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Isolation

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Cole Evans thought he'd found a safe haven for his family and a growing band of survivors of the most lethal virus the world has ever known. But he finds continued survival is far from guaranteed as they battle hostile encounters with other survivors, nature, and devastating accidents. Are they prepared to survive their first brutal Wisconsin winter after the rest of the w Cole Evans thought he'd found a safe haven for his family and a growing band of survivors of the most lethal virus the world has ever known. But he finds continued survival is far from guaranteed as they battle hostile encounters with other survivors, nature, and devastating accidents. Are they prepared to survive their first brutal Wisconsin winter after the rest of the world has perished?


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Cole Evans thought he'd found a safe haven for his family and a growing band of survivors of the most lethal virus the world has ever known. But he finds continued survival is far from guaranteed as they battle hostile encounters with other survivors, nature, and devastating accidents. Are they prepared to survive their first brutal Wisconsin winter after the rest of the w Cole Evans thought he'd found a safe haven for his family and a growing band of survivors of the most lethal virus the world has ever known. But he finds continued survival is far from guaranteed as they battle hostile encounters with other survivors, nature, and devastating accidents. Are they prepared to survive their first brutal Wisconsin winter after the rest of the world has perished?

30 review for Isolation

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    This is the continuation of Infection:A Post-Apocalyptic Survival Novel (Sympatico Syndrome Book 1). Survival isn't all that easy without all the modern conveniences as Cole and his family find out. And there are other survivor's out there that may or may not be that friendly. Then there is the worry about having enough food to survive the brutal Wisconsin weather. They begin to realize that they will have to become hunter gatherers and travel farther and farther from their island. They all reali This is the continuation of Infection:A Post-Apocalyptic Survival Novel (Sympatico Syndrome Book 1). Survival isn't all that easy without all the modern conveniences as Cole and his family find out. And there are other survivor's out there that may or may not be that friendly. Then there is the worry about having enough food to survive the brutal Wisconsin weather. They begin to realize that they will have to become hunter gatherers and travel farther and farther from their island. They all realize that they have strengths that will help all the others. Thankfully Cole's brothers wife is a nurse--although medical supplies are almost non existent. A couple more people are added to their band including 2 very young children that were found in one of the houses they scavenged. They managed to have a Christmas where all the gifts were handmade-- This one ends with the group trying to decide if just maybe they should try to move a bit south where the weather isn't so brutal. Yes, I have the 3rd and final book in this series and you will see it reviewed on my blog--keep your eye out for it. Isolation: A Pandemic Survival Novel

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    This is part 2 of the Sympatico Syndrome series. In this volume, the group settles in to prepare for winter (winters must be very harsh in Wisconsin!) and it's mostly about dealing with the lack of modern conveniences, lack of food, lack of medicines, etc. It's very realistic (that's not a criticism) but there is not as much action or adventure as there was in the first book. There is some - they come across some other people and spend a lot of time scavenging, hunting, dealing with accidents and This is part 2 of the Sympatico Syndrome series. In this volume, the group settles in to prepare for winter (winters must be very harsh in Wisconsin!) and it's mostly about dealing with the lack of modern conveniences, lack of food, lack of medicines, etc. It's very realistic (that's not a criticism) but there is not as much action or adventure as there was in the first book. There is some - they come across some other people and spend a lot of time scavenging, hunting, dealing with accidents and illnesses. The hunting and 'field dressing' descriptions are a bit gory but I've only ever eaten meat from a supermarket, and had to look up field dressing. I'd certainly want to team up with people like these as they know a lot about foraging and hunting. I had no idea you could make flour from acorns, or eat reed roots. One thing which annoyed me - they scavenged a lot but no-one though to look for two-way radios or CB sets? Would have saved a lot of trouble. I will move on to book 3 (Invasion) soon and hope the action picks up a bit.

