With its plausible plot and superb characterization, Deep Shadows grabbed me and didn't let go! Vannetta Chapman has penned a riveting tale that will open your eyes and cause you to view the world around you very differently. The characters and setting are vividly drawn, and I felt right at home in Abney, TX. Deep Shadows is an extraordinary, thought-provoking story that left me begging for the next book in the Remnant series!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
Book Summary: All It Takes Is One Night to Plunge the World into Darkness Life in Abney, Texas, is predictable and safe--until the night a massive solar flare wipes out all modern technology. Shelby Sparks, novelist and single mom, had one goal: to provide for her diabetic son. In the wake of this global disaster, her mission hasn't changed. Only now, medication is a priceless commodity and the future resembles an apocalyptic nightmare. Max Berkman and Shelby were once sweethearts, but he lost his chance at claiming her love years ago. When the abrupt loss of power ushers him into a leadership role, he rises to the occasion. But his highest priority--to keep Shelby and her son safe--could prove to be the biggest challenge of all. As the brilliant northern lights give way to deep shadows, Max and Shelby's faith will be tested like never before. Only one rule remains: Find a way to survive. In this first book in an eerily plausible dystopian series, a memorable cast of characters must navigate a familiar world thrown into chaos.
Review: I love Ms. Chapmans writing. Her characters are relatable and realistic. The storylines are realistic and easy to read. Yet, for me, I do not like this type of story. I tried really hard to enjoy the topic, yet I found it tragic. Her descriptions were realistic and scary. I think that Shell was a little self serving at times. Understandable at times. This was more for a prepper or doomsday enthusiastic type. I am not that type of person. I have enjoyed all of her book previously and believe I will enjoy her books after this series. The books are well written and well thought out. Ms. Chapman is truly a gifted writer and normally a favorite of mine, but had this been written by anyone else, I would have quit after 30 pages.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Harvest House for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Let me start by saying this was a very intriguing book. I saw it available on Netgalley and loved the cover, which is what initially drew me in. When I read the book blurb it drew me in further so I knew I had to read this book.
When I opened it I was immediately drawn into the story. The plot is something that I have long worried might happen, the collapse of not only technology, but our very way of life. I know most people believe that it's an impossibility with all the backups, but let me ask you this what if it did happen? What if you were suddenly without the basic necessities for living? Scary when you really think of it.
This story takes place in modern day and brings us the engaging story of Shelby Sparks and Max Berkman, who are both neighbors and close friends for years. Shelby's character touched me more than I can describe. She is the mother of a teenage son who has a life long health issue, diabetes. She has learned and taught her son how to live with the disease, but that doesn't mean the worry goes away. When a solar flare hits her first thought is of him and how to ensure he gets his medication and a somewhat healthy diet to maintain his blood sugar. Max made a decision years ago that impacted his relationship with Shelby, but it didn't change his feelings so when the flare hits she and her son is his first concern. Both are faced to make decisions and sacrifices in order to survive, but neither loose their faith.
We are introduced to strong, engaging characters that after finishing the book I found myself still thinking about. The plot flows effortlessly and swallowed me heart and soul. I kept putting myself in the story line and thinking what if. I could go on and on about how much I loved this book, but I would only be repeating myself. The book has elements of mystery, spine tingling suspense, faith and a mild romance. I would recommend this book to anyone.
There is probably something wrong with me, but Ive always had a fascination with this kind of end-of-the-world fiction. I suspect it started with authors like John Christopher and Jack Wyndham, not to mention the dystopian novels I cant even remember the titles of.
In the late 1990s I came across a modern Christian version set in the English town of AmpthillAfter the Fire by John Lockley. Most of the population had been killed off by some plague, and the village had enough old technology that the survivors adapted without too much difficulty (England. Its full of old technology).
Although the survivors had banded together to beat the odds, natural human selfishness eventually shone through and the end was somewhat bleak. The lasting theme seemed to be that the more things change, the more they stay the same and that our only hope was eternal (yes, it had an excellent Christian theme running through it).
Several years later, I started reading Terri Blackstocks Restoration series, set in the USA. I couldnt get past the first book. My basic problem was that the novel didnt seem realistic. People were nice (except for one stupid woman, who I thought/hoped was going to be killed off and then realized she was the central character. Oops). No one got sick. No one died. And there was plenty to eat and drink, which seemed ridiculous considering they were living in a built-up area with no produce available (in contrast to Lockleys characters, who almost starved while waiting for the wheat harvest to ripen).
So I was a nervous combination of anticipatory and apprehensive when I started Deep Shadows. Which way was it going to go? Thankfully, it veered more towards the Lockley version, although its set in Texas which means everyone is armed to the teeth and not afraid to defend themselves. Which is a pretty scary thought.
The plot was excellentthe idea of a solar flare knocking out all the electricity is scarily likely, as Chapman explains in the back of the book. (I confess: I did get distracted, wondering how long it would take our local power company to take the electrical grid off the modern computers and back to however they did it when our first local hydroelectric power station opened in 1915. I refuse to ponder what a diet of kiwifruitour biggest local cropwould do to us).
The characters were also excellent, especially Shelby and her insulin-dependent teenage son. Deep Shadows didnt have as much Christian content as Id perhaps expected based on her previous novels, but it was still goodand this is the beginning of a series, so the focus was more on setting up the story, and initial character development. The writing was certainly everything I expect from a Vannetta Chapman novel, although the genre is a departure from her more typical Amish romance and mysteries.
Overall, a great novel that kept me reading well past bedtime. Ill definitely be looking out for the next book in the seriesIll just make a point of starting it in the morning.
Thanks to Harvest House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Deep Shadows was such an interesting story. Set in a small town in Texas, life quickly changed from normal to disastrous early on in the book. The major disastrous event and people's reaction to it felt uncannily realistic and plausible.
I really liked the main characters in Deep Shadows and felt so invested in their lives. Shelby was quite the momma bear when it came to her son's health. I enjoyed watching her learn to let Carter be the man that he was becoming. Max added great direction and thought to the story, as well as wonderful heart. He really worked to protect those he cared for.
The sense of desperation in this novel was tempered with growing unease about what was going on in the world outside of Abney and even the dangers that lurked just beyond the borders of this town. There were many twists and events that I did not see coming. It made for a very exciting story.
Deep Shadows caught me and held on from the first page till the last, and even days later I found myself thinking back to the people and setting, wondering what will be next for them and how they will survive!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.