Gone Dark by Amanda Panitch

Another apocalyptic YA book that challenged my comfort on numerous levels. Holy moly, this book got my heart pumping.


Dry meets Hatchet in this thrilling tale of survival following a teen girl who must lead her friends across country to the safety of her estranged father’s survivalist compound after a mass power failure leaves the country in chaos.

When seventeen-year-old Zara escaped her father’s backwoods survivalist compound five years ago, she traded crossbows and skinning hides for electricity and video games…and tried to forget the tragedy that drove her away.

Until a malware attack on the United States electrical grids cuts off the entire country’s power.

In the wake of the disaster and the chaos that ensues, Zara is forced to call upon skills she thought she’d never use again—and her best bet to survive is to go back to the home she left behind. Drawing upon a resilience she didn’t know she had, Zara leads a growing group of friends on an epic journey across a crumbling country back to her father’s compound, where their only hope for salvation lies.

But with every step she takes, Zara wonders if she truly has what it takes to face her father and the secrets of her past, or if she’d be better off hiding in the dark. from Goodreads


WHY?!? Why is there so much apocalypse in my life right now? I think this is my punishment for gleefully watching and enjoying that FLDS documentary. They are the ultimate isolationist preppers.

Alright. So, this YA suspense thriller landed in my lap because didn’t seem like an apocalypse story. I thought it was a surviving a crisis story. Zara escaped her father’s backwoods isolationist survival camp? Sounded like an adventure. Also, obviously, I can’t stop with the cult stuff lately. But, then the electricity gets cut off. Zara tells us early on that, if the electrical grids stop working, 90% of the world’s population will die. This story freaked me out so badly that I tried looking up generators and how much clean water a person needs on hand.

People die. There is running and fighting galore. Crossbow etiquette is taught. And I loved the Zara is unquestionably in charge the whole time.

There is also friendship. Zara’s Dad taught her that she would only survive if she spurned all attachments. Through her best friend Estella and Estella’s brother Gave, Zara learns how much stronger we are when we have people to depend on, even if that means they depend on us. The rag-tag team that forms through this book won my whole heart – which stayed firmly stuck in my throat as they ran across the country trying to survive.

If anything could convince me that I could do a little more preparing for an emergency, it would be this book. Everything felt so terrifyingly real and close. Worse, I looked into how bad things would be if we lost power on a global scale. Let me save you some sleepless nights – resist the urge to look it up.

Zara has also made me question my life long wish that my parents had raised me to be a badass in secret. Maybe a childhood of security and love is better than knowing how to wield a weapon and whatever else ninja children do. I bet I could pick up fighting skills faster than Zara can finish therapy for her unresolved childhood trauma.

If you are looking for a fast paced thriller featuring a strong female lead, this book is for you. If you are thinking you might like to sleep tonight and not worry about the power grid collapsing, skip this one.

Tell me, please! What is the last book you read that scared you?

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