Today I’m spotlighting Margot Hovley and her series “The End Begins”, an LDS Young Adult dystopian series that has made me think about a lot of things.
The first book (click on the image for the Amazon link):
“Brothers and sisters, may I have your attention,” President Green said into the megaphone. I held my breath. What would he say next? At that moment, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d said the moon was scheduled to turn to blood next Tuesday night. “As you know, alarming events are unfolding. People are scared and confused. Life as we have known it will never be the same, it seems.”
The news has been filled with stories of tragedy and turmoil. But world events like the recent bombings in London seem far removed from eighteen-year-old Amélie Hatch’s quiet life in Zillah, Washington. She’s content with the predictable pattern of her life—school, friends, work. But when Amélie’s father leaves on a mysterious Church assignment, concerns escalate as the family is left with few answers.
Then, in the span of moments, Amélie’s world erupts in chaos. Terrorists have attacked the US power grid. There is no electricity. Vehicles have ceased working. The nuclear facility at nearby Hanford is compromised, and radiation may be flooding the area. Without the guidance of their father, Amélie’s family faces a monumental task at the request of the leaders of the Church: members of their stake have been asked to walk to Utah, where they will find safety in Zion.
Fleeing her home and the life she knows, Amélie sets off on the arduous journey toward the refuge of Utah. There is danger around every corner as the group faces gunfire, kidnapping, and new terrorist threats. And as she finds herself drawn to two very different young men, Amélie recognizes a more personal peril—she’s in danger of losing her heart.
And the second one (click on the image for the Amazon link):
In a world torn apart by an unprecedented terrorist attack, Amélie Hatch’s life has been thrown into chaos. Safety is fleeting, and there is no rest for a group of Saints fighting to survive . . . Despite the looming threat of terrorism, Amélie’s safe arrival in Salt Lake City should have been the triumphant conclusion to her harrowing journey. With the promise of a future with her true love, Zack, she finds a glimmer of light amidst the bleak unrest of the nation. But Amélie and Zack quickly realize that their journey is far from finished. With the nation’s power grid still compromised and enemy forces drawing closer, Utah is no longer a safe haven—it’s time to move on. And this time, they find themselves forced apart as they embark on separate missions that will test their endurance and threaten all they hold dear. Amélie can only wonder: does Missouri truly hold the key to their deliverance, or will they be forced to run forever?
I‘ve been anxiously awaiting the sequel to Sudden Darkness, and I finally had the chance to read it.
I would classify this as a YA LDS dystopian with romantic elements. I don’t usually read a lot of YA novels and definitely not dystopians, but I love this series. Zack and Amélie are such strong characters. They don’t think they’re worthy of their callings but the way they push themselves for better and help others around them makes me wonder if I’d be able to have that kind of faith and strength in a similar situation.
Like with “Sudden Darkness”, “Glimmering Light” is thought provoking and sobering. At numerous times throughout the story I thought: “What if this really happened?” Its premise brushes close to the possibility of a reality that is not very hard to imagine. It paints a grim picture of an alternate society but at the same time there is with an elemental hope that not all is lost. The parallels to Book of Mormon and pioneer stories brought an emotional response from me that took me by surprise at times.
The ending was sweet and positive despite the hard times the characters face, and I would definitely love to see a conclusion to Zack and Amélie’s story, one that brings everything together and them settled in their new world.
I recommend reading “Sudden Darkness” before reading “Glimmering Light”. It’s a quick series, easy to read, and appropriate for teens.
And now for the best part: Margot is having a giveaway on her blog! She’s giving away her two books in your choice of ebook or paperback. So follow this link and go find out how you can win this terrific series.