  3. 5 out of 5

    clinton n smith

    Great premise, good editing, so so execution Everyone is always freaking out and going to look for everyone for want of a couple of cheap walkie talkies from Wal-Mart and some AA batteries. Come on the CDC public health lady, electrician, avid hunter and outdoorsman, nurse, and Navy epidemiologist didn't think of radios? There are several annoying holes in the plot like that. Otherwise I liked the premise but got bored with it and skimmed to get to the end.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Julianne Adams

    Wonderful series! This is book 2 in the Sympatico Syndrome series and if you haven't read the first book, you need to before you read this one! "Isolation" begins immediately where book 1, " Infection " leaves off. The pandemic has swept through civilization and there appears to be few survivors. The main character, Cole, has assembled his family and a few stragglers on his island and they have all managed to stay infection free during their struggle to get to the Island. ( read book 1) All but o Wonderful series! This is book 2 in the Sympatico Syndrome series and if you haven't read the first book, you need to before you read this one! "Isolation" begins immediately where book 1, " Infection " leaves off. The pandemic has swept through civilization and there appears to be few survivors. The main character, Cole, has assembled his family and a few stragglers on his island and they have all managed to stay infection free during their struggle to get to the Island. ( read book 1) All but one, Coles nephew. After having to deal with his nephew's infection, Cole tries desperately to keep the rest of his "family" safe. He also must make sure they all work together to survive the coming winter. This isn't easy when they must face many threats from nature and man. Mistakes are made that threaten lives, evil people are still around and must be dealt with and trial and error play a part in survival itself. There are many things they find they don't know about and must learn. This book should be a wake up call to us all in not only preparedness, but in our lack of knowledge in basic things we might need to know in any long term disaster situation. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and encourage you to read this series. As there was a soft cliff hanger, I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This flows seamlessly from the first book, picking up right where it left off, so there’s no noticeable bump in the road. There is enough lightly-sprinkled backstory throughout the book that if it had been awhile between volumes you could catch up, but not so much that the reader is groaning and skimming for pages for new material. The characters continue to grow and develop as they struggle with slowly encountering other survivors, and having to make the difficult decisions on whether to reach o This flows seamlessly from the first book, picking up right where it left off, so there’s no noticeable bump in the road. There is enough lightly-sprinkled backstory throughout the book that if it had been awhile between volumes you could catch up, but not so much that the reader is groaning and skimming for pages for new material. The characters continue to grow and develop as they struggle with slowly encountering other survivors, and having to make the difficult decisions on whether to reach out to others or pull back and continue to live in Isolation. Again, they react in very normal, human ways—bad encounters make them more cautious about reaching out next time, and good encounters cause them to rethink moving back into the world. These remain “just people” who are doing the best they can. They’re all getting better at survival, but none of them have become superheroes. I know I keep saying this, but I just can’t get over how good the writing and characterization are. It’s compelling drama even when they’re trying to move frozen deer meat or cutting holes for ice fishing. This is a high, high recommendation from me, and even if post-apocalyptic isn’t normally your style, this is still well worth the read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Wytzia Raspe

    A very well written pandemic series by M.P. McDonald. Written well before COVID Cole is a widowed epidemiologist who has retired from the army and is now renovating houses. His son is in college and his brother and sister-in-law live nearby with their son and daughter. One day he gets a phonecall from a co-worker he battled ebola with in Africa called Elly. She warns him a virus has escaped a navy lab on an island and that she expects that 95% of the world population will be dying from it in the A very well written pandemic series by M.P. McDonald. Written well before COVID Cole is a widowed epidemiologist who has retired from the army and is now renovating houses. His son is in college and his brother and sister-in-law live nearby with their son and daughter. One day he gets a phonecall from a co-worker he battled ebola with in Africa called Elly. She warns him a virus has escaped a navy lab on an island and that she expects that 95% of the world population will be dying from it in the coming week. So he best bunkers down somewhere save but only to warn the people dear to him as otherwise the chaos will make his survival hopeless too. Cole decides to try to reach the island he has inherited in Lake Michigan and warns his family members to go there too. The story is with our COVID experience still going on quite eerie and familiar. But the first novel was written in 2016! Some of the group survive the outbreak and survive a cold winter in an idyllic spot so I was flabbergasted when Cole thought it necessary to leave there. And that is when the author shows how good she is as most writers will just let their survivors scavenge and farm.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cecilie Christian

