Review of Phontaine's Gifts by Heather Brown, Taylor News Group

Newton Phontaine is a different kind of kid. He is an extraordinary child when it comes to the acquisition of knowledge. Newton is a lover of books so libraries are a favorite hang out for him. With his incredible intelligence he soon becomes a billionaire. While celebrating this milestone with pizza and library visits in several large cities Newton has a stroke of luck or fate. He meets the love of his life, Maggie. They are both extremely intelligent and share a love of knowledge and books.

Phontaine's Gifts by D.A. Blankinship follows Newton and Maggie and several other key players as they prepare for an Earth and life changing event. Newton and Maggie have big plans for a way to help mankind when the apocalyptic event happens and the money to make their plan a reality. They employ several people to help them implement the complicated steps of their plan to protect the most important commodity, knowledge.

The story follows the details of an event that changes the landscape of the world. Cataclysmic floods and earthquakes interrupt food production and shipping and the world begins to fall apart as gas rationing begins. Mike Williams is the manager of a grocery store. In the beginning of the story his biggest concern is a missed shipment of strawberries. As the story progresses the troubles deepen for Mike and his family. There is no food and the grocery store becomes a dangerous place to be. Mike begins to think the best place for his family isn't where they are. After a visit from the National Guard his mind is made up and they begin their exodus. By the time the life changing events begin to happen around the world Phontaine is a senator and has many clandestine links to what is happening. He does his best to protect his family from all that is happening.

In his attempt to protect them Phontaine finds that there is more to the story than even he was made aware of. Newton and Maggie make a choice to part ways from the group that has formed including their daughter and granddaughters. The group refuses to let them go and votes to keep their family intact.

Blankinship weaves stories of those in high government positions with the story of a grocery store manager and others to create a peek into what might happen to all walks of life in a breakdown of daily routines.

If you think that stock piling food and ammo is the basis of every apocalyptic story ever told this book will be a welcome change. It was truly food for thought in a world that is constantly changing. How would you protect your family and what would you do to help mankind survive?

7 of 7 people reported this review is helpful

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left me with hopeful thoughts ~ Elizabeth ~ Good Reads

I have read a lot of works of fiction about what is going to happen when civilization ends and this is the only one that I can say that left me with hopeful thoughts. Newton Phontaine and his life companion Maggie are brilliant scientist who have planned out what to do when the world starts going to crap. Interwoven with other peoples stories this books not only gets you to think about a plan for the eventual disasters that will happen to the planet but also how people should behave when it happens. Good story and wasn't a bad way to spend an afternoon in the sun.

21 of 23 people reported this review is helpful

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Great Read! ~ J. Elliott ~ Amazon Reviewer

As you read Phontaine's Gifts, you discover the strengths and weaknesses of the people who will create a new world out of the destruction of natural and man-made disasters. The descriptions of these characters brings them to life in their worlds, before the chaos of worldwide weather events changes everything. The philosophy of survivalism is described in terms of everyday people, with a few professionals as guides, finding their way in a world that is completely turned upside down. The realism of the earthquakes, floods, and radical changes to the earth's landscape are interesting when contrasted with current events. The characters could be you and your family, your neighbors, or people in the next town. How they face these changes and plan for the future provides a glimpse into how we ourselves would react, and what we would find important to save.

12 of 21 people reported this review is helpful

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...a vivid picture of what was coming ~ njmom3 ~ LibraryThing

An interesting book to address the question of what would it take for the world and the human race to survive a disaster that destroys the world and its technology as we know it. A message of sustainability and about importance of preserving skills and knowledge that our increasingly technological world may be losing.

Publisher's Note

The Anderson-Nelson Academy is the sequel to Phontaine's Gifts. It picks up on the day Phontaine's Gifts ends.

The first half of the book was a fast-paced action story that drew a vivid picture of what was coming and disaster striking. The ending, however, seemed a little rushed and seemed to come together quickly and conveniently. I would have enjoyed seeing that part of the book developed more or I would love to see a follow saying what happens next.

22 of 25 people reported this review is helpful

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Finally! A realistic apocalyptic novel ~ Ruger Gal ~ Amazon

This book is a prequel to The Scoloderus Conspiracy.

Phontaine's Gifts is a detailed account of the events described in the first chapter in Scoloderus. It is also the story of how the archives described in Scoloderus came to be and explains the rise of the United Americas Trade Federation, which is the central power in Scoloderus.

The events in this book are eerily similar to current earth events (like China's earthquake; Japan's tsunami). The global cataclysms described seem almost prophetic. This book follows the lives of three groups of people as their lives change from mundane to dramatic. It is a spot-on, well written description of everyday life (kids, work, family events; you're going to recognize yourself or someone you know). It is a very believable story of what happens when things start to go wrong - with characters reacting like real people who cope, believing everything will be fine (just a glitch)....then they realize that their life (society itself) is collapsing. The story goes from group to group telling this tale from the perspective of each set of characters (family, government, politicians). I like the fact that the story isn't "tied up in a neat little package with a bow." The story, like reality, doesn't really ever end...while everything/everyone has changed, life goes on.

I bought the paperback to keep on my bookshelf - right next to Alas, Babylon and The Scoloderus Conspiracy.

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Great Read & A Memorable Book

“Phontaine’s Gifts” is an apocalyptic novel — end of the world. The book starts out ordinary and then chapter by chapter the reader moves from family to family as the proverbial ‘sheet hits the fan.’

The author tells the story through the eyes of three families. One family is rich and political, one is an “intact” family with three small children, and one is a mixture of a divorced couple, the guy’s sister, and five boys. Each family and every character is memorable; these people could be living next door to you and by the time you finish the book, you will be wondering if you should be making some changes in your life (i.e., learning how to grow food).

I’ve seen this book compared to “Alas, Babylon,” and like that book, “Phontaine’s Gifts” is a realistic story about the collapse of civilization. Each chapter, each step in the story seems like the next logical event and it is all headed to disaster; but believable disaster. The heroes of this story are not the kind of people Hollywood would pick to be the stars. When you get to the end of the book, you will realize the author thinks heroes don’t wear capes or carry AK-47s, they know what to do and do it without a fan club.

Overall, a great read and a memorable book!

Serial Bus


Paperback $14.95
eBook $4.00

Phontaine's Gifts

Front Cover
The Author


Book Clubs
Barred Owl Publishing

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Review from the Taylor News Group

a peek into what might happen

Reviews from Amazon and LibraryThing

A realistic apocalyptic novel
Great Read & A Memorable Book
left me with hopeful thoughts
Great Read!
...a vivid look at what was coming...
Reviews of Blankinship's books as of