Monday, September 10, 2012

Book Review - Brushfire Plague

Recently, the nice folks over at Prepper Press sent a copy of the newest addition to their fiction lineup for me to review.  The book, Brushfire Plague, follows its hero as he comes face to face with what could be the end of mankind - a plague of apocalyptic proportions.

The premise of this book is right up my ally, although I have always assumed that TEOTWAWKI would bring about disease, rather than disease bringing about TEOTWAWKI.  Brushfire Plague gets right down to business.  Rather than dawdling around, the author (R.P. Ruggiero) immediately sets the stage for impending disaster.

I have to admit, as I began reading this book, I had low expectations.  The first chapter was somewhat hard for me to wade through.  However, the more I read, the more engaging and well written the book became.  By chapter 2, I was hooked.  Brushfire Plague is definitely a page turner.

I read this book in two days flat.  I laughed out loud more than once, got frustrated with the hero for not being more prepared and empathized with the difficult decisions that were required.  I was caught by surprise by plot twists that I wasn't expecting and thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

After I finished reading (I had talked over many of the finer points with Sir Knight as I made my way through the book), I passed the book off to get a male perspective.    Sir Knight proclaimed the book a great read - pure fiction and pure fun.  He really enjoyed the characters.  He thought they were very memorable and one even reminded him of our own "Captain Crunch".  Sir Knight thought the TEOTWAWKI scenarios were very realistic and the dilemmas that the characters faced were very "real world".

I heartily recommend Brushfire Plague.  Although it made my agent orange act up (nothing like a good book to rekindle that prepper fire), it was very engaging and I enjoyed it immensely.  Don't put Brushfire Plague down after the first chapter.  Keep reading - you'll be glad you did!

And now I am eagerly awaiting the second installment!


  1. Enola,

    (captaincrunch as usual)

    Oh' Goody, there's a character like me in a book!

    I gotta get this book now.

    Oh' by the way, in the last book by Joe Nobody, the main character was pushing his motorcycle (out of gas) in the West Texas desert. I actually did that, an old Honda XR 185 I rode back in the early 80's. The best way to describe true deep desert motorcycle riding is to stand in front of a wood stove for 12 hours and have someone throw beach sand on your face for the sandstorm effect. You will have sand in your ears, eyes, nose, mouth, shoes, pants, pockets, and in your underwear. Its kinda like Iraq or Afghanistan for those who have been there.

    Some of my stoppin grounds are Alpine, Texas (Alpha, Texas in the book) Marathon (Merethon in the book) and at Big Bend National Park and Terlingua, Texas (The Mayor or Nearby Lajitas Texas on the border is a beer drinking goat, no joke)

    check out thefieldlab.blogspot (off the grid desert homestead)
    and terlinguaorbust.blogspot, another off grid homestead)

    Right now Im in South Texas and one day (when Im dead many years from now) I want my ashes dumped on the side of the road 40 miles south of Alpine on highway 118 the most desolate highway in West Texas. That spot is so quiet that your ears will ring, its magnificent desolation at the base of of two mesa's and the Glass Moutains surrounded by 10.000 miles of desert. The traffic during the week has so few cars that you can have a picnic in the middle of the road. There are two 55 yellow drums and a small two car stop on either side of the highway. Just pour my ashes out on the sand and toss my coffee can in one of the drums. (I think Joe Nobody may know the spot)

    I looked into the American Redoubt. Its a wonderful place, so green and lush and so many like minded people. I may still move there one day, but the desert is filled with so many contrast between hot and cold, life and death and water and no water. The people out there are a "eclectic mix of oddballs and normal people" you got ranchers, survivalists and ancient hippies and many other rejects from civilization.
    Theres a concert in Terlingua later this month with some UFO wacko's and a band called "Dudes of the Dead" (Im not making this up) In November theres the "Chili Cookoff" in Terlingua.

    I wanna see the Chinease Army invades Texas. They would really have fun in West Texas. We will rescue the survivors and give them water and tortilla's and then a bus pass back to China.

    If you can survive in the desert, you can survive anywhere.

  2. Captain Crunch, I have some friends who live in the desert and tell similar stories-in their case, where California meets Nevada. Sandblasted cars,sand that gets into everything(apparently finer than beach sand-I lived in Florida for a while),and all manner of car-conked-out-in-nowhere stories. All told, their tales sound similar to yours.
    I know some other people who lived in(nearish)to Yuma, Arizona for a while. Again, a lot of similar tales. Of the people I know who live, or have lived, in the desert, all of them like it. One comment I hear a lot is the clear and beautiful the night sky is. No humidity or light pollution.
    Is desert sand rough on vehicles like beach sand is? When I lived in Florida, if I could go a week without a flat on my bicycle it was unusual-always tiny, slow pinhole leaks.Chains, universal joints, and steering linkages had short lives. I've never been to the Southwest, but would like to someday..

    1. Anonymous


      Actually the desert is better on vehicles "No Humidity" so no rust and its great for electronics. You can go through a lot of air filters on cars and trucks and just do oil changes every 3000 miles no matter what. Oil can break down in high heat. Synthectic oils help. I also read on survivalblog that Mobil One 20/50 is great for AR rifles in the desert.
      Yeah' sand blasted cars are normal,, but they won't rust.

      Swamp coolers are the preferred choice for Air Conditioning. I don't know if you need A/C in the American Redoubt or in Idaho, but 118 with in Terlingua, your gonna need A/C in your house or retreat.

