Battle (The Traveler #5)Battle by Tom Abrahams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ALL eight novels are approximately a 70 hour listen – a post-apocalyptic world. A flea born pathogen, highly contagious, wipes out over two-thirds of the world population. There is no cure, but there is natural immunity. If you want the full experience, in sequence: Home, Canyon, Wall, Rising, Battle, Legacy, Hero, and finally Harbor.

Plot. Marcus Battle, a PTSD victim, returns to Texas and loses his son and wife to the plague; he speaks to them and hears them speak to him. Marcus also lives as a hermit on his land, defending it with shoot-first, so you don’t need to ask questions. After months of solitude, Marcus rescues a woman being chased by a cult of marauders. The marauders have her son. They successfully burn Marcus’s house down. Under a facade of revenge, Marcus and the woman set out to rescue her son and rid Texas of these thugs. The story has a considerable slice of flashbacks to Marcus’ time in service – when he nearly dies to rescue his badly injured friend. Will Marcus conquer his own demons, rescue the boy of a stranger? Stay alive? Will he have a second family?

The story moves to Battle’s father-daughter friendship with an orphaned, snarky, broken girl. Smart as they come, fiercely independent, able to sling a knife with lightning speed – Louise (Lou), is as damaged as Battle, having lost loved ones to the virulent infection and possies of opportunistic thugs. Lou and Battle’s adventures traverse the years and the miles in search of a life without violence.

Liked. Good character development, easy to visualize action, well-organized plot over eight novels. No sex, no explicit language. Decent narration and production.

Not so hot. There are some holes in an apocalyptic world, in my opinion. Not much mention of shortages of essentials like gasoline, medicine, etc., all that would surely be horrific. No mention of tampons – hey, they will run out! Just sayin’. By the time the series ends, a span of 21 years since the plague, there is also a plethora of ammunition – who’s making all this stuff? Lots and lots of double-tap gun violence. A bit slow tempo, but just pump the speed up a tad on your iPhone.

This is a long series, cliffhangers throughout – but, comes to a satisfactory conclusion with the final novel, Harbor.

Written by By Tom Abrahams, narrated by Kevin Pierce in unabridged audiobook format, released in March 2016-19 by Piton Press LLC.

Recommended – don’t have to stretch the imagination much. This stuff could really happen, as we all now know with COVID19.


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