Book Review: Desperate Times by Nicholas Antinozzi

July 19, 2011

Book Reviews

As one who likes to think through every scenario and plan accordingly, I gravitate towards books that offer mental bones to chew on, even if they are fiction.  Just because something hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean that it’s not possible.

I enjoyed Lights Out by David Crawford and the Last Light series by Terri Blackstock very much.  The stories were very compelling and they prompted some thinking on my part.  In the interest of keeping the story moving, they glossed over some things, but they were great prepper reads nonetheless.  Desperate Times is another good one.

An Economic Collapse

In this story, economic collapse has come on as fast as a tornado and been just as devastating.  The book doesn’t spend much time explaining what caused the collapse. That was alright with me since, in real life, the events triggering the dominoes to fall could change from week to week, depending on the dollar index, unrest over food prices, stock market drops, derivatives, etc.

I have some issues with the compressed timing of events though, mostly because I fully expect that the vast majority of people will be oblivious to what is happening until grocery store shelves go empty.  The average person is paying very little attention to the looming crisis in our government’s finances, so I don’t think they will be very quick to react or organize themselves.  On the plus side, with a total collapse that occurs in less than 24 hours, the action comes pretty fast in this book.

Intriguing Interpersonal Dynamics

I always find an author’s portrayal of interpersonal dynamics intriguing.  Does he paint everyone in their “best behavior” light or do the characters exhibit jealousy and petty selfishness?  How are leaders chosen?  How do the characters determine who to let in and who to keep out?  What about food and medicine?

I find this book to have pretty well-fleshed characters and the conflicts and resolutions among them interesting.  Most seem plausible and the variety of characters provide good side plot lines.

The beginning of each chapter has a factoid that often gives the reader something to think about.  Some are about little known pieces of legislation that could very well impact the rights of private citizens if they are ever enforced.  Others are historical facts.  One thing that begins to wears thin for me though, is the agenda of promoting openly gay members in the military.  It is almost to the point of being distracting to the story and infringing on the suspense.  Other than that, I find the inclusion of the relevant facts an interesting selling point.

The story was not a how-to guide to surviving.  Almost all the characters are regular people rather than former Rangers, so you won’t learn how to snare rabbits with a shoelace and pocket lint.  It may prompt you to think what you would do in the situations as they arise, though.  Deciding in advance if you could/should use lethal force to protect food and the like are good exercises in themselves.

The Sequel

A word of forewarning- this novel is the first in a series of at least two and the “ending” is quite unsatisfactory to get to you buy the second one.  (If you have ever read any of the Left Behind series, you will know what I mean).  I “purchased” it for free as a Kindle book.  The sequel is not free and I am undecided about whether I will buy it or not.

Overall, an interesting read with some prepping implications.

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14 Comments on “Book Review: Desperate Times by Nicholas Antinozzi”

  1. Arsenius the Hermit Says:

    I hadn’t heard about this one, but it sounds like it’s worth a read. I read “Lights Out” but it was too politically correct for me to really enjoy it. I did like the “Deep Winter” trilogy.


  2. Nick Antinozzi Says:

    Thank you very much for the kind review and I’m glad you enjoyed the book. I’m just an average Joe who works a regular job like most people. I just enjoy writing and I thought it was a subject worth writing about. I’m writing this series is a trilogy, trust me, you won’t want to skip the last book.


    • Laura Says:

      Wow! For a “regular guy,” you’ve done a great job! It was a very compelling read and I stayed up late quite a few nights to finish it. You managed to pull a lot of important elements together to give a little something to everyone- drama, romance, suspense, humor, action.

      You’ve convinced me to buy the remaining two. Thanks for your comment!


    • Joe Says:

      Laura’s review of the book has convinced me to read the book.

      Thanks and keep up the good work, Nick.



  3. Scott Says:

    I work with Nick in Shoreview, mn and he is definitely an average Joe with talent. I was on vacation camping and read his second book in a day and a half on my phone. I keep bugging him about the third book and he just gives me a little grin every time. I will keep the pressure on him to get that third book done. Keep up the great work!


    • Laura Says:

      Glad you mentioned that Scott. I am in book 2 now- at the point where Jimmy has gone back to Utopia with Doc. It’s been a good story so far.

      I recently gave up on book 1 of Survivors (there may be more than one story with that title) when I realized that assaults on women were going to continue to be part of every chapter and one of the main “good guys” was a witch in-dwelt by demons. Not my kind of story.

      Thanks for the comment. Know of any others I should check out while I wait for book 3?


    • Nick Antinozzi Says:

      Thanks everyone, I am almost there with the third book. Plenty of editing to do, but the story is nearly complete. Book 3 takes an Orwellian-style look at America after the crisis and how it pertains to the characters in the story. I think you’ll like it. Thanks Scott, I appreciate the cudos!


  4. Joy Lynskey Says:

    Great review on DT! Really enjoyed this book and Nick is just a humble soul. I found this on Kindle too and at the time it was a 99 cent book. Still the best 99 cents I have ever spent.


  5. warren Says:

    I just finished book 1 and had to buy book 2. There was a discussion on gays in the military but I didnotbfind it inappropriate. I fact I think it highlighted the fact that when tshtf, likemindedness will be about so many things besidesgay/straight. Anyhow I enjoyed the characters and their imperfections. I enjoyed seeing a sensible teenager and a pain in the butt like Bill. Thanks for the cool read!


    • Nick Antinozzi Says:

      Thanks everyone! I hope you enjoy the last book in the trilogy. DT3 is available on Amazon, B&N, Apple, and other sites. I’d love to know what you think.



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