Length: 316 Pages
Desolation by M.L. Banner picks up right where Stone Age leaves off. Power is a thing of the past and everyone is living without life’s usual comforts and necessities. Things are very bad for our characters we know and have become attached to. The world has been devastated from the solar flare and CME. Our group of characters are struggling to make it day-to-day in a harsh and unforgiving world. Melanie, the astronaut, has crashed in the middle of the heartland, Dr. Reid is making his way to Colorado on his bicycle and the Kings are still doing well in the home of their friend Max. Max is taken and being held prisoner by the local drug boss, and the kids are now following along with a religious group as they head west in hopes of finding a new home.
*** Contains Spoilers ***
As in any great apocalyptic setting there is the emergence of a religious group. M.L. Banner doesn’t miss out on this opportunity and sets up a character known as the “teacher” or “prophet” to lead his “followers” through the land of desolation. Their group grows as they conquer town after town. He is every bit as crazy as those we see on any given day in the news. This adds a great and terrifying element to the story as this religious group forces people to follow them or have their town pillaged.
Tensions run high as people begin to realize that food, water and daily needs and supplies are running out. Max and the Kings are well off as Max has been preparing for the end of the world and their journey to CICADA. The journey will a long and relentless one as they encounter people with unknown motives. After weeks of travel the kings are surprised to be reunited with their missing daughter who has made a life for herself with a husband in a small group of survivors living on a ranch.
As the story line jumps ahead in time we learn a bit about CICADA and who will be accepted and what the purpose of this place is. In the final jump in time one final and very important person has arrived at CICADA to seek help for his people.
Desolation is a very well constructed and presented story, as one of many possible outcomes after the world comes to a stop. I found myself locked in to each story line and turning pages in anticipation of the next groups journey. The characters have great personalities and back stories/histories that make them unique and interesting. The real life science of Desolation mixed with the apocalyptic scenery all makes for an intriguing and page turning book. The ending left me completely wanting to read the next book, as far as cliff hangers go this is as good as the one in Stone Age and the brief excerpt at the end of the book for the next book titled CICADA is fantastic. I’m now left eagerly waiting for M.L. Banner’s next book in the saga. If you haven’t read Stone Age do so now!. Desolation is a must read for those of us who love post apocalyptic stories.