    The next step in the saga... Just as good as the first! I read it in one sitting except for making a cup of tea. Still very, very good editing and only one word tripped me up in Chapter 1. There seems to be a conflict about Hunter’s roommate Chris being a frequent midweek party animal. Sorry, my cut and paste isn’t working right now, or more honestly, I’m not sure how it works in this specific app. Anyways, I’m confident it will be found easily. I really appreciate not being left with the tradition The next step in the saga... Just as good as the first! I read it in one sitting except for making a cup of tea. Still very, very good editing and only one word tripped me up in Chapter 1. There seems to be a conflict about Hunter’s roommate Chris being a frequent midweek party animal. Sorry, my cut and paste isn’t working right now, or more honestly, I’m not sure how it works in this specific app. Anyways, I’m confident it will be found easily. I really appreciate not being left with the traditional cliffhanger ending for these first two books. We are given a good bit of resolution. Since MS McDonald doesn’t use this cheap device to motivate me to read the next one in the trilogy, I really admire her skills all the more. Because of a very brief synopsis at the beginning of #2, I think they could almost be stand alone novels. That is remarkable evidence of her skill. Ok, it’s past 3 am and I have one more to read! Enjoy!!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Al

    The premise of this series is a virus that wiped out many, maybe most, of the world’s population. This band of survivors believe they’ve outlasted the virus although they still take precautions in many situations. In this second volume of the series they’ve survived the initial problems and are trying to figure out the long term. I found the world they’re living in, the premise, and the things they have to work out an interesting mind exercise to go through with them. Of course, there is much mor The premise of this series is a virus that wiped out many, maybe most, of the world’s population. This band of survivors believe they’ve outlasted the virus although they still take precautions in many situations. In this second volume of the series they’ve survived the initial problems and are trying to figure out the long term. I found the world they’re living in, the premise, and the things they have to work out an interesting mind exercise to go through with them. Of course, there is much more than planning involved as accidents happen, plus other survivors pop up from time to time and it isn’t clear who is friend and who foe. Not to mention the issues involved in a Wisconsin winter. I’m looking forward to the next in the series to see where things go from here. **Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **

  9. 4 out of 5

    NightReader

    This books follows everyone who made it through the first book as they survive on and around their island, which happens to be someplace very cold in the winter, so not exactly a picnic. This one wasn't as exciting, but it was still worth a read. I liked that there were other survivors who seemed bad, or at least did bad things, but the book didn't set up the extremely tiresome "big bad" and drag everything down while we make room for "THE VILLAIN". The Apocalypse should be THE adversary in a st This books follows everyone who made it through the first book as they survive on and around their island, which happens to be someplace very cold in the winter, so not exactly a picnic. This one wasn't as exciting, but it was still worth a read. I liked that there were other survivors who seemed bad, or at least did bad things, but the book didn't set up the extremely tiresome "big bad" and drag everything down while we make room for "THE VILLAIN". The Apocalypse should be THE adversary in a story like this and the author let that happen in this book. Again, good characters, decent action. Minor quibbles: 1. Enough of the shopping lists already. 2. Not sure I buy the ending. The big reveal and the plan for book 3 both seem kind of far-fetched, but we'll see when it comes out.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Napier

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I think what makes this such a fun, easy read is the relatability of the whole story. It takes place in Wisconsin, not far from my homeland, and I am VERY familiar with the deep freeze of the winters there. Anyone who lives in the Midwest is going to feel every chill and snowflake on each page. The people are just regular folks, doing regular folks things as they try to survive the isolation of a post-apocalyptic world. They fight with family, work together, and make some REALLY BONEHEADED mista I think what makes this such a fun, easy read is the relatability of the whole story. It takes place in Wisconsin, not far from my homeland, and I am VERY familiar with the deep freeze of the winters there. Anyone who lives in the Midwest is going to feel every chill and snowflake on each page. The people are just regular folks, doing regular folks things as they try to survive the isolation of a post-apocalyptic world. They fight with family, work together, and make some REALLY BONEHEADED mistakes. (Two grown men remember sanitary supplies for their women on a scavenging trip, but somehow CONDOMS never cross their minds, even though they're in the same aisle in most stores.) This book isn't about the end of the world. It's about surviving so that the human race can rebuild. It's a kind, hopeful story with an ambiguous ending. Most Americans can probably relate.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Keith Stafford