      Adobe is the preferred method of building and you won't need much A/C with Adobe, and oh' by the way, .50 cal BMG rounds stop dead cold in 9 inches of Adobe. In the Persian Gulf, our troops are using 30 mm automatic cannons to chew up adobe, but most of the time they gotta use bigger toys or call in an airstrike on an Adobe compound.

      I wonder if Adobe can be used in the American Redoubt, half to ask Enola Gay or Sir Knight?

      The dirt roads and rocks are rough on tires out there so get ready to buy lots of tires if your off roading. Goats and longhorn cattle are the only livestock that can survive their. The Owls eat all the stray cats at night and there are "Badgers" running around all over the place. We also got centerpedes the size of garden hoses and grass hoppers the size of mice.
      Going back to cars breaking down, as with living in the mountains are anywhere out in the middle of nowhere, if you break down, have some survival stuff with you, like water, fix a flat, food, cell phone, rifle and ammo etc.
      I once walked ten miles in the desert after a truck I was in broke down. I left the truck and my stupid friends who were standing around and walked away with the water and the rifle. I came back hours later with help. They were still alive and still stupid.

      Back to my story of pushing that old Honda XR 185 dirt bike for miles through the desert. Set the bike and neutral and start pushing stay away from deep sand (it would bog down) Its amazing what one can do at age 17 mile after mile, after mile. Now I would just ditch the bike and start walking or at my age eat two aspirin, dial cellphone and call a cab.

    2. Florida was like living in a steamer-corrosion was a serious problem, especially near the Coast. Rot was another serious problem-which is why many Florida house are concrete block boxes on concrete slabs. Another problem for cars was "love bugs"-clouds of some flying bug that would quickly plug radiators or air filters.Or the cooling fins of a VW(if you're in a VW and you smell something like a candle that's just been blown out, it's overheating and the oil is boiling).
      It'd take a big owl to lift my cat (16.2 pounds, last trip to the vet), but he never goes out.
      The scariest thing I've ever driven through was a muck fire-like driving through foul-smelling cotton. A muck fire is where the swamp is smoldering-no open flame(well, I never saw any), but thick clouds of smoke. At night, headlights are just glows at the end of the hood. Visibility close to zero. I leaned out the window and aimed one of those freebie Radio Shack 5 cell flashlights(remember those?)at the edge of the road and drove home that way. Did the same thing on a McCullough moped. I lived in rural central Florida for a while(when there was a rural central Florida), on the edge of a swampy area, if it wasn't officially a swamp.
      I've never seen an adobe place-once in a while, you will see a swamp cooler sold as an air conditioner at a flea market. Nope-won't work here-way too much humidity..Kentucky is almost as bad as Florida for humidity, at times.

    3. Anonymous

      (captaincrunch again)

      I live in South Texas right now, one mile from the salt water. I know what you go through. In West Texas I did not use to much bleach to clean my house. In South Texas, I have to nuke my house with bleach becouse of the mildew and to keep mold from taking over.

      You know how you can spray water on your driveway and the water will stay in a puddle all day. In the desert it will evaporate in three minutes when its 105 degrees outside. I have seen humidity down to 4 percent. I have seen high temps up to 114 degrees in El Paso and 118 degrees in Terligua. It can get real cold too. Last real winter, Las Cruces New Mexico got down to one degree below zero and I have seen 4 degree's in El Paso one winter.

      Anonymous, if you dont mind me throwing my two cents in worth, get out of Florida. Go to the desert out in the middle or nowhere or go the to Idaho, Montana or Wyoming. A massive finacial collapse is going to come. How bad of a collapse is the twenty thousand dollar question. It could be like August of 2008 or much worse.

      Florida is going to turn into a nightmare for anyone trying to survive (and thrive) down there.

      South Texas will be bad enough for me. I am working with many good like minded neighbors for security and support. I dont know how many will stand there ground, its going to get ugly when the welfare, section 8 housing and all goverment programs for the poor are cut. Every dirtbag with a tatoo on thier neck or face with the occupy wall street mentality will come unglued will try take my food (and life) just becouse I got the "Ant Mentality" (you know the pareble about the ant and the grasshopper)

      I hope and pray none of this ever happens, but if this country continues on this course, reality will smack us upside the head like an aluminum baseball bat.

      sorry, I feel I temperarly took over your blog. This blog is your baby and one of the best prepardness blogs on the net.
      I gotta say you and Joe Nobody inspired me. I just completed an outline for a book on how to organize your friends and nieghbors for security (and maybe prepardness0

    4. Same here-not meaning to commandeer your blog. I'm not in Florida now-it's been 30 years since I lived there(all the Florida stuff is past tense, sorry if I didn't make myself clear)-I'm in Kentucky now. I don't miss Florida at all-too hot,and too humid.
      I want to take a long roadtrip, and see some of these places(I've been all over the South, some Midwest,and a little of the Northeast, but not Out West)-I would be moving "cold" if I did move to the West or Redoubt, but it's not the first "cold move" I've done(by that, I mean I don't know anyone there). We now return your blog to its original programming already in progress..

  3. Would this book be appropriate for PG 13 audiences? Thanks. Jeff

    1. Jeff;
      There is a little language (very little and no super bad words) and there is a little innuendo (again, not much). I would be fine with my 16yo son reading it and it didn't make me blush. Hope that helps.

    2. Yes - much milder than an evening of mainstream TV. Some very high level core values lived out by the characters redeem any slight smudges.


  4. Honestly, this kinda of book scares the crap out of me. It's good to be prepared as you can medically, but still, like I said, some really scary stuff! (At least to me ^_-)

  5. Thanks for the recommend! Just got my copy! No swearing and an excellent read!