In the not-too distant future of Brock Adams's Ember, the sun is fading, losing its light and heat. To rescue the earth from a slow freeze, world leaders hatch a plan to reignite the dying star. They let loose the world's arsenal of nuclear weapons toward the sun, then sit back and wait, as it will take three years for the missiles to reach their destination. Meanwhile, the Earth grows ever colder, with temperatures below freezing the new norm in the southern states of the U.S. Regions farther north are encased in snow and ice year-round.

As the fateful, sun-rejuvenation day arrives, unhappily married couple Lisa and Guy and their faithful dog, Jemi, watch from a hillside, expecting to see a vast explosion and a resurgence of light and heat from the setting sun. But something goes awry and the earth is plunged into near darkness and then chaos. In the days shortly after the nuclear fiasco, militants use violence to take control, forcing millions, including Lisa and Guy, to become refugees as everyone searches for food, shelter, heat, guns and protection from the elements.

Winner of the 2016 South Carolina First Novel Competition, Adams takes a far future scenario of the sun's demise and brings it nearer, a maelstrom in which strangers must trust strangers to survive. With climate change and global warming a growing concern, Ember is a chilling scenario--a perfect read for a hot day at the beach. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

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