Wolves, Bears, and a Dog. (No Cats.)

Book Review: Chaotic World by Grace Hamilton

Chaotic World: Laurel and House Afire (photo collage from book cover)

After reading the first book in this series as well as other books she’s written, I declared that Grace Hamilton is a master of creating TEOTWAWKI catastrophe thrillers. She fills her books with fully fleshed out characters, trying to survive in a dark, unforgiving world.

I loved this second volume of the EMP Aftermath series even more than the first. Laurel and Bear are unforgettable characters. They had problems that left them far away from each other when society crashed. I was on pins and needles, hoping for them to survive and find each other.

Laurel is an inspirational character and I’ve grown very fond of her. She’s a badass, and a doctor to boot, but her strength is her intelligent and direct manner that makes people trust her. I enjoy the way her steady and helpful approach to difficult and even menacing people defuses conflicts. She’s no miracle worker, but her style of handling trouble is how consequences can be mitigated when violent predators threaten the group. I’d love to have that kind of self-control!

Trent, the orphaned teen boy “adopted” by Laurel’s husband while on the road, is also an important character. I like seeing Bear opening up in Trent’s company and has become an integral part of his life. Taking responsibility for Trent, even growing to tolerate his chattiness, has begun breaking down some of the walls Bear’s built in order to cope with his war experiences and PTSD. Plus, Trent’s interactions with Bear’s dog, Jess, have provided some much-needed normalcy and humor. Survival fiction is often too grim, but Hamilton balances suspense with lighter times.

That being said, Chaotic World is an excellent read and I recommend the series highly! Thank you to Grace Hamilton and BookSprout for the free advanced reader’s copy. My honest review is also freely given without any obligation. I look forward to the next book in the series!


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