Book review: Debut novel 'Sudden Darkness' has tale of a futuristic trek to Zion
Margot Hovley’s debut novel “Sudden Darkness,” centers on Amelie Hatch, a brave 18-year-old girl, who is thrown into a world of chaos and terror.
Amelie Hatch had heard about terrorists attacks her entire lifetime, but she always thought her small town of Zillah, Wash., would be safe. Then the terrorists attack United States and the government crumples and the power turns off.
Since a nearby nuclear power plant is leaking radiation, local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declare that the stakes surrounding Hanford need to leave and embark on a modern-day trek to Utah. Amelie is terrified of embarking on this trek without her father who was called away on a business trip before the attack. The idea of walking all the way to Utah as the crippled girl who uses a cane doesn’t calm her nerves either, and she wonders how she will make it there.
Amelie finds herself fighting for her life as well as her heart. Her best friend Zack Allman does not share her LDS faith, but after his life falls apart, he agrees to embark on the trek with Amelie and other Mormons. Amelie wants to love somebody who shares her same faith, however, her feelings for Zack are turning into something more and more like love. She wonders if she really does love Zack, and if so, what will that mean for her future.
Then there is the infuriating Ryan Cook — the famous country singer — who is a Mormon. Amelie is repulsed by several of his actions, and yet she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him. She doesn’t understand her feelings for these two boys, finding herself caught in the middle.
As her friends and her family endure this trek, they encounter dangerous gangs who want their food and supplies enough to kill them for it, and terrorists groups with evil plans to ensure the United States government remains broken. Amelie finds herself in the middle of this dangerous web, contemplating if she can do any good, despite her crippling condition.
Author Margot Hovle, who currently resides in Utah,has created a gripping tale that will draw readers in from the first page until the very end. Hovley creates down-to-earth characters that readers will adore and a world that is spellbinding.
Fans of apocalypse and dystopian novels will be intrigued with faith, love, and friendship coupled with themes of danger, intrigue and death.
Danica Baird is currently attending BYU and is pursuing a double-major in English and journalism.
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