint. A very enjoyable series that starts out strong. So here are the Guardians:

Lt. Willian McKay USMC. The leader of the team. Son of a blue collar family from Pittsburgh and expert in the shadow wars fought in the Middle East. His family has a long tradition of service in the Marines and McKay is a beer drinking brawler who loves a good fight. Primary weapon is a Maremont M-60 machine gun.

Commader Samuel Sloan USN. A graduate of Annapolis and hero of the Winston-Salem, a cruiser attacked by Libyan missile boats. When the command bridge was hit killing the senior officers he assumed command and saved his ship. He is an expert in all boats and computers and electronics. His primary weapon is a Galil assault rifle with a M-203 grenade launcher.

Lt. Thomas Rogers US Army. A green beret who has fought in clandestine wars throughout the world. An expert in insurgency and the team’s medic. His weapon is a Galil assault rifle.

Lt. Casey Wilson USAF. A fighter pilot who is the first ace since Korea. He shot down five MIG’s with his F-16 during an attack on Yemen. A laid back Californian who is an expert mechanic and sniper. Primary weapon is an M-40 sniper rifle.

CAMP ZERO BOOK I BY SEAN ELLIS

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Copyright 2016.

It has been decided that the children of the Rourke family needs to learn basic survival skills. What with the world under threat from Neo-Nazis, Russians and space aliens the world is no longer a safe place. So its off to the John Thomas Rourke Survival Academy in west Texas. There the six young kids ranging from nine to sixteen can learn the basics of survival. Sent out to Camp Zero named because you will count the days until its over. The kids start learning the basics. How to pitch a tent. How to forage or hunt for food. Unarmed combat, and other basic survival skills. The kids adapt in various ways to the training. Some love it and other hate it.

Still being a Rourke kid gives one a sense of paranoia. What with everyone out to get your family. They find that two students who look too old and are trying to become their buddies are not who they seem to be. A tragic death in a climbing accident sets off a chain of events that reveal the camp has been infiltrated by a group of assassins. Young kids called Starling who have been trained to be deadly killers are now after them. The Rourke children will need to put to use the skills they learned to survive these vicious killers.

This is where they decided to take the Survivalist Series into the lucrative YA market. So here we have the teenage children getting their own series. I was a little skeptical that this would work. I was surprised how into the story I became. Ellis has each chapter told from the perspective of one of the Rourke children and it flowed naturally. The story starts out a little slow but once the Starlings reveal themselves and attack that’s were this book really picks up.

Now I don’t know how successful this series will be in attracting young people. My guess its being read by the Survivalist fans like me who are a bit older. I also don’t know how you can find a way to keep a whole series going about kids at a survival camp. It ends with a psychologist named Dr. Starling breaking out the serial killer that kidnapped the kids so this shadowy group is not done with the Rourke kids. This is a book I believe that all ages will enjoy and look forward to the next one.

ENDWORLD #29 THE LORDS OF KISMET BY DAVID ROBBINS

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Copyright 2016.

Blade has decided to confront the Lords of Kismet head on after their failed attempt to destroy the Home. But how to get to Asia when they are thousands of miles away and have no plane. The answer is salvaging a time machine from an old enemies lair. Thanatos had used it to send Alpha Triad back in time in an untold story. Now they plan to use it to get to Asia. Going back one hour in time and to the destination of Bangkok. Blade, Hickok and Yama are chosen for the mission.

Things go wrong right from the start. The three warriors are scattered apart. They find that Bangkok is under the rule of Dhurga. The lords are ancient beings that were the Hindu gods of old. Using demigods and other fantastical creatures they rule the humans with an iron fist. The people are totally cowed and now meekly serve the Lords including being used as food. Blade and the other warriors find that they may have bitten off more than they can chew.

A new Endworld book. Just after reading a new Survivalist book. Makes me feel like its 1986. Robbins still hasn’t lost his touch. Indeed the series is going as strong as ever. The characters are still the same that I loved thirty years ago. He has crafted a new threat for the warriors. It ends with Blade planning to use the time machine to go back in time to fight the Lords of Kismet. The story about Thanatos was never told so I wonder if that will be written about in a future book. Can’t wait for the next book.

THE ROURKE CHRONICLES #1 EVERYMAN BY JERRY AHERN SHARON AHERN BOB ANDERSON

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Copyright 2014.

