Review: EDGE OF COLLAPSE by Kyla Stone

I read a fair amount of post-apocalyptic fiction. Not quite as much as I did in my younger days, but still several books a year in that genre alone. The “hero journeys home in the wake of a crisis” trope got old a long time ago. There are countless books and series out there with that as the focus.

But exactly none of them are quite like this.

Hannah Sheridan is 26 years old and she’s spent the last five years a prisoner of a psychopath. He’s kept her locked in the basement of a remote cabin, showing up any time the urge strikes to inflict pain and humiliation. He leaves her enough food to keep her alive between visits, though much of the time she’d almost rather be dead. She’s been beaten, raped, and tortured endlessly.

One day, the power suddenly blips out. When it does, the locks keeping her prisoner click open. Once she decides this isn’t her captor playing a trick, she makes her escape. Hannah takes with her some supplies she’s able to find in the cabin. On her way out, she frees Ghost, a mistreated dog that is supposed to be guarding the cabin. Unfortunately, it is the middle of winter, with snow falling and bitter cold temperatures. In her condition, she’s not prepared for a hike into the unknown, but doing so beats the alternative.

Along the way, she encounters Liam Coleman. He’s a former soldier who wants nothing more than to be left alone. He’s already figured out it was an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) that has caused the power outage and he knows things aren’t going back to normal any time soon. He saves her from freezing to death, but that’s just the beginning of their time together.

The fact that one of the main characters in this story is trying to escape a sadistic and violent nutjob isn’t the only thing that differentiates this book from most of the others in this genre, but it is the only part that wouldn’t be a spoiler.

The book is well-written, free of typos and other errors that sometimes plague self-published novels in this genre. There were a couple of very minor quibbles I’d have with a couple of scenes, but nothing that really impacts the story itself.

Both Hannah and Liam are fleshed out characters, not simple generic cardboard stand-ins. There’s enough backstory to make their actions and motivations realistic. There’s a minor character named CiCi who appears all-too-briefly and I’d have loved to see more of her.

I’ve already ordered the next book in the series and I’m eager to dive back into the world Kyla has created here.


Find EDGE OF COLLAPSE here on Amazon

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