The end of the world stuff never used to appeal to me until very recently and now I enjoy a good ‘doom and gloom’ survivor story mixed in with my history, sci-fi, contemporary and paranormal romance. Hey, what’s one more fantasy world to delve into, right? I find that I enjoy reading about people struggling against all odds and coming through it. In this case, it is surviving a huge meteor hitting the planet and it’s the story of two regular guys trying to make their way and find some happiness while they’re at it.
The story opens with Elliot stumbling along a street of rubble still getting adjusted to what his life has become. A huge chunk of space rock fell from the sky and the aftermath of earthquakes obliterated everything. He is alone and afraid that he is the last man living on the planet until some time later he thinks he is dreaming when another man- a beautiful man- comes into sight. Elliot almost cries with relief and falls on Adam in thankfulness of no longer having to survive alone. Adam accepts his embrace, but then shares that he is not interested. They go back into survival mode when Adam points out the ominous black cloud drawing ever closer from the east and explains that it will bring Ashen Winter which is a result of the meteor hit. After fending off a growling dog and hiding in a dental office through an earthquake, the two draw close. Elliot is confused and hurt when Adam burns hot and then cold. He invites and then he rebuffs Elliot.
Through injuries, trying to get their basic needs met and trying not to succumb to fear, the two men draw close. They open up and share some of their past. As they journey along, there are hints in a flyer and spray painted directional signs that there might be a place for survivors. Elliot is skeptical, but it becomes a new hope for Adam. An injury Elliot sustained has left him desirous of resting at the hospital and they part ways when Adam wants to press on and find this Refuge Inc. Not long after leaving, Adam realizes it was a mistake to separate from Elliot, but realizes its even worse when he returns to the hospital only to find Elliot is gone looking for him. How will he ever find him in the darkness?
The plot moves along at a steady pace. There are descriptive parts that make it clear what is happening and what it looks and feels like, but the focus is really on the characters and what they think and feel as they try to survive. The perspective switched back and forth between Elliot and Adam so there is an opportunity to get to know them. I really liked both of them and enjoyed being along on their adventure. They show their fears, they make mistakes, but they just keep plodding ahead. They get together a few different times, but it has the feel of desperation to it with the ‘we lived through it’ or ‘we’re going to die’ motivation. Not to say that there is only the physical spark between them. They both come to the conclusion separately that they want to and need to be together. The story ended up in a ‘we’re safe for now’ place. There is foreshadowing for what is to come both in their relationship and in their efforts to survive. This story segment was the big set up and has me anticipating and eager for what is to come next.
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