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The book seems to flit about with an inconsistent timeline. It jumps from being incredibly detailed in parts, with pages devoted to shopping, items they found, some they didn't,.... And on and on. Then to a severe lack of detail in other events, one gets shot, and it's hardly mentioned. It it very difficult to get a handle on the time sequence, there seems no logical flow. Survival is relatively easy for these people, they make no difficult decisions, nor are they pushed to make any. They add nu The book seems to flit about with an inconsistent timeline. It jumps from being incredibly detailed in parts, with pages devoted to shopping, items they found, some they didn't,.... And on and on. Then to a severe lack of detail in other events, one gets shot, and it's hardly mentioned. It it very difficult to get a handle on the time sequence, there seems no logical flow. Survival is relatively easy for these people, they make no difficult decisions, nor are they pushed to make any. They add numbers to their group without thought of consequences. Characters lie dormant and then reappear..... The whole plot lacks any real direction. Now planning a move to Las Vegas,... Really, I live in Northern Ireland, never been to Vegas, but I would suggest a move to somewhere fertile might be a better move.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Before you read this one, please note it is the second book of a series: you need to read Infection: A Pandemic Survival Novel (Sympatico Syndrome Book 1) first, or the situations, characters, etc., won’t make much sense to you. The author picks the story up right where book one ended. If you’ve read other post-apocalyptic novels you will see a lot of similarities, but the author’s writing style is relaxed and makes you feel as if you are right in the middle of the story and living it out yoursel Before you read this one, please note it is the second book of a series: you need to read Infection: A Pandemic Survival Novel (Sympatico Syndrome Book 1) first, or the situations, characters, etc., won’t make much sense to you. The author picks the story up right where book one ended. If you’ve read other post-apocalyptic novels you will see a lot of similarities, but the author’s writing style is relaxed and makes you feel as if you are right in the middle of the story and living it out yourself. The ending did leave it open for a seuquel, but it did have enough of an ending for me that it could be complete if the author so desired. If a sequel is published, I would purchase it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Preston

    Realistic Apocalypse This book had just the right amount of terror and violence balanced with a realistic approach to surviving an apocalypse. The island group applied their skills to survive...planting a garden.; canning food; gathering meds and weapons. Their enemies were of the humankind and their problems were ongoing with with no easy fixes. The only small criticism I have is the time line. Some complicated tasks were too easily solved. For example planting a garden and harvesting it require Realistic Apocalypse This book had just the right amount of terror and violence balanced with a realistic approach to surviving an apocalypse. The island group applied their skills to survive...planting a garden.; canning food; gathering meds and weapons. Their enemies were of the humankind and their problems were ongoing with with no easy fixes. The only small criticism I have is the time line. Some complicated tasks were too easily solved. For example planting a garden and harvesting it requires more time than what was indicated. That being said, I would still definitely buy the next book in this series. I d like to know. Did they stay or go?

  14. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Very good post-apocalyptic novel, the second in its series, that strikes the right balance between the technical aspects of "prepping" for a disaster and the human side of living through such an event. This book features great characters and just enough action interspersed with details about how this family (with friends, too) manages to survive in a world where disease has killed off a large percentage of humanity. It ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger, and I definitely want more, even moreso than Very good post-apocalyptic novel, the second in its series, that strikes the right balance between the technical aspects of "prepping" for a disaster and the human side of living through such an event. This book features great characters and just enough action interspersed with details about how this family (with friends, too) manages to survive in a world where disease has killed off a large percentage of humanity. It ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger, and I definitely want more, even moreso than after finishing Book 1. Looking forward to future installments of the series.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Fryland

    Cole and family and friends try to survive a harsh winter on the island after most of the people in the world died from sympatico syndrome. I enjoyed the realism of family infighting and irritations. I like reading about the scavenging for food or usable items. But why not find a ham radio or cb or at least walkie talkies? Why not grab some condoms while out looking for meds? There are male and female teens and adults in this island folks! I enjoyed this book but not quite as much as the first boo Cole and family and friends try to survive a harsh winter on the island after most of the people in the world died from sympatico syndrome. I enjoyed the realism of family infighting and irritations. I like reading about the scavenging for food or usable items. But why not find a ham radio or cb or at least walkie talkies? Why not grab some condoms while out looking for meds? There are male and female teens and adults in this island folks! I enjoyed this book but not quite as much as the first book. Definitely engaged with the story and characters and I’m starting book 3 right now!

