What would you do if you were forced to leave your bug out location? Or worse, what if you discovered it had become unusable to you? That’s the scenario faced by the characters in the latest novel by Scott B. Williams entitled The Forge of Darkness.
When a major solar EMP takes place in the first book in this series, two of the characters leave New Orleans and find themselves in the woods and riverlands of Mississippi, an area Scott is well acquainted with. They’re joined by a handful of others along the way. Mitch Henley’s home and farm become their haven.
As if contemplating a post-EMP world isn’t serious enough, this latest novel lays down some heavy events for us to ponder. Once you’ve read the tale of how this group of survivors is put to the test, you’ll be reaching for your gun cleaning kit and stocking up on extra ammunition.
Author Scott B. Williams is this week’s DestinySurvival Radio guest. We talked about some of the dangers that might befall us in a post-EMP world.
The Series Creator
Scott B. Williams has been on DestinySurvival Radio several times before to talk about both his fiction and nonfiction books. We always have enjoyable conversations. If you’re not familiar with him, here’s a little background info.
Scott B. Williams has been writing about his adventures for more than twenty-five years. His published work includes dozens of magazine articles and more than a dozen books, with more projects currently underway. His interest in backpacking, sea kayaking and sailing small boats to remote places led him to pursue the wilderness survival skills that he has written about in his popular survival nonfiction books such as Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It’s Too Late.
He has also authored travel narratives such as On Island Time: Kayaking the Caribbean, an account of his two-year solo kayaking journey through the islands. With the release of The Pulse in 2012, Scott moved into writing fiction and has written several more novels with many more in the works.
The Darkness After Series
The Forge of Darkness is the third book in this series with The Darkness After and Into the River Lands being the first two novels. See my post about the second book here. A fourth novel is forthcoming.
Scott explained in our conversation that “darkness” refers to more than the darkness created by the EMP that knocked out the lights. This latest novel brings about major changes for the characters. And the darkness of human nature is evident throughout the series as a whole.
And yet there’s hope.
Perhaps it’s the idealism of the young people portrayed. Nonetheless, if you and I give up, we’re done for.
Though meant for a young adult audience, Scott says many adults are reading these novels. They’re not meant to be how-to stories, but there’s plenty to think about as we let imagination carry us through the unfolding events.
They certainly tackle issues we’ll all face in the wake of a major disaster, no matter what our age may be.
The Forge of Darkness
It’s nine months after the giant solar flare. It only takes a couple of days for shocking and dramatic events to change everything for our handful of survivors. The group is caught off guard by a band of marauders who dish out a significant setback.
Things will never be the same. Merely surviving has been jeopardized.
We see the characters we’ve become familiar with from earlier in this series. They include Mitch and April, who has an infant daughter. Others are Mitch’s sister Lisa, Jason, Samantha and Corey. David is a different person after sustaining a blow to the head in the previous novel. Benny and Tommy were introduced to us late in that book as well.
The story begins with Mitch teaching Jason to hunt. Action begins as they hear shots in the distance. It’s not long before more shooting takes place between our beloved characters and the bad guys who are after cattle on the farm.
The group finds themselves split up as events unfold, but they exhibit loyalty to one another and demonstrate their motivation to survive. Two of them get killed, which adds to the group’s trials. Perhaps it’s some consolation they kill off several of the “bad guys.”
We see no presence of police, a fire department or other governmental authorities. This raises questions we might ponder concerning the unique need for self defense in an isolated rural area. While getting out of the city after a catastrophe may be desirable, survival in the country poses its own set of challenges.
Things look bad until about three-fourths of the way through the story. Then Mitch performs admirably with his amazing archery skills, and it looks like events are turning around for the better.
Then there’s one more gut punch.
This story doesn’t have a happy ending, but it does have one that’s hopeful.
There’s plenty of violence, death and destruction. But what would a good story be without these elements?
As I read, I found myself dreading what would come next. I thought “This can’t be happening.” But isn’t that a reaction many of us will have when the chips are down?
Scott has mastered the art of creating suspense. If you’re like me, you can’t help but keep reading.
At the conclusion of the story, Mitch and April discuss the loss of possessions they counted on for survival. They attempt to keep a proper perspective on the importance of being alive, no matter what. And that should prove instructive for us as well.
The Conversation and Concluding Thoughts
Hear my conversation with Scott B. Williams by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for May 26, 2016. (Right click to download.) That’s where you can hear more of my observations and Scott’s insights from this novel.
Get The Forge of Darkness by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. The same applies to the linked titles for a few of Scott’s other books.
Fiction can introduce us to concepts and ideas we might not think about otherwise. Or it can be nothing more than escapist entertainment. Or it can fall somewhere in between.
Read The Forge of Darkness for yourself. Then decide where it falls on that continuum for you.
Scott enjoys writing fiction. He’s grateful for those of us who read what he writes.
That means there’s more to come. Be on the lookout for it.
To sign up for Scott’s newsletter or to contact him, visit his website: www.scottbwilliams.com.