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Survivalist Books In Order

Publication Order of Survivalist Books

Total War (1981) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Nightmare Begins (1981) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Quest (1981) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Doomsayer (1981) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Web (1983) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Savage Horde (1983) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Prophet (1984) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The End is Coming (1984) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Earth Fire (1984) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Awakening (1984) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Reprisal (1985) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Rebellion (1985) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Pursuit (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Terror (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Overlord (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Arsenal (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mid-Wake (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Ordeal (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Struggle (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Final Rain (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Firestorm (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
To End All War (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Legend (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Brutal Conquest (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Call To Battle (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Blood Assassins (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
War Mountain (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Countdown (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death Watch (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Inheritors of Earth (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Earth Shine (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Survivalist Collections

Shades of Love (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Once Upon a Time (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Survivalist is the collective title of long-lived series written by Jerry Ahern which are themed around John Rourke; a retired CIA officer turned to survival and weapons expert in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. The author wrote 27 books in numbered sequel plus an addition of two un-numbered books selling a total of 3.5 million copies in total and despite the numbering; there is always a recap at the start of each novel making it possible for one to read the books out of order.

In the first few novels, the ex-CIA agent tries to find his family, and on the way, he confronts invading Soviet troops as well as villains such as mutants, cannibals and biker gangs in some graphic violence. The later book in the series focuses more on doomsday weapons, cryonics, and underwater cities. The series is also notable for the author’s attention to detail on weapons and vivid descriptions of survival techniques, and also the inclusion of some sympathetic Soviet characters rather than what could have been typical Cold War propaganda. Additionally, the author also includes some strong positive Black and Jewish supporting characters.

The series filters out the possible electromagnetic pulse damage that could have been caused by the massive nuclear war. There is also minimal mention of the war damage to the Russian and the United States electrical equipment in the first two installments The Nightmare Begins and Total War.

The audio versions of the series were first released in 2007 by Graphic Audio, and the last audio book was released in 2011. The series has been out of print even though e-book versions of the whole series are available.

Throughout the series, you will encounter several major characters such as:

John T. Rourke: he is a doctor, weapons and survival expert and a former CIA operations officer. He is sensitive to bright light, and due to this, he is mostly wearing sunglasses even at night. He is always armed with Colt Lawman and Colt Python revolvers, boot knife, a sling with either SSG sniper rifle or CAR-15 assault rifle.

Sarah Rourke is Rourke’s wife but later the wife of Colonel Wolfgang Mann. She was an illustrator and a children author before the war. Sarah and Rourke have a daughter, Annie who later becomes Paul Rubenstein’s (John Rourke’s sidekick) wife.

Major Natalia Tiemerovna is secretively adopted as nieces by General Varakov after KGB murders her parent. Then after her surrogate parents perished in a road crash, she trained as a KGB agent reaching Major rank by the start of the war. She is first married to a ruthless man, Vladimir Karamazov whom she eventually left after being abused and mistreated. She later develops a close relationship with Rourke.

General Ishmael Varakov is Natalia uncle and the head of Soviet Occupation Forces (SOF) in America. He is at many times honorable, patriotic and a reasonable soldier who at times aids Rourke to stop some extreme plans of the KGB.

Vladimir Karamatsov is the head of KGB in North America. He is shot by Rourke at some point but survives this attack; however, he is later killed by Natalia, his former wife.

Colonel Nehemiah Rozhdestvenskiy assumes the head of KGB in North America after Karamazov is killed. He is thirsty for power to the extent that he shoots down an airliner ferrying surviving members of Politburo to America.

Total War

Total War is the first novel in the Survivalist series by Jerry Ahern. The United States and the Soviet Union have gone to war. The two nations launch destructive nuclear missiles at each other which results in the loss of millions of innocent lives. However, these two countries are not the only ones affected by the nuclear war; Europe, Canada, and the Middle East also become caught in the line of fire.

This book follows John Rourke, a former CIA, a gun enthusiast and a survivalist. He is flying back home when his airplane is forced to crash-land due to a nuclear strike that blinds the pilots. While the nuclear explosions blind the two pilots, he takes over control of the plane and crash lands it.

Upon landing, he teams up with the only survivor, Paul Rubenstein, as he tries to navigate his way back home while at the same time avoiding the radiation fallout, biker gangs, and other enemies.

Overall, the first novel in the series is a great read; it is fun read despite the date when it was published. John Rourke, the ex-CIA official, plays his lead role perfectly. He is like a blend of superman and batman and reading throughout the novel nothing can stop him. His sidekick, a fellow survivor, play a significant role in helping the reader understand who John is as well as his abilities.

The Nightmare Begins

The second novel in the series picks up where the first book left off. The former CA agent John Rourke and his sidekick Paul Rubenstein a white collar guy with a mental toughness that allows him to survive in the new world are on their way for the Eastern Seaboard through Texas. Rourke hopes to find his family (wife and kids) still alive, and his sidekicks plan to return home in South Florida to search for his parents.

On the other hand, the Soviet Occupation Forces are landing in the country, and they must begin “pacification” as soon as possible. They are determined to eliminate any prominent Americans would be a rallying point for resistance. Number one on the list of those to be eliminated is Samuel Chambers, the only surviving member of the presidential cabinet. As the KGB invades Texas to liquidate Chambers, they also find the ex-CIA there as well. Heavily armed brigands, paramilitary armies, a beautiful KGB infiltrator and a stream of War refugees and violence block Rourke’s path to finding his family. The birth of U.S. II has just begun, and the search continues for John, the Survivalist and his sidekick.

The second novel in the Survivalist series is a gripping post-apocalyptic novel. The action featured in this book reads like one of the best action movies of the 80’s. The story is quite engaging and will keep, hard to put down and will keep you hooked to the last page. You will love the descriptions of various places and characters that the author implants. If you love post-apocalyptic novels with some militaristic actions, then Survivalist is the series you should be reading right now.

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