This book was originally published in 5 parts. The following are the reviews for each part, compiled together here.
Night of the Blood Sky:
Small town New Hampshire. July 4th. Most of the town is emptying out to go to the fireworks in a nearby town, a few are staying behind to either get drunk or get frisky. Nothing too earth shattering.
And then the church bell starts ringing… without anyone pulling it!
When the bell stops ringing, the town itself appears to be the same… except that somehow everything outside the borders of the town has… changed. Buckle in your seatbelts, because things are about to get wild!
Darkness Falls (w/ Daniel S. Boucher):
Book 2 of the Refuge Saga opens with a new primary character waking up from a drunken stupor to the new “reality” of life in Refuge. The church bell has once again sounded, and now a darkness has fallen, along with ash falling like snow and covering everything. Thanks to Book 1 taking care of the setup, this book dives right in to the mystery and action. More creepy, more monsters, and more heartache than Book 1, this is an excellent continuation of the series!
Lost in the Echo (w/ Robert Smartwood):
This series just keeps getting better and better. Each book building on the last, in this one we finally get a few answers, including the last words of the book.
In this one, Refuge starts out fairly peacefully – a welcome respite from the dark and ash of the previous book. Frost decides the town needs heavier weapons in case big bads like the ash monsters come back, and the only place that might have what they need is the abandoned National Guard depot on the edge of town.
But is it really abandoned?
Ashes and Dust (w/ David McAfee):
The Refuge Saga continues, this time the town gets transported to a world that is barren and dusty, possibly from some sort of nuclear explosion that seems to have originated from where Refuge now sits.
But then, the monsters are discovered, along with some startling revelations…
Excellent episode, and def sets up this season’s season finale in book 5…
Bonfires Burning Bright (w/ Kane Gilmour):
This series was GREAT. You start off in a not untypical small NH town that happens to have a few high tech upgrades – the entire town has been switched to solar power, for example, putting the local electrician out of business. The town is getting ready for July 4, including most of the town going to the next town over to watch the fireworks.
And then, the local church bell starts ringing… (Minor point that I’m unsure about: Where I live in the South, there are FAR more than one church per town!)
When the bell stops ringing, the world outside of City Limits is completely different… and very strange. This starts a sequence that repeats throughout the series, with the town bell ringing and the town transporting to a new world filled with its own mysteries and dangers. Along the way, the people remaining in the town are just trying to survive – and later trying to figure out exactly what is happening and how to stop it. By the end of Season 1, they find out WHAT is happening, and even a bit of HOW it is happening…
But how can they stop it? CAN they stop it? Will they ever return home? How will they know it is actually home? All of this needs answered, and for those answers we must wait for Season 2 (at least!)…