By: Christopher Cole
Published by: Kingston Publishing Company
Publication Date: November 9, 2020
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
I absolutely fell in love with this series when I read the first book, Outbreak. For those who have not had the luck, knowledge of the product, or the ability to hunt down a thriller, Book One was set in 2019. Sonny Daniels was introduced during this horrific time where the undead walked the planet and the goal for all humans was to somehow survive. Sonny is put through the proverbial wringer in this first in the Dark Days series in order to protect both himself and the people he loves. After living through the first year of this nightmare in upstate New York, Sonny and his parents’ home base is attacked, leading to Sonny and his friends (Ashley and Carrie) being sent to Fort Denver, Colorado, where they will have military protection...a plan that doesn’t pan out.
Now (thankfully, for fans of Book One), we are back with Sonny in Book Two as he continues to do his absolute best to protect those he cares for from the undead. Working hard and determined to find some sort of sanctuary in the badlands, readers grip this book in their hands as they see Sonny make some harsh decisions in order to save his friends. Eventually, they do make it to a militarized city that goes by the name of Fort Gold Rush; this is a place that calls out to those who want to survive by offering them protection from the zombies that roam outside the Fort’s walls. However, the locals living there see Sonny and his crew as outsiders, and are not all that much nicer than the bad guys are to the newcomers.
The leaders of the Fort believe that it is just a temporary sanctuary. They know the only way it will survive the predators that are amassing and getting stronger and more dangerous by the day, is to train a new generation of defenders. Sonny, Ashley, and Carrie seem to be among the perfect candidates to become the fighters who are needed, but in order to get this job done, they will end up having to break apart to complete their difficult training to become soldiers in competing units for the city.
As time passes, the teens soon realize that zombies are just the first layer of things they need to survive; everything from bandits that practice cannibalism to horrible weather to the bad side of Mother Nature that includes both deadly animals and killer plants, are things that could also bring about their ultimate demise.
One stranger that Sonny meets during his time out in the woods goes by the name of Grim. A cool but odd anti-hero, Grim decides to train Sonny his own way and ends up being a huge influence on Sonny’s life. Much like Yoda was to Luke, it is this particular relationship that ultimately will serve as the biggest help to Sonny when this amazing plot comes to a huge climax.
Nothing is left out of this ‘coming of age tale’ set against a post-apocalyptic background. Readers also watch Ashley and Carrie and their paths, as well as meet up with a slew of new characters who bring their own backstories and demeanors to enhance the plot. Although violence is certainly in this book, I believe that the crowd to enjoy this series should not be regulated to just YA readers. Adults, as well as younger readers who like that sci-fi, out-of-this-world, world would absolutely love to get their hands on these stories, too. The characters are believable and quite memorable, especially when it comes to the addition of Grim. Plus, the pace is fast and engaging, and you are able to dive in and enjoy each and every scene because of the creativity this particular author owns.
The one downside to this book is...there will be a wait for Book Three. So the only thing I can think of to do is go back and enjoy Book One again and then...try to think of something else to keep me busy until Sonny and his friends return.
Quill Says: Book Two of The Dark Days Series follows its predecessor with awesome action, new characters, and an unforgettable style that makes Dark Days a “5-Star” series!
For more information on Sanctuary (The Dark Days Series Book Two), please visit the author's website at: www.allauthor.com/author/ccole09