  16. 4 out of 5

    JoAnn Wells

    Two down, one to go, I love this series. The first book grabbed me and the second sucked me in. I hope the third lives up to these two. Honestly I’m almost tempted to become a prepper and start hoarding supplies for the inevitable downfall these books say is coming. That’s probably why I like them cause they scare the crap out of me. If nothing else it makes me more conscious of what I waste and how to be better at conserving things. This should be required reading in school for all teens to lea Two down, one to go, I love this series. The first book grabbed me and the second sucked me in. I hope the third lives up to these two. Honestly I’m almost tempted to become a prepper and start hoarding supplies for the inevitable downfall these books say is coming. That’s probably why I like them cause they scare the crap out of me. If nothing else it makes me more conscious of what I waste and how to be better at conserving things. This should be required reading in school for all teens to learn how to survive without a cell phone in their hands!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Katie blakely

    Loved this, great plot, characters and actually realistic scenarios It seems everyone has read a SHTF end of the world book lately and most have the characters doing stupid stuff or magically finding everything they need. This pelt was well thought out, and I could actually picture people behaving as the author described. Picks right up from the first book, and I hope another will be released soon. I could easily see this as a television show :)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hannelore Palmr

    Apocalypse without the element of Mad Max Book 2 of the Sympatico Syndrome trilogy is better then the first. Almost nothing has happened in my life except reading since I started reading about this family and their challenges and triumphs of survival and even joy when a disease wipes out almost all of the human race. I am so very so very tired from not sleeping since I am a slow reader and can’t stop reading their story. Don’t miss it!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Kottke

    Wouldn't waste my time or money on this one Really didn't hold my attention as well as the first book. The first book had moments it dragged on but the second book dragged on and on without anything really important happening, basically boring. The book abruptly stopped. There was no climax and no ending, no resolution. Very disappointed with the way the book just stopped without an ending. I wouldn't waste my time reading the third one.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cherye Elliott

    Book #2 I am still enjoying the series. Well written. Fun plot. Note to author. 1. When Piper made cinnamon rolls and said she wished she had powdered sugar....she does. It is just sugar ground up. 2. Hoover dam. Yes there is water. But they want to have a garden in the Spring? Better start it in January. They are moving to a desert. August it gets over 110 degrees. So going from one extreme to another. ????

  21. 5 out of 5

    Don

    There’s a little disconnect between Infection and Isolation in that the garden is already producing, like a couple of months have past. I don’t remember it taking but maybe a couple of weeks for Hunter and Elly to get there? Maybe I missed the transition of the time passing. Action is slow until halfway through when problems crop up like Jake and Sophie missing. It keeps on generating interest as it goes. Another great story by McDonald.5

  22. 4 out of 5

    Maria Park

    Isolation continues the saga of Survival Our band of survivors is getting better navigating the post Sympatico Syndrome world. Many challenges still face them, food shortages, extreme weather and hostile groups marauding through their stronghold. Invasion, #3 in the series, holds more answers to their fate.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tim Chappell

    Kinder,Gentler ,Apocalypse The Earth Abides and Alas Babylon are 2 of the best Apocalyptic novels. Both written over 50 years ago. This series is a lot like those two. More emphasis on surviving against the random vagaries of life than constant firefights against psychotic survivors. A very nice change of pace.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shirley Gregory

    Great read I really enjoyed the first book and liked the second even more. It has great, realistic characters and a believable story that keep you reading way too late.. I can't wait for his next book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    DEBORAH Eastman

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Very good books both one and two, but there needs to be a third. Is the baby born? Are the people safe? Do they move? How was the wedding? Need answers please, I hope that another book is written in this series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Belynda

    When, oh when will I learn to ensure the whole trilogy is out before I start reading one? Now, I have to wait for Desolation.. How long will I have to wait? Too long, that's how long! Great cliffhanger, looking forward to the next one.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joan Barstad

    I enjoyed this second book as much as I did the first one. The many trials and tribulations these people go through are fast and furious. I'm looking forward to more. I would recommend this series whole-heartedly.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Donna G Smith

    Don't put it down I tried to put it down and sleep but could sleep. Scarey and exciting the action doesn't stop. This seems both farfetched and realistic. The characters so real And the world as we know ended. How would you survive? Would you and your loved one survive?

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lawrence

    Fast moving survivalist adventure The continuation of the adventures of a group after an epidemic wipes out most of human kind. The story is action packed. If something can go wrong for these people, it will.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Talbott

    Love this series I just love this series. The characters are well developed and the plot is good. I usually just read at bedtime but have been reading this book during the day and also the first one. Cant wait to read the next book.

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