The Commune series has been a pretty good one so far. It has focused on a group of characters struggling to survive in the mountains of Wyoming after a Coronal Mass Ejection destroyed society as we know it. The series has been a gritty apocalyptic tale, and sometimes it's been quite brutal, but it has always been centered in realism. I appreciate the straight up story telling that doesn't rely on zombies or alien invasions to challenge the main characters. Speaking of those characters, I've been rooting for them to make it for 4 books now, so I eagerly picked up book 5 to see what was in store for them now. To my surprise, those characters are nowhere to be found. This book is centered in Washington, D.C. so it feels more like the start of a new series than a continuation of an old one. Does it hold up or is this just a money grab that takes advantage of the series name?
This time around the action is centered in Washington D.C. as multiple factions of new characters try to find a way to survive with limited resources. Of course altercations occur regularly and eventually things come to a head as implied by the subtitle. There are some intense action sequences and the stakes are high, as long as you care about the characters involved. That of course is the challenge here....
I must acknowledge that I spent a good portion of the story waiting for this one to tie in to the series that I have come to enjoy. When that moment finally came, it was with a very minor character and it became apparent that this was not a continuation, but rather the start of something new. Ultimately this was a disappointing revelation to me, so I had to put some effort into giving this book a chance to stand on it's own merit. I am not sure I accomplished it, because when it was over I found that I was still disappointed. Hindsight tells me there was nothing really wrong with the story itself, but the new characters just weren't able to grow on me fast enough for me to feel satisfied at the end. It's an ok book but it is not Commune 5.
The audiobook is narrated by R.C. Bray and there is no one better for a gritty apocalyptic story. His performance is awesome as usual and it is because of him I am glad I listened to this one.