Audiobook Review - Survive the Chaos by Grace Hamilton

Survive the Chaos by Grace Hamilton
Narrated by Maxwell Zener
Series: Small Town EMP #1
Publisher: Relay Publishing
Publication Date: September 18, 2019
Date Read: October 18, 2019
Length: 9 hours 35 minutes
Source: Author via Audiobook Boom
When the lights go out, anarchy reigns supreme.

After Austin Merryman’s wife died, he and his 14-year-old daughter left home to travel the country in an old RV. But the comfort and renewal they sought soon descends into chaos - even before the EMP hits.

When a message from an old college buddy leads Austin to a bridge in the middle of nowhere, he finds his friend - now an NSA agent - waiting to give him a USB drive. Before the contents can be explained, machine gun fire strafes the bridge, killing Austin’s friend and forcing Austin into the raging river.

Rescued downstream by a beautiful veterinarian, Austin learns that EMP attacks have thrust the world into eternal darkness and separated him from the only person he has left: his young, but resourceful, daughter. Now, he’ll move heaven and earth to locate her and make it to his brother’s hideaway in Utah.

But the post-apocalyptic world is no longer a friendly place. Resources are growing scarce. Factions break out and walls go up. Everyone is willing to do whatever it takes to survive in an increasingly hostile environment. And Austin’s daughter is caught right in the middle of this splintering society.

But an even-deadlier foe stalks them as they struggle across the landscape - someone who hasn’t forgotten about the USB drive Austin possesses. And they’ll do anything to get it back.

Please note: This novel contains violence.
My Review

I enjoyed this book quite a bit.  If you follow my reviews, you may have noticed that I have been on a bit of an end of the world kick.  Actually, I have been reading a lot of zombie apocalypse stories but I thought it was about time I mix things up a bit.  This EMP story was a nice change and I really did enjoy myself.

Austin and his 14-year-old daughter, Savannah, live in an RV in a very rural area.  Austin is a journalist who has a meeting with a contact while Savannah has plans to get some ice cream with her friends (at least, that's the story she gives her dad).  When the EMP hits, things go south very quickly.  Everything stops working and meeting back up with each other is beyond challenging.  The world after the EMP is entirely different than it was before with people taking what they need from others without remorse.

This was a pretty exciting story.  Austin and Savannah had separate journeys but they both had a lot of obstacles to overcome.  I thought that getting to see things from two very different points of view helped me to really get a feel for what the world was like after the EMP hit.  I was worried about these characters and hoped that they would make it to safety and find each other but I wasn't sure it was going to happen.  It just seemed that the world was against them at times.  This was a very well-paced story that was hard to set aside.

I liked the cast of characters in this book.  Austin and his daughter are pretty down to earth characters that are easy to cheer on.  There is a pretty large cast of supporting characters who I thought felt realistic.  Some characters seemed very trustworthy while I wonder about the motivation of others.  I liked the variety and I thought that the author did a good job of introducing them at a rate that allowed me to keep them straight in my mind.

This was my first experience listening to Maxwell Zener's narration.  I have to admit that it took me a bit to get used to his reading, especially the parts from the female perspective.  After I gave it some time, I found that I really liked his delivery of the story.  I thought that he had a very pleasant voice which was easy to listen to for hours at a time.  I wouldn't hesitate to listen to his work again in the future.

I would recommend this book to others.  I found this to be a really exciting story that was very plausible.  The characters were well developed and easy to like.  This was the first time that I have read any of Grace Hamilton's work but I hope to read more in the future, including more of this series!

I received a review copy of this audiobook from the author/narrator via Audiobook Boom and have voluntarily left this review.
About the Author
(From the Author's Website)
Grace Hamilton is the prepper pen-name for a bad-ass, survivalist momma-bear of four kids, and wife to a wonderful husband. After being stuck in a mountain cabin for six days following a flash flood, she decided she never wanted to feel so powerless or have to send her kids to bed hungry again. Now she lives the prepper lifestyle and knows that if SHTF or TEOTWAWKI happens, she’ll be ready to help protect and provide for her family.

Combine this survivalist mentality with a vivid imagination (as well as a slightly unhealthy day dreaming habit) and you get a prepper fiction author. Grace spends her days thinking about the worst possible survival situations that a person could be thrown into, then throwing her characters into these nightmares while trying to figure out “What SHOULD you do in this situation?”

It’s her wish that through her characters, you will get to experience what life will be like and essentially learn from their mistakes and experiences, so that you too can survive!

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Bookbub | Facebook | Amazon


  1. I used to play a game call Last of Us, but without an EMP and a lot of ... bad people out there. Sounds something similar your book

  2. I recently had a nightmare about a zombie apocalypse, so I'm glad this book is not about them! lol Post-apocalyptic reads can be quite powerful, and this one sounds like it's well delivered. I really love that you found the story exciting and quite plausible, great review :)

  3. I definitely do not like zombies, so I'm glad this book doesn't have any! Post-apocalyptic stories are really intense, I may consider adding this to my wishlist. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  4. In 2015, I read Ted Koppel's Lights Out, a nonfiction projection of what would happen if there was an attack on the electric grid. Not quite the same as an EMP, but plenty scary!

    I have also read a lot of fiction dealing with the effects of a large scale EMP. Good survival stories intrigue me, so I will keep this one in mind!

  5. that cover makes me want to read it and i'm glad your review confirmed it
    sherry @ fundinmental

  6. I've read a couple like this one and enjoyed them. I'll keep this in mind when I'm in the mood for end of the world stories. :)

  7. It's nice to see that it's realistic too

  8. Great review! I don't think I've read a book with such a wide scale EMP attack before.

  9. That sounds like an exciting story. Thanks for the great review.

  10. Yes I miiight have noticed that you have been on an end of the world kick ;) lol

  11. This sounds interesting, although not a book I would pick up.

  12. Now that I'm a parent, I always put myself in their shoes. Like, how would I get my child back without dying in the process? Also, I've been given this Super Secret Doohickey, so I'll need to take care of that at some point. Priorities, you know? ;) I'm so happy this one was such a hit for you! <3

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

  13. I'm sure I would enjoy this. Fabulous review! You would really enjoy Tosca Lee I think - the first one is A Line Between.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  14. Wow, this sounds like an awesome read! I imagine there’s plenty of action and suspense. I read one last year that was a little similar in theme (catastrophic event, society degenerates) and I loved it so I might give this one a try.

  15. I actually like when characters are separate for a duration of a lot of the novels because it means that we get to spend some time exploring more of the world. It sounds like this one really allows for that. Great review x

  16. I tried another apocalypse series of hers and it was a solid three star read. It was a few niggles that had me rating it only 3. I'll probably try this book at some point.

  17. I don't about these type of books, but I'm drawn to them as well. I have to check this one out.


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