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Carry the Flame
by James Jaros

Description (via Goodreads):

Having survived the terror of the Alliance and the single-minded fanaticism of its hideous religion, a caravan of survivors moves quickly into the Great American Desert, the wastes of what once was America’s heartland. With her daughters at her side–recently rescued Ananda and her daring older sister, Bliss–Jessie hopes to find sanctuary in the Arctic, now rumored to be temperate. But their enemies are powerful and relentless, and will not rest until they possess the caravan’s most precious treasures: their prepubescent female children, a stolen tanker filled with fuel . . . and a pair of frightened twins, whom the Army of God calls “demon.”

But the danger in pursuit pales before the horror that lies ahead when Jessie, the marauder-turned-ally Burned Fingers, and the innocents in their care face the savagery, the madness, and the monsters that dwell in the terrifying City of Shade.

My thoughts:

If you thought Burn Down the Sky was intense, prepare yourself…

Surviving the Alliance was only the beginning of a long, painful journey for Ananda, her family and the new group of survivors travelling with them. At times, I was horrified by the images/scenes in Jaros’ nightmarish post-apocalypse world. The depths people have fallen into was shocking, but the devastating world also gave birth to individuals who refuse to let go of their humanity. Even in the darkest moments Jaros instills an underlying sense of hope. No one is left unscathed by the hostile lands but their choices are still their own.

Even the youngest characters amazed me with their bravery and willingness to believe better days were ahead. Burn Down the Sky was a call to arms. Carry the Flame is the fight for hope and a better future. It is the rejection of a life of darkness, a life of fear.

Last, Jaros’ The City of Shade makes Woodbury (the infamous town in The Walking Dead) look like summer camp. Just sayin’.

Carry the Flame will be in stores tomorrow!

James Jaros is Mark Nykanen, four-time Emmy and Edgar-winning journalist. Check out his website at: