NOTE: A of May, 2011, Plaguesville, USA has been taken down from Amazon.com! Mr. LaVigne has signed on with Permuted Press for a re-release of this book. Congratulations, Jim!
Imagine the world of Fallout mixed with Doomsday and Mad Max. Just the right amount of violence and intrigue. Add in some well crafted characters. A dash of horror. This recipe boils down to one magnificent apocalyptic novel…Plaguesville, USA, by Jim LaVigne.
When I first downloaded the sample of Plaguesville, USA I had high hopes and realistic expectations, as I usually do with 99 cent novels by indie authors. After I read the captivating, albeit wordy, prologue and most of chapter 1, I knew I’d found something worth reading. I’m not exaggerating when I say this novel is one of the best post apocalyptic tales I’ve ever read.
Instead of rehashing the description of the novel, let me tell you where it was successful. LaVigne took on the task of creating many subplots and characters and merging them together by the end. He succeeded in doing this; so while you’re reading and you wonder where in the world certain characters will come into play, don’t worry! He has a plan for everyone and everything. Next, he flawlessly put all of our favorite aspects of the apocalypse together. Cannibalism, renegade gangs, infection, mutation, and survival are just a few. LaVigne makes you become a part of the world in his novel by adding in small details such as futuristic advertisement blips in the beginning of each chapter. The small nuances he adds—descriptions here and there—really make you feel what Plaguesville, USA is like.
As we all know, sometimes indie works are hard to get through. Often we have to chew too many times on a sentence to get it down, or stop reading a story all together from lack of structure or unbearable characters. Lucky for us, LaVigne doesn’t make us go through that. From the worldly environment to the nuances of a post apocalyptic world, Plaguesville did not disappoint me. Though his phrasing was easily digestible, some areas of the novel could’ve been trimmed down. Be ready for certain areas of the book to be longer than necessary.
On the topic of grammar and syntax—an area indie authors fail in frequently—you don’t need to worry about it with Plaguesville. I’m not an expert on this stuff, but while reading I was rarely hung up on phrasing or struck dumb by misused and repeated words. You won’t be distracted by the writing itself. Considering LaVigne didn’t work with an editor on this book, that’s a great achievement.
Plaguesville, USA is pure gold. There isn’t a single zombie in this thing, but it’s too good not to write about and promote. Go to Amazon and download a sample if you’re unsure. Hopefully you’ll get hooked like I did.