Wednesday 8 May 2024



Title: Withstanding Anarchy
Dark Nation
Grace Hamilton
EMP, Post Apocalyptic
Release Date:
8th May 2024

In a World Without Power, their True Strength is Family—Blood and Found.

After an EMP left civilization wrecked, survival is a daily struggle—something Deb and her group know all-to-well. Having found her ex-husband and Carol’s two sons, the anticipated happy reunion was anything but. With danger surrounding them, they’re all stuck together hiding from Mike, the abusive tyrant who held them captive in a work gang. Worse he’s the father of Carol’s unborn child and he wants them both back. At any cost.

As tensions in the camp rise and conflicts escalate, the atmosphere in the camp grows increasingly volatile. Minor disagreements escalate into fierce conflicts, supplies dwindle, and trust begins to erode, threatening to tear apart the fragile bonds they’ve formed. Now, they all must put their differences behind them and rally together to stop Mike before more people die.

He’s made it abundantly clear that he’s not leaving without Carol and their child.

And he’ll kill anyone who gets in his way…

Goodreads Link

Once again, I would say that the cover depicts a scene from within the book really well. I think all the covers of the books in this series have a great cohesive look. I bet they look amazing in paperback on a bookshelf!

I love the first line of the blurb “In a World Without Power, their True Strength is Family—Blood and Found” it really fits this whole Dark Nation series really well.

The book picks up more or less where the last one ended. Mike is injured and alone wandering about, probably 'lost' but determined to survive and live on for two main reasons. Firstly, to find Carol who is pregnant with his child and strongarm her into being back with him. Though his main focus is his child, at times he seems to hope Carol will become the woman he wants her to be. Mike then wants to rebuild his workforce, which will be from scratch as he has lost everyone at this stage. Starting over doesn’t seem to faze him at all, he thinks he can build more, build stronger and even bigger, all for his yet unborn child.

His second reason for surviving is to hunt down Deb, Bobbi and Jonah and teach them a lesson for escaping. His main target for torture when he catches her is Deb. Mike seems to think all his problems stem from this one woman. If it weren’t for Deb, he would still have Carol and his unborn child with him, as well as his right-hand woman Marie. He is infuriated about losing Marie, not only as his second in command but as his future female companion who wanted to bring up his child with. He had even begun to fantasise with the idea of having more children, this time with Marie. Mike really does want to build his own empire and have some sort of legacy. Mike had never thought about or wanted children until Carol became pregnant, then the idea of leaving a piece of him behind when he had gone., having a legacy began to appeal to him. He also liked the idea of 'ruling' with a son or daughter by his side. His son/daughter would be totally loyal to him, his blood, someone he could totally trust. Mike pushes himself to go on and comes across the small cabin of an older family, Lemuel, his wife Mary and John, Lemuel’s younger brother. Of course, Mike cannot reveal how he really came to be injured so he spins a tale to suit his needs, hoping to play on the sympathy of Mary. It’s not long until they are cleaning his wound and giving him precious antibiotics to fight the infection that has already taken hold. Mike is happy with the way he is being cared for and is gaining valuable information about Colton, such as the whereabouts of his cabin just half an hour away.

Deb, Bobbi, Jonah and Carol are trying to settle in as best as they can but to say the atmosphere is frosty is an understatement! From the natural suspicion about newcomers, to a little resentment at now having to make supplies stretch and then the muttered and at times blatant verbal jibes directed toward Carol from her eldest son Tommy things are not working well at Colton and Mollys settlement. There is also friction between Colton and Deb, old grievances are still simmering and seeing the happy family dynamic between Colton, Molly and baby Jack is at times too much for Deb to watch. However, when disasters strike one after another the two sides have to work together to defeat Mike once and for all.

I personally loved the dynamic between Laura and Bobbi. They both excluded due to Laura being in a wheelchair and Bobbi still struggling with her arm injury from helping fix the dam and have to stay at camp with little Jack. With Bobbi being a nursery teacher in her life before the EMP she soon befriends Jack and join forces with Laura in doing tasks they can manage together. I had enjoyed the subtle hints around the budding romance for the future for Bobbi.

It was interesting that though Colton and Molly’s group had fought for their survival and settlement they had become quite naïve and at times failed to see that they were being led down a certain route by Colton’s ex-Marine colleague Mike. Just when you thought Mike could not stoop any lower, he did. I thought it was great how Molly sort of played go between with her group and Deb’s group and they finally pulled together.

There are more devastating losses for the group to cope with, before the two groups have to regroup, and reunite to attempt to lure Mike in and get rid of him once and for all.

Though Mike may be hallucinating due to pain and infection it doesn’t mean he is going to be easy to take down. Mike’s marine training comes automatic, second nature to him, so he won't go down without a hard fight and being the man he is he fights dirty and tries to take as many people down with him.

There were some fantastic characters in this series, not just the main ones, ones lost along the way and of course I loved the inclusion of Laura’s service dog Argent who warned the group of danger on a few occasions. I also thought it great that Laura though was confined to a wheelchair, the group made adaptations for her wheelchair and she was still an equal voice and member of the survivors group. I liked the hints at the future of the society and the settlement, with both the younger and older characters romances and the possibilities that could lay ahead for them.

I really enjoyed reading this series, and thought it was interesting how the two main groups of characters ended up being related. I have to admit I desperately wanted Carol, Deb, Bobbi and Jonah to find a place they could settle down and call home as well as for Carol to be free of Mike and reunited with her two sons.

Summing up, this book continues to build the momentum with continuing losses to a final battle and a shocking conclusion. Truly loved this series . . . what am I going to read now?



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