Echo Island: Be Prepared by Gary Travis is an action/adventure, dystopian novel that focuses on a group of survivalists who are preparing for the worst. Dillon Prescott, an ex-Navy Seal, is in class at College in California when a massive earthquake strikes the Palo Alto region. Rushing home, fearing the worst, Dillon discovers his parent’s house has been totally destroyed, burying his mother and father. Thankfully his young brother is still at school but when Dillon finally manages to dig his father out of the rubble, he discovers his mother is dead and his father needs urgent medical assistance and an amputation of one of his legs. He texts his Seal buddies who swiftly arrive to assist him. After the younger brother Jack sells an invention to GE, the Prescott’s find themselves immensely wealthy. Determined not to be caught out by natural disasters again, the Prescott’s go full-on survival mode and purchase an island in Maine where they will set up an invincible fortress and a self-contained community for themselves and their friends. They will first have to deal with a corrupt and over-zealous local sheriff who wants the island for himself and is determined to send these interlopers packing. Once they become aware that evil forces somewhere are actually triggering these natural disasters, for their own financial benefit, Dillon and his team understand just how important their sanctuary will become in what looks like being a near-extinction event.
Echo Island: Be Prepared is an exciting, action-packed, roller-coaster of a ride for any reader. The survivalists, who have special forces soldiers at their core are experienced and well capable of building an impregnable fortress there on Echo Island. Author Gary Travis has unpacked a set of characters who although stereotypical of special forces personnel are indeed endearing and likeable. They don’t take any crap but that being said, they have hearts of gold. I have to admit though, I did get a little tired of their endless “hooyahs” eventually but it didn’t detract from the story too much. For lovers of a little romance there’s plenty of that here and the relationship between Dillon and Lauren was well written. The writing style is fast and frenetic as befits a thriller as well as being incredibly easy to read. I was thrilled as I get to the end of the story and realise that it wasn’t necessarily, actually, all over and that the door was left wide open for a sequel. I am particularly excited about the prospect of Dillon and his team attempting to take down the forces that caused this mass-extinction event. This appears to be a debut novel from Travis and I would have to say he’s done an exceptional job first up. I look forward to more from this author and can definitely recommend this tale for those who like their action, fast and frenetic with plenty of human values thrown in for good measure.