Jack Hunt’s Fight for Survival Continues
The EMP apocalypse is a concept which has seen many takes over the last few years, and while many of them stem from different authors and centre on varying ideas, virtually all of them agree with the idea other people would become the greatest danger, no mother nature or our own survival needs. Society is largely held together by the innumerable laws enforced in an orderly manner as well as the various social structures focused on keeping everyone afloat.
When those supporting columns crumble and all men, women and children are suddenly left to their own devices, it stands to reason any semblance of general order would disappear rapidly as smaller groups attempt to create pockets of personal control. With none but themselves to guide them, many would be faced with incredibly difficult decisions on a daily basis, teetering on the brink between life and death with any mistake potentially being one’s last.
In his EMP Survival Series, Jack Hunt has placed most of his focus on the dynamics between people which would arise in this apocalyptic scenario. While the stakes in the previous books seemed great at the time, Hunt finds a way of escalating them yet again in the third volume titled Days of Danger. It has already been six months since the EMP blast took the country by surprise, trapping hundreds of millions in an electric darkness, forcing the cunning to improvise to survive and leaving the incapable behind. The United States have officially collapsed and lawlessness once again rules the land, no one’s safety being guaranteed.
Our heroes from the previous two books have made their way to Lake Placid where they managed to hold out through the winter and somehow survive the lethal whims of Mother Nature. Just when they needed it the most, a message of hopes comes on through: Maggie learns about an alleged compound in East Texas offering safety to all comers. Eventually, tensions begin to flare between the group members and soon a divide is formed between them: some will stay, others will go onwards to face the unknown, with the most cruel remnants of society standing between them and the dream of salvation.
A Psychological Analysis
Personally-speaking, a part of me is always disappointed when I read an apocalyptic novel and the author either fails to focus on the dynamics between people or develops them in a superficial and ham-handed manner. In my opinion, the exploration of the human mind is one of the, if not the most interesting aspect about an apocalyptic setting.
When stripped bare of all the social structures and constructs guiding our behaviours, what exactly will be left of us?
How will we make decisions from this point onwards?
What exactly will guide our thinking process?
How will cohabitation and cooperation between people be affected as a result?
How will our personal values and priorities shift around?
These are but a few of the myriad of psychological questions begging for an answer.
For this reason, Days of Danger, and the whole EMP Survival Series as a matter of fact, is one I hold in very high regards. Jack Hunt seems to agree with me and has placed most of his focus on character development, on observing their behaviours and interactions with others. The characters we’ve come to know throughout the series are palpably affected by all the events they have endured since the beginning, and we get some pretty big windows to peer through into their consciousness.
What’s more, and I can’t stress this enough, Hunt makes it all unfold in a realistic and believable manner. In other words, if a real group of people were stuck in this same predicament, one could easily see it going pretty much the exact same way it went down in the novel. Every action has a logical reaction, even if at times unpredictable. I would safely venture to say this book is as much about how an EMP apocalypse could mould the human mind as it is about a group of people trying to survive it.
The Thrill of the Unknown
While Days of Danger might definitely be a character-driven story, there certainly is no lack of thrills and action. The plot actually moves along fairly quickly and knows how to sinks its hooks into you. Despite being the third chapter in the series, Hunt manages to create a new and interesting premise which keeps us on our toes from start to finish. We are constantly wondering whether this sanctuary is indeed real, a false hope, or perhaps worse, a trap laid by the worst sort of people.
It feels as if they come across one danger after the next without ever knowing any sort of respite. While the ending does understandably leave a decent amount of room to usher in another sequel, it remains quite satisfying in my opinion and ties up more than enough storylines to feel like a well-deserved prize. The danger presented by the possibilities of the unknown certainly plays a very important part in this series, and it feels like the author upped the ante with it, so to speak.
While before the unknown lay mostly in their ability to survive in a world they were unprepared for, this time it stretches to the intentions of other people and the divide those can create. There is always a palpable tension in the air when diverging agendas clash against one another, and it’s seldom presented in black and white with most people having good points of their own. Uncertainty is the name of the game in this third book, and it’s played on acutely with great finesse.
The Final Verdict
Days of Danger definitely lives up to the two previous books in the EMP Survival Series, and I’m confident Jack Hunt still has mounds of material for future works. If you’ve read the previous two novels and enjoyed them, then I can safely say you will find the third chapter to be a true work of high quality.
This series will certainly be at the top of the genre for many years to come and I for one am certain the future holds nothing but greatness.
Jack Hunt is a bestselling American author whose works have mainly revolved in the domains of horror and posy-apocalyptic fiction. Some of his better-known works include Days of Panic, Darkest Hour, The Wild Ones and Strain.