The End of The World as We Know It: Themes and Insights from Edge of Collapse

Kyla Stone has only been publishing her books since 2016. In about 7 years, there are now already over 30 books (and counting) under her name listed in Goodreads. Many of them are parts of several series; the most popular by far is the “Edge of Collapse” series, comprising 9 titles:

Book 0.5: Chaos Rising (2019) – Novella

Serving as a prequel to the Edge of Collapse series, Chaos Rising offers a concise backstory of the main character in subsequent books. Liam Coleman takes center stage as the heroic figure of savior throughout the story. Following more than enough tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, the war veteran now lives alone in Michigan. During a reunion with his brother and sister-in-law in Chicago, an EMP hits the city and cripples everything. Liam is now in combat mode again given how the sudden hostile surroundings trigger his PTSD.

Book 1: Edge of Collapse (2020)

The series’ first full-length novel follows Liam as he makes a journey back from Chicago to Michigan. Winter is at its worst yet, and the country has just plunged into chaos. Nothing works; no phone, no ATM, no bank, no public transportation, no electricity and barely any hope of survival. Liam bumps into a young woman named Hannah, who is running away from Pike, a rapist psychopath. At least for Hannah, the dead electric grid turns out to be a blessing that allows her to breathe fresh air for the first time in five years. It is a classic set where a damsel-in-distress meets a knight in shining armor.

Book 2: Edge of Madness (2020)

Liam and Hannah are not part of the narrative in the second book. Instead, the story shifts the focus to Hannah’s husband Noah and their son Milo. Quinn, a teenage girl from a broken family, comes to the scene and adds more complexity to the plot. Noah is a cop, struggling to do his job in the middle of a lawless society. Compared to the first book, Edge of Madness features almost an unhealthy dose of bloodbath and violence.

Book 3: Edge of Darkness (2020)

Edge of Collapse

Pike has his mind set for revenge, meanwhile, Hannah and Liam are trying their best to stay ahead of him. Noah comes to realize that he puts his trust in the wrong people.

Book 4: Edge of Anarchy (2020)

For five years held in Pike’s cabin, Hannah had been tortured, beaten, starved, and raped. The EMP opened the door to escape the ordeal, but she has to accept the reality that Pike’s child is now within her. Liam and Hannah have to stop during a heavy storm so the latter can give birth to the child, Charlotte. At the same time, Noah is falling deeper into the center of disorderliness. The town of Fall Creek is now under the control of Rosamund Sinclair who commands dozens of armed militias. She even appoints Noah as Sherrif following the disappearance of the previous one.

Book 5: Edge of Defiance (2020)

Nothing in Fall Creek looks good. The arrival of Liam, a former soldier with a non-nonsense approach to conflicts, brings a glimpse of hope. Putting an end to the militia is the only way to save the town.

Book 6: Edge of Survival (2020)

The militia is no more, although some remnants of it are still at large. Now that Hannah, Milo, and Quinn have a fighting chance to restore order in the town, Liam takes a journey alone to search for his brother’s son. The last time Liam saw his nephew was when he placed the newborn child under the care of the Brooks, the boy’s grandparents from his mother’s side. At that time, they were taking him to an Amish community. Now the area has been overrun by rogues.

Enter the General, who has been communicating with Rosamund via satellite phone. They have the same dangerous idea that anybody with the largest armed power will rule the chaotic world.

Book 7: Edge of Valor (2021)

Liam reunites with Hannah and the group in Fall Creek. Despite the relative safety thanks to the absence of militia, the town is still in grave danger with many hostile forces trying to take control of everything. It all comes down to the final fight for survival. Edge of Valor, the 8th book in Edge of Collapse series, concludes the main story with a bittersweet ending where victory calls for great sacrifices. Not everyone survives the fight, but at least Fall Creek is safe.

Book 7.5: Edge of Everything (2021)

Edge of Everything is an epilogue, picking up a year after the event in Edge of Valor. There is not much happening in Fall Creek, which is a good thing considering all the difficulties in the past. The book serves as a simple follow-up to see how the residents are coping with their post-EMP world.

We think the Edge of Collapse series touches on a variety of subject matters, from post-apocalyptic to family relationships, and from mystery to action adventure, to build a fantastic world, so it should appeal to a large scope of audience. The plot does play out like a typical disaster story where an unprecedented catastrophe occurs followed by a power struggle not only between good and evil but also amongst hostile powers. The hero, in this case, Liam Coleman, acts to anchor the storyline and bridges all individual events into a single coherent read. Keen readers might notice how the series offers useful insight into disaster preparedness as well. It only makes sense if Liam, a war veteran hardened in battlefields and possession of a stash of survival kit, navigates the chaotic world more easily than others.

Have you read the Edge of Collapse series? How do you relate disaster preparedness to the storyline? We’d love to hear from you.

Other things you might want to know:

What is EMP?

Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a burst of electromagnetic radiation triggered either by nuclear weapons or natural geomagnetic storm. In the United States, EMP was first noticed in the 1950s when electronic devices failed because of the generated voltages and currents during nuclear tests. It only took several years for the government to recognize the danger of EMP as it could potentially render many U.S. weapons systems and military equipment useless. An EMP can also damage all unprotected electronics such as phones, computers, radios, and radars. A single strike can affect devices up to thousands of kilometers from the center of the explosion depending on altitude of detonation.

Has there been natural EMP?

The only large scale naturally triggered EMP happened in 1859 when a solar flare caused many telegraph stations all around the globe to malfunction or even catch fire. The occurrence is subsequently known as the Carrington Event. If a geomagnetic storm of such magnitude occurred today, the effect would cause widespread electrical outage.

Other popular books by Kyla Stone:

Lost Light Series:

  1. The Light We Lost
  2. The Dark We Seek
  3. The Hope We Keep

Nuclear Dawn Series:

  1. Point Of Impact
  2. Fear The Fallout
  3. From The Ashes
  4. Into The Fire
  5. Darkest Night

The Last Sanctuary Series:

  1. Rising Storm
  2. Falling Stars
  3. Burning Skies
  4. Breaking World
  5. Raging Light
  6. No Safe Haven

Stand-Alone Books:

  • Beneath The Skin
  • Before You Break
  • Labyrinth Of Shadows, A Greek Mythology Retelling (Queens of Fate And Fury)

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