Throughout John Rourke’s adventures since the Night of the War he has had one man he could count on. Paul Rubenstein a nerdy assistant publisher from New York was on the airliner that Rourke was on when the war started. He was the only one that stuck with him when he went for help for the survivors on the plane. Rubenstein knew that to survive he would have to stick with John Rourke. He had a willingness to learn and learned how to shoot and ride a motorcycle. Eventually a strong bond of friendship formed were the two were like brothers. Eventually he became a son-in-law by marrying his daughter and cemented his place in the Rourke family. This book is the story told in Paul’s own words of the events chronicles in the first five books.

The first spin off series of the Survivalist. I really wanted to like this book. I thought it would chronicle the untold story of Paul Rubenstein. Instead all it did was rehash the first five books. Nothing new to read and seemed a pointless endeavor. I hope that if there is a second book in this series it has something more original.

THE SURVIVALIST#33 DEEP STAR BY JERRY AHERN SHARON AHERN BOB ANDERSON

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Copyright 2015.

John Rourke has been captured by the grey aliens. Now his son desperately searches for his whereabouts. Of course he has a lot of threats to deal with. A pair of psychotic serial killers have kidnapped the Rourke children. Neo-Nazi terrorists have launched a successful attack on the main government building in New Germany. They succeeded in killing all the top government officials including the President Wolfgang Mann. Michael Rourke comes to the conclusion be can not meet his obligations as both President of the U.S. and to his family so decides to resign. All clues point that John Rourke is being held at a secret Russian undersea base called Deep Star.

So this is the final book so far in the Survivalist series. There is another one in the works called Lodestar so the story is not over yet. Interesting the main character the Survivalist himself is only in three chapters. Still a lot happens in this book. Michael Rourke decides to resign. His stepfather is killed in a terrorist attack. At the end John Rourke’s newborn baby dies from the virus that the aliens unleashed. I wonder how Jerry would have written these books if he was still alive. Still I love that this series is still kicking and apparently thriving. A new one is in the works and there are two spin off series which we will get into later.

If anyone is interested you can check out official website. It has bios on all involved with the resurrection of this series. You can buy books. There’s items like baseball caps, mugs a Zippo lighter that John Rourke uses. Also an A.G Russell Sting IA knife that the character has used through the series and a custom made Bowie Knife. Great for using against your enemies.

THE SURVIVALIST #32 THE QUISLING COVENENT BY JERRY AHERN SHARON AHERN BOB ANDERSON

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Copyright 2014

The aliens are still working at destabilizing human society. They have allied with Neo-Nazis to cause terrorist attacks and destabilized governments. A cabal of the super wealth are also manipulating the currency for their own nefarious ends. A mutant strain of bugs carrying the hantavirus are released. And a faction of Russians are at world domination again. They have allied themselves with the Ki the other alien faction that wants to take back the Earth for themselves. John Rourke finds out that before the Night of the War the President transferred secret documents on the U.S. governments dealings with extraterrestrials. The documents are stored inside Mount Rushmore. The national landmark is under a sheet of ice from a glacial and under cover as an archeology project Rourke recovers the documents. At the end he is attacked by the aliens and a traitor manages to make sure that John Rourke is captured.

The third book in the revived series is a great improvement. A lot of interesting stuff is happening. It does represent the times we live in. Secret cabals of superwealthy manipulating the economy. Terrorism and mutant strains of bugs carrying deadly diseases. Mysterious alien races. And of course the old reliable enemies in the Survivalist series Nazis and Russians. An interesting continuation of the series.

THE SURVIVALIST #31 EARTH SHINE BY JERRY AHERN SHARON AHERN BOB ANDERSON

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Copyright 2013

Aliens have attacked the inauguration of Michael Rourke as president of the United States. Over 1,200 dead and large parts of Honolulu are destroyed. Later Michael Rourke’s car is attacked in the countryside and he must survive and evade the alien clones. John Rourke leads the fight against the alien threat in searching for his son and attacking their secret base in Hawaii. They also have to contend with traitors in the government working with the aliens to further their own power.

The second new book in the revived Survivalist series was somewhat of a let down. I didn’t think that the story was focused and tended to just meander along. They also had a tendency to over describe stuff like the tunnel system in Hawaii or the philosophy of the alien Ki. Still the series does get better. Sharon and Bob do a good job of staying true to the characters that Jerry established. The basic storyline is sound and there are plenty of interesting enemies to keep the Rourke family occupied.