The Last Pilgrims is book one of a planned multi-volume saga that centers around a group of Christian agrarians that live life as most people did 500 years ago -- working the land and raising their own food -- largely because the world systems have collapsed completely. Twenty years after the catastrophic collapse, the world is quite different -- all of the modern, normal providers of life-necessities in the world (utilities, grocery stores, etc.) are gone; and in order to survive, people needed to return to the old way of living. Those that could did survive; most didn't.
The story is about how those people live, the economic system of trade and barter that rose up, the governmental systems of monarchy that rose in the world, the forces of evil that would stamp out those who don't submit to the evil ways and doctrines of the wicked governments and religious systems, and those whom the Lord raises up to protect His people.
It has all of the elements of a good story -- action, suspense, surprises, lessons, things to make you think, information, etc. It kept me interested; Mr. Bunker did an excellent job of painting the pictures with his words, even with minute details; the characters are interesting and developed pretty well; and, even though I'm not really a fan of fiction, I appreciate the creativity in being able to invent a well-thought-out story and then tell it well.
There are also many ideas of his Christian, agrarian, separatist views of the world woven throughout; and he's able to evidence how those are positive, beneficial, and even desirable things. However, he's also not remiss in declaring the continued evil of the world and antichrist against those who would serve God alone.
This book is different from other post-apocalyptic books in that Mr. Bunker comes at the situation based on different underlying premises:
- that it's very possible, even probable, that the world will not get back to "normal" after a system collapse...ever
- that history shows this to be true after the collapse of every empire
- that in such a circumstance, all bets are off as to how you can expect people to act (eg. "normal" people will become as wicked or more than pirate biker gangs)
- that the spiritual battle of antichrist and the world will continue against Christ and His followers until the end
- that the followers of Christ will still face persecutions, as they have throughout time; and that as a Christian, there is no entitlement or guarantee of absolute safety
- that the Lord God of all is still in charge of all circumstances and defends His people
Finally, Mr. Bunker examines two schools of thought regarding violence: pacifism and militia-ism, which is a major running theme throughout, with the characters facing life decisions as to how they will proceed with their actions in this regard, and the consequences of those choices.
The Last Pilgrims is a work of art that is interesting and educational, and may be a true-to-life situation this generation will face. In a way, this series looks like it will be a culmination of years of study by Mr. Bunker in theology, worldview, history, etc. It has been fun and interesting to see the right side of his brain being let out of the cage to roam freely (so to speak). :)
For more information about the book, please visit www.lastpilgrims.com; and if you plan to, please purchase his book at Amazon.com on February 24, 2012, when the future becomes the past!