This giveaway has ended. Scroll to the bottom to see who won!
It’s been too long since our last giveaway, and this week we’re going to get started again with something a little different and fun for Life in a Shoe, but the off-grid lifestyle holds a strong appeal for many people. Michael Bunker’s non-fiction book on the subject, Surviving Off Off-Grid: Decolonizing the Industrial Mind, received very positive reviews.
Now he has a fictional offering in a similar vein: The Last Pilgrims, scheduled for release on Feb. 24.
About the Book
More than your typical post-apocalyptic fare, The Last Pilgrims could well be one of the most important and prescient novels of our time. Twenty years in the future is five-hundred years in the past. It is just two decades after the worldwide societal collapse and the Vallenses, an Amish-like “plain people” living and surviving in what was once Central Texas, are under attack by the King of Aztlan and his armies. The pacifistic Vallenses are defended by the shadowy Ghost Militia and their inspiring leader Phillip, a militant freeman who wages a guerilla war with Aztlan.
Jonathan Wall and the thriving agrarian community of Vallenses have prospered by living the simple and sustainable ways of the past. In a massively depopulated world, balkanization is a reality and monarchy is back. A corrupt kingdom arises, led by a king who cannot abide freemen on lands that he covets. Just as the Vallenses send off a plea to the benevolent King of the South States, a mysterious assassin misses his target: Jonathan Wall.
Phillip “the Ghost” is on a personal mission to save the Vallenses – even if it is against their will, while Jonathan’s own son David and his fearless teenage daughter Ruth are led to challenge their pacifistic upbringing and question whether or not the time has come for the Vallenses to fight for the land, the people, and the God they love.
The Last Pilgrims is a modern re-telling of the forgotten history of the Ancient Waldenses – simple farmers who lived in the valleys of the Alps for hundreds of years despite repeated attempts to annihilate them. Full of tragedy, adventure, humor, and love, The Last Pilgrims is a rare post-apocalyptic saga that takes history and casts it into the future, while examining that future in light of the errors of the present and the past.
Check out the YouTube trailer. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but let’s be honest: how many books have a trailer this cool?
This book is brand new, but reviews from previewers are already looking good. I really like the last part of this review, where the blogger describes The Four Things I Appreciated Most About The Last Pilgrims:
- The period piece feel of the book. I am a sucker for period pieces, historical fiction, historical non-fiction, and any book that tells a good story with historical context weaved throughout. The Last Pilgrims actually takes place in the future, but because of the agrarian setting is feels like 500 years in the past.
- Discusses a “collapse” without the paranoia. The story is set twenty years after the breakdown of the industrial society that we know today. Because of this it would be really easy for it to slip into the crazy conspiracy theory and paranoia-oriented post-apocalyptic fiction genre. Fortunately, Mr. Bunker writes the scenario in a very realistic, matter-of-fact way that focuses more on the sustainability of this new life than it does the paranoid zombie conspiracy theories.
- Action as part of a good plot line. I almost never reach for an action-packed thriller first when I need a good read. Perhaps this is the reason I was a bit skeptical of the book. It’s not you, it’s me. But I was really pleased to find the action, battles, and suspense in The Last Pilgrims done tastefully and not at the cost of character development or a real, engaging plot line.
- Humor balances the drama. Humor is used throughout the book, mostly via witty banter between the characters. This makes the storyline just feel more real, engaging, and light enough to balance out the very real and serious drama playing out.
From another review:
“Fantastic writing… excellent, well-crafted and imaginative…
It is rare that someone has such aptitude to interweave so many elements into their work, that it not only conveys a very important message, but it is also a true pleasure to read. Your well-developed characters, the really well considered plot, timing and flow of narrative have really helped in creating a true masterpiece. You really made me stop and think about a life that is possibly lurking not far in the future, when having almost instant access to people, places and material possessions would be impossible.
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I’ll take entries through Thursday and will announce a random winner on Friday, February 24 – the day the book will be released.
This giveaway has ended. The winner was newsletter subscriber, Britton!