Series: The End of All Things #3
Published by The Writer's Coffee Shop on March 26, 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction
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Carly Daniels knows what it is to suffer loss. She knows what it is to sacrifice. In the two years since a pandemic virus—known only as the Infection—decimated humanity, she’s made choices she never could have imagined. She’s condoned violence in the name of peace and done the unthinkable in the name of mercy. But with Justin at her side, she’s also learned there’s nothing she can’t face and nothing she wouldn’t do to protect those she loves.
But now another threat has arrived in the form of a uniformed man driving an army truck, claiming to represent the remnant of the United States military. Someone has set their sights on their community . . . and on Justin. The struggle to defend their little homeland is far from over, and the visitors may have brought more danger with them than just their weapons.
The shadows are closing in. Carly has to find out whether she has the strength to stand on her own when all of her support has fallen away. What remains when the shadows have gone?
Sandi: It’s a hard go to write a trilogy. Each book has to have its own story, and there has to be a bigger story carried through all three books that concludes at the end. It’s a balancing act. It’s a tapestry. It’s a perfectly-timed feast served to a large family.
Lissa Bryan, in Shadows Have Gone, concluded her The End of All Things Trilogy with artistic balance, with perfect timing.
In Bryan’s dystopian world, the one that has developed since the Infection, people have had to learn to live in less sheltered ways. Necessity breeds blunt pragmatism.
“A pregnant woman doesn’t need the stress and strain of lugging around bodies in this heat.”
Because there had been a battle, you see, and the people of Colby, where Bryan has established her characters’ home in this trilogy, are civilized and aren’t going to leave death just lying around.
In fact, their society has brought to the fore examples of selflessness and insight that make books like this haunting reading.
“That’s why I know ghosts are real, Not visible phantoms floating through a house and throwing stuff. But the ghosts in your mind. They haunt you. Sometimes forever, I guess.” – Kaden
We ask ourselves, how does a young man come to think such things? How can he quote Beowulf over a cairn? But he can and he does.
Bryan shows a very natural pattern in this final book of her trilogy. There’s conflict between those who want to Just Relax Already after the altercations and tragedies of the last book and those who want to Investigate Possible Future Problems to keep an eye on things.
Carly, Our Heroine, is one of the former while her husband, Justin, is firmly in the camp of the latter. This makes for a domestic tension in their home. Also in their home, though, is the playful amusement new parents will recognize as Carly and Justin try to angle for some alone time while there’s a baby in house, a young man they’ve adopted into their family, and a slew of Colby-ites who need one or the other of them for something.
And, of course, Bryan keeps the balance. Because while this is happening, trouble is brewing. Names from the first book are coming back to engage themselves in our awareness. Carly gets in a dangerous circumstance.
I can’t tell you the nature of that calamity, but I will say it totally works for me. This book has its own Big Bad and once again Our Hero and Heroine have to handle it.
Believe in Lissa Bryan’s storytelling, though. She makes it work all the way to the last page.
Really, I’m sitting here working very hard NOT to tell you what happens. So go, read this trilogy. It’s a blunt but hopeful adventure into a future I would rather never, ever see happen.