1. At the opening of Nightshade, Max is ready to end it all. Have you ever felt that hopeless?
2. I Peter 1:13 says: “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” According to this scripture, where should our hope be set? Why do you think God wants our hope set there?
3. Why does Sydney hide her pregnancy from her husband? Do you agree with her decision?
4. Max is a unique individual. In writing him, there was a tremendous amount of volatility flowing from his actions—and yet he had a dichotomous tenderness and aching for what he’d “lost”—his wife, his marriage, his career. Does anything about Max resonate with you or your life? Or have you ever known someone like Max?
5. Sydney has an almost casual disregard for the precious life she carries within her womb. When she’s out doing her investigative reporting, she begins to hesitate, realizing she might not have thought her actions through all the way. Why do you think she plunged headlong into this? Have you ever done that, only to realize later that your actions might not have been the smartest?
6. Missionary John Harris makes a phone call, endangering all of their lives since their phone can be traced. Do you think he made the right decision?
7. What happens at the fruit hut along the route into the mountain? What realization does Sydney finally come to?
8. Kimber Harris takes a turn for the worse, and Nightshade is trying to save her when Higanti warriors close in on them. In order to hide and stay alive, Max orders Fix to cease efforts and lay low for the safety of the team and other civilians. Do you think this was a hard call for Max? Do you agree with his decision? Why or why not?
9. What “little chat” do you think Griffin Riddell, aka Legend, intends to have with Lane in Chapter Twenty-seven?
10. Also in Chapter Twenty-seven, Sydney tells Ghost One (Colton/Cowboy Neeley) that, although her copies were destroyed, someone somewhere has photos of the team. What is your theory about who has them and how this has happened?
11. It’s a fact that many soldiers returning from a war theater will experience combat-related PTSD or traumatic brain injury (TBI). Many will never seek treatment, instead try to push through and “get over it.” Do you know anyone who has experienced PTSD or TBI, combat-related or otherwise? How can/did you show this person your support?
12. The epilogue shows Max and Sydney’s baby boy, Dillon, but it also shows Max getting his medical clearance to return to “active” status with Nightshade. Which Nightshade team member would you like to read about next? Why?