“No Normal Day” – a Dystopian novel for “normal” people

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No Normal Day

A retired couple wakes up on a normal day where she cleans the house and he makes the monthly liquor store run 20 miles away. While he’s gone, the power goes out – and stays out. Cars stop working. Cell phones screens go blank. It’s a scenario we all need to prepare for, but many do not.

I found this series through an ad on The Survival Mom Web site. J. Richardson is on her ninth self-published book.

The Good

I enjoyed the plot of No Normal Day because it was different from other Dystopian novels. The characters are pretty much normal people who have prepared for a rainy day, but not necessarily for an EMP. There is scavenging and rummaging by all. There is death and disease. A few vehicles work and people utilize those to get supplies and family members. The military does show up eventually to gather dead bodies, find supplies, and take survivors away to camps. The exact cause isn’t revealed, even at the end of the book. Solar flare is their best guess.

Jack and Beth live in Texas. She had started stocking up on supplies and water, mainly for a rainy day with a bad economy. After the “event,” they work alongside a man with military experience and his nephew to gather their family from what used to be nearby neighborhoods. Once the family and supplies are gathered, they work together to create a compound and survive on what supplies they have and can gather. No one is a sniper or expert survivalist. No one has a HAM radio or faraday cage. This novel is about normal people and how they survive after the world completely changes.

The Not As Good

While I enjoyed reading this and would recommend it for the plot, there are several grammatical errors in regard to punctuation and its/it’s. The author also chooses to block out some letters of certain curse words when she uses them.

“I have to admit that I wasn’t prepared for the very critical reviews. I was always very good at English, etc., and never really thought I would not be able to produce a readable book,” Richardson said. “Silly of me. The amazing thing was … I was selling books but it was important to me to feel like they were grammatically correct. I wasn’t longing to be a million bestseller; still my pride insisted that I not appear to be ignorant. Once I got past the sting of criticism and really began to study and learn a little more about writing fiction, the next books improved. I realize that my view is rather optimistic about survival in such a situation. Some readers seem to enjoy no zombies and the low violence and bad language.”

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This author has great potential and I look forward to reading more of her novels as her writing gets better and better.

You can order the books online, or visit the author’s website.



4 thoughts on ““No Normal Day” – a Dystopian novel for “normal” people”

  1. I’ve noticed increasingly bad grammar in books lately as well as some obvious continuity errors. Do authors use editors anymore? Generally, those mistakes do not take away from my enjoyment of the book, but it does make me wonder.

    1. The Survival Mom

      I agree. I don’t think the books are professionally edited, probably because that can be pricey. A few years ago, an friend who was an editor charged $40 per hour and that was on the very, very low side. If you think about how many hours it could take to edit a 50,000 word book, that adds up fast.

  2. This is one of my pet peeves in survival fiction. Sometimes I can hardly bear to read it. The errors are so widespread and obvious in some books that it’s difficult to believe that a reasonably-educated person wrote it. Even a cursory read-through and a quick use of spell-check should have caught most of these errors, yet they still got through.

    This certainly doesn’t reflect well on preppers. We need to get the prepping message out but we should still hold ourselves to high standards. Good editing is a MUST, if for no other reason that it helps readers take the message more seriously.

  3. Linore Rose Burkard

    Good news for the prepper world of fiction! As a previously published author, I can say with confidence that my books are professionally edited before publication. My latest novel is my first dystopian, which my agent is shopping for me. Books that are self-published are much more likely to have the poor grammar you’ve noticed, and for the reason the Survival Mom noted: Professional editing can be costly. I look forward to having my book hit the shelves. I may still get poor reviews (nearly all books do), but it won’t be due to grammatical issues! 🙂

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