Disclaimer: I am friends with the author; however, I purchased a hardcopy version of this book for full price.
This book picks up immediately after the events of Canyon Shadows, but is easily read as a stand-alone. It immediately grabbed me and sucked me in, with events that are all present-day and much narrower in focus.
This is an apocalyptic scenario played out in real-time, in both a suburban and very rural setting. Toby and his family are thrust to the fore-front due to a certain facet of his family line, and the very realistic issues of lack of communication and access to info about the greater world are starkly portrayed. Even so, I had no time to wish for a bigger scope of information because of how deftly Langille focuses on this one family.
Toby is a man pushed to his literal limits — physically, emotionally, psychologically. Readers can clearly identify with his goal, which makes the final scene all the more heart-rending. My dual hopes for the next book in this series are more information about the bigger picture of events and a continuation of Toby’s story line.
Be warned: This is a dark fantasy that regularly verges into horror territory. Langille does not skimp on the gruesome and visceral in his descriptions, though it’s always to good effect rather than gratuitous.
(Why not 5 stars? Some distracting formatting issues made certain conversations difficult to parse.)