Is it my imagination, or are we hearing from a growing number of public mouthpieces about the possible dangers of an EMP (electromagnetic pulse)?
Certainly it has caught the attention of a handful of authors in the past few years who have written novels about how we would survive the aftermath of such a widespread, devastating event.
The fourth novel in The Darkness After series is The Savage Darkness. As with Scott’s other novels, I enjoyed it.
Though intended for a young adult audience, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, too, no matter your age. Scott has a way of blending suspense and action to keep you turning the pages.
This week’s DestinySurvival Radio features my conversation with Scott about the book–and plenty more. Below are my thoughts on the book and our conversation.
Scott B. Williams has been my DestinySurvival Radio guest several times. Perhaps you’ve heard one of our past exchanges. However, if you don’t know who he is, here’s some background.
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. His interest in 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 and 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 began writing fiction and has since written multiple novels in The Pulse Series and The Darkness After Series, with more sequels in the works to each, as well as a new series coming later.
To learn more about his upcoming books or to sign up for his new-release mailing list, visit Scott’s website at: www.scottbwilliams.com.
Here’s the series in a nutshell. After a massive solar EMP, a group of young people find themselves struggling to survive under primitive conditions of life in rural, southern Mississippi.
Things were bleak at the end of The Forge of Darkness, the previous installment of this series. Marauders had burned Mitch and his friends out of Mitch’s dad’s home where they were staying.
I like how this novel begins. We’re introduced to Doug Henley, Mitch’s dad, who had returned home from Texas after what must have been a difficult trip. Rather than coming back to a hero’s welcome, devastation and bewildering questions greeted him.
Then we’re taken back a little while in time where we meet Mitch, Lisa, April, and the others we’ve become acquainted with in this series. Events progress, and Doug Henley enters the scene late in the book. But he doesn’t stay long, leaving us wanting to know more.
Mitch and his group were fortunate to have supplies and skills among them so they could build a shelter and keep themselves fed. Benny, an older gentleman, helped when he wasn’t sick.
And that brings us to an important element in this tale–the need for antibiotics and other medicine to conquer colds and coughs. Not only was Benny sick, but so was April’s infant daughter.
Mitch reluctantly left his little group to find the needed medicines in a nearby town. Fortunately, he met a friend, though their meeting was tense at first. You’ll have to read the book for the suspenseful details.
Unfortunately, Mitch didn’t find adequate medicine. Nonetheless, shared similar experiences strengthened the bonds between Mitch and the man known as Mr. Holloway.
We’re shown a glimpse of the brutality of the aftermath from the EMP when a little later Mitch and his sister Lisa traveled to a town where they’d heard of a trading post. Little had been left untouched by vandalism.
Purvis, the trading post town, gave Mitch a decidedly unfriendly welcome. Fortunately, the sheriff knew his dad from past law enforcement experience and came to his aid.
Later Mitch’s sister Lisa found herself in a frightening predicament as well. And at one point, when it looked like she would be rescued, things only got worse. But she made it through the roughest of her situation, as one would hope for in a good thriller.
Mitch is known for his superb archery skills in earlier books in this series. We don’t see them put to use until late in this one, but he’s as effective as ever.
The book ends on a hopeful note. However, it does so in such a way as to leave us wondering if there’s more to come.
The Bigger Ideas
Sickness–Can you imagine being in a grid-down situation without any medicine? You wouldn’t want to take the common cold for granted.
What if it turned into pneumonia? You or your loved ones could die. And that may not be an exaggeration.
Lawlessness–In our conversation Scott and I discussed how small towns could become like towns of the Old West. They would take the law into their own hands, like Purvis in the story.
In the wake of widespread catastrophe, towns could become defensive and militaristic. What will cities and towns do when there’s no state or federal help available to enforce the law or provide the other services we’re accustomed to?
Scarcity–Consider this. After months without help on the way, what will become of emergency centers? They’ll use up what supplies they have on hand. Then what?
Connections–In this novel, Mitch found himself in a bad spot in purvis. Having connections paid off. The fact that the sheriff of Purvis knew his dad worked to his advantage.
The lesson for us seems clear to me. Develop and use your connections with reputable people if you have them. And hope for the best when the chips are down.
The darkness–The word “darkness” in the title of this series and in this fourth volume could have more than one meaning.
In our conversation Scott and I touched on the subject of human nature. How will people behave in the stages of a disaster? Will they pull together at first? What will they act like after a prolonged period of time?
Hear my conversation with Scott B. Williams by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for January 26, 2017. (Right click to download.)
Get your copy of
The Savage Darkness by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post.
Fiction can help us escape our present world while nudging us to think about things we might not have considered otherwise. Venture into the savage darkness in your mind and see how far it takes you toward survival.