Author: Ever N. Hayes
Release Date: April 5th, 2014
Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Date: October 2020
Place: Ely, Minnesota
They didn’t know what to do.
Let’s say you just found out you’d survived a massive chemical attack. How it happened and how many others lived through it…you don’t yet know. You don’t know the when (exactly), the who, or the why. You just…don’t…know.
You have so many questions, but there’s no doubting what you’ve seen. Surreal as the aftermath may be, this isn’t a hoax. This is for real.
You scramble back to where you were—where you were safe—and hear a message on the radio confirming this is widespread—across all of North America. There are probably thousands of other survivors out there—for now--people who got lucky like the nine of you. But it’s not over. Not even close. That message tells you an enemy army is on the way to finish the job. It’s only a matter of time.
So what do you do? You’re only 20. The Marines have prepared you for a lot…but this? Your dad, your girlfriend, and your little sister…they’re not ready. How could they be? None of you are. But you only have two choices: Stay—and await the inevitable—or run.
Supposedly there’s one safe haven left—ONE—and it’s clear across the country (and an ocean) in Hawaii. But the enemy knows that too. They’ll be lying in wait as you run right at them. That’s your best chance? It can’t be. There has to be a better way.
But you know there isn’t. You have to leave behind a mother, your friends, neighbors and families—an entire lifetime. You have to leave behind everything. You have to face off with fear, with the massive devastation, and the force that will be hunting you all the way.
This is it…
The only way to live is to leave.
Of all the end of the world scenarios, the one that pans out in Emergency Exit is interesting, if nothing else. Most scenarios focus on gathering supplies, sitting and waiting out the chaos or bunkering down. But when chemical warfare annihilates almost all life in the US with one fell swoop, the survivors in this story have a different sort of survival struggle. Supplies aren't hard to find, there is plenty to go around, but they are forced to run like animals as the enemy tracks their movements.
I sort of liked and disliked this book for many reasons, but the biggest thing that stopped me from loving it was the cast of characters we ended up with. I'm a fan of the 'average Joe' sort of survivor, someone I can relate to, but this book didn't really give me that. I mean, we had two of the worlds best snipers with insane military knowledge, their younger sister who just happens to be crazy talented with a bow and arrow, plus their entire extended family seems to conveniently be at a remote lake to survive the chemical attack... I know, it can happen, but that doesn't give me much to relate to. When they manage to meet up with someone who conveniently has an underground bunker with a water hatch, it just pushed my disbelief a little too far at times.
I like end of the world scenarios I feel like I could live through. This felt like a group that got the world's best survival poker hand thrown at them. While the idea of raiding a Cabellas and taking whatever I wanted seems fun, at the same time, it left me feeling really distant. This was pretty much the story of the lone group of survivors talented and intelligent enough to get away when the rest of the US gets killed. Can't say that group would have me in it.
Keep in mind, that's personal preference though. The action was good, the writing was nice, and I can see a lot people would enjoy. My lack of interest in military operations, guns, hunting, and special forces may have put me at a disadvantage.
There were some things I did enjoy about the story, which is why my rating is still as high as it was. The writing was good, the pacing kept me interested, and I liked the duality that takes place in the story between Captain Eddie and the survivors. I like books that blur the lines between one side and the other, so that was nice. Some of the conversations (especially dealing with Raegan and Tara) felt a little flat, but they did add a slight sense of normalcy the initial group was missing. Little things here and there. Overall, I can't say it was a book I would really need to read again, but maybe a few friends might enjoy it more.