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27 March 2013

L M May: Dark Days

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Although romantic suspense is not my normal genre I really enjoyed this book. While I am an avid reader of the thriller genre, I try to have a reasonably eclectic taste in books and read some good ones and some pretty awful ones. "Dark Days" is definitely one of the better ones. It is a story of survival amidst desperation, and of love and compassion in the ruins of society as we know it.

Christopher broke Gemma's heart when she was in her teens. Gemma has built a new life for herself and is devastated when her best friend Caroline dies, leaving Gemma to look after her 4 year old son, plus a promise that obliged Gemma to contact Christopher again. Gemma travels to the city and has just told Christopher Caroline's secret when the world as they knew it disappears in an instant - all power fails, cars stop, planes crash and more.

How many of you know the potential apocalyptic damage that can be caused by an EMP (an electromagnetic pulse -a short, rapid burst of energy that can be caused by the sun or nuclear devices) that can disable every power system and electronic device in a fraction of a second? Without these everyday things we rely on the world quickly moves into survival mode.

Gemma and Christopher set out on a journey of survival, bound together by the need to get to Gemma's self-sufficient hobby farm 300 miles away. They are also bound together as they rediscover a mutual bond that has never completely been lost. Along the way they meet the good and the bad, and test themselves to their physical and emotional limits.

This is not your normal dose of tacky and steamy mass produced romantic suspense nonsense. It is a sensitive adventure story of people faced with a challenge to survive. There is always hope at the end of the road. While I was reading the book I felt that a scenario of a major EMT apocalypse and its aftermath plus a strong romantic theme had the makings a great movie.

This is a first novel by L M May so it may not be as polished or balanced as books by more experienced authors. I probably would have liked a bit more focus on the budding rekindling of lost romance. But the important thing to me was that, despite some minor flaws, I really enjoyed the book. I will remember the characters of Gemma and Christopher and their struggle for survival far longer than most of the characters and plots of other books I read.

I look forward to reading more books by LM May. The ending of the book clearly opens the path for future books about the aftermath of the apocalypse and how the characters in this book survived.


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