It began on New Year’s Eve.
The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed―and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.
Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magick rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river―or in the ones you know and love the most.
As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.
In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.
The end has come. The beginning comes next.
For fans of Nora Roberts, this book will be a test for you. Some of us have gotten used to the paranormal trilogies she has been writing of late, and we love them. Some do not love them. This book is a test for all of her readers, because it is even more different.
A plague released and takes out essentially half of the worlds population. Some survivors are developing magical abilities that no one has seen before. Fairies and Elves are coming out of the wood work and people with mystic abilities now have full blowing magical powers. Some with no signs of power have it, others remain the same. All of these are immune from the plague.
This story follows a few groups of people as they eventually come together to survive.
Arlys, Fred, and Chuck escape New York City just in time and travel towards Ohio in search of Arlys' family. Max and Lila also escape New York City and travel towards Pennsylvania in search of Max's brother Eric. Rachel, Jonah, and three newborn babies escape New York City and just travel south looking for safety. They have adventures along the road, picking up old and new friends and escaping from Raiders looking to steal supplies and kill for no reason.
Eventually the small groups come together and form a large community, but even then there are dangers waiting, looking for The One that is among the group.
This book was so incredibly good, even though it was so incredibly different than any of Roberts' other work. There are small love stories spread throughout the book, however they are not really the focus of the book like her stories usually are. Still, I thought it was incredible, and I couldn't put it down!