A Book Review

Last Light by Terri Blackstock

What-if, on this high-tech planet where people feel naked and vulnerable without smart phones in hand, a sudden global catastrophe occurred that stripped away all electricity and technology? That’s a lot to think about. And it’s pretty frightening.

Last Light brings the reader to Birmingham, Alabama, where Doug and Kay Branning and their four children are torn from a secure life of wealth and luxury and thrust into chaos and danger. Streets suddenly jam with powerless vehicles, airports become engulfed in flames, computers, cell phones, and radios go dead, and general mayhem reigns. Within minutes, the city’s panicking people begin to storm local stores for the daily necessities of life. The darkest side of humanity is unleashed as everyone moves to grab whatever it takes to survive . . . wherever they can find it. Frightened customers fight over bicycles, bottled water, baby formula, and food from emptying shelves, only to find their credit cards won’t work, and outdated cash is the order of the day. And you’ve got it—the banks are closed. (This is the part where I wanted to put the book down and rush out to buy silver and gold!)

While families and friends gather together in shock to come up with possible causes for this chaotic wreckage, others are returning to dark homes to find their spouse or child have not made it back. As problems mount, neighbors who were once strangers, must learn to work together for mutual protection. With time, they acquire the art of bartering goods and how to effectively live off the land. But as you can already guess from viewing a slew of zombie movies, apocalyptic times bring out the best and worst of people. Not only do families in the Branning’s neighborhood need to protect themselves from roaming bands of thieves, but they soon discover there’s a vicious killer amongst them. Surrounded by danger, it becomes necessary to form their own system of law and order.

The people of the town gradually come to terms with a new form of existence; one fraught with danger and hardship. A world where rescue services, medical facilities, or any other modern conveniences are a thing of the past. Many people begin to realize they can’t survive without community effort. At some point, every character in the story must decide for themselves if they’ll focus on their own needs, or, if they’ll reach out to others, sharing what little resources they have. This is the pivotal point in the story in which people either turn to their faith, or to isolation and self-reliance. Doug and Kay Branning and their four children decide to stop living in fear and to trust God to provide for their needs. They also discover the highest form of survival is in giving and helping others.

After reading this book, you’ll probably experience a compelling need to rush out and stock up on canned food, water, and other basic necessities. But don’t worry—after a few days of friendly Netflix, trusty cell phones, and heaping plates of food—you’ll forget all about it. I did. Almost.

This book is the first in a series and each is better than the last. The entire series is a must-read!