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Blackout Trail

A Post-Apocalyptic EMP Survival Thriller

A doctor embarks on a perilous journey after an EMP disaster plunges the world into chaos.

A World Without Electricity

Doctor Anna Hastings is no stranger to disasters, having spent much of her career as an aid worker in conflict zones around the world. Yet when an electrical phenomenon known as an EMP brings down the power grid, Anna faces catastrophe on a scale she never imagined. She must learn what it means to be a doctor in a world deprived of almost all technology.

As the blackout causes planes to fall from the sky, Anna crosses paths with devoted father Mark Ryan in the chaos at the airport. Mark convinces Anna to travel with him and his seven-year-old daughter Lily to their family’s cabin in remote Maine. There Mark hopes to reunite with his wife, and find a safe refuge from a society on the brink of collapse.

Journeying across a thousand miles of backcountry trails, they will face a daily struggle against nature. Their biggest peril, though, may come from their fellow survivors. As Anna grows closer to Mark and Lily, she resolves to see them safely home. But can she hold onto her humanity in a world gone mad?

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Praise for Blackout Trail

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Blackout Trail by Linda Naughton is a dystopian novel set in the future where the world as we know it is lost. Doctor Anna Hastings was used to treating people in the thick of disaster and chaos, but nothing could have prepared her for what was happening right now. A complete blackout had led to a technology crash and the whole world was plunged into darkness. While society was on the brink of collapse, Anna came face to face with Mark Ryan and his little daughter Lily. Somehow, he convinced Anna to join them in their quest to get to Maine and look for safety away from civilization. But the way forward was tougher than either of them had anticipated. With a child accompanying them, it would take everything in Mark's and Anna’s power to reach Maine safely. But was that possible?

I loved the tension and the intensity of the story. Author Linda Naughton did a grand job of creating a believable plot with strong characters that drove the story forward. I love how determined Anna was and how resolved she was to deliver Lily and Mark safely to Maine. While the main theme of the story wasn’t new per se, it was executed perfectly. The narrative style was simple yet strong. I was hooked on the story, I felt what the characters were feeling, and I enjoyed the bumpy ride till the end. The descriptions were so vivid I felt like I was right there in the thick of things with Anna and Mark. The story was dark at some points but it was so good that I couldn’t stop reading. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves fast-paced thrillers with dark twists.

Original Review on Reader's Favorite'

Thrilling and full of adventure, this post-apocalyptic thriller is about just how far we are willing to go for our loved ones.

Blackout Trail follows Anna Hastings, an emergency doctor, as she trails from Pennsylvania to Maine with a young man and his daughter after an EMP causes a worldwide blackout.

The book opens with Anna in an airport in Pittsburgh when an electromagnetic pulse knocks out the power grid and sends the world into chaos. This causes planes to crash land into the airport, resulting in a conflagration and a slew of casualties. As a doctor who has worked with the Medecins Sans Frontieres and has extensive medical knowledge, Anna steps in to help those in need of medical attention or help in general. During this time, she crosses paths with Mark and his daughter Lily.

After helping Mark and other injured victims as best as she can, Anna follows Mark and Lily to his in-laws' place, but they do not stay long with them. In a desperate but hopeful attempt to reunite with his wife, Mark decides to hike over a thousand miles to Maine. Anna agrees to tag along and help, as her medical knowledge and skills may come in handy.

As Anna, Mark, and Lily journey across thousands of miles of backcountry trails, they face a daily struggle against nature. Their biggest peril, though, may come from their fellow survivors. As Anna grows closer to Mark and Lily, she resolves to see them safely home. But will they all make it to Maine safe and in one piece? Will Mark be able to reunite with his wife, or will the whole trip be for nothing?

Blackout Trail is a captivating read with a well-crafted, adventure-filled plot. The storyline is compelling and evenly paced with enough twists and turns to keep us guessing.

Coupled with its strong plot, the writing is simple, straightforward, and flows well. The author manages to capture the gravity of the storyline with a graceful touch that gives readers no chance but to attach to its characters. Another nice thing here is that it is not too serious or overwhelming despite the fact that we are reading about the end of the world. Blackout Trial is full of evocative descriptions that allow the reader to easily visualize and immerse themselves in each scene—a vivid picture of the characters, settings, and actions.

This door-stopping 590-page apocalyptic thriller is enthralling, dangerous, and adventure-packed. With a satisfying ending, I’d happily to recommend it to those sci-fi lovers who are looking to start the year off right.

Original Review on Independent Book Review

Which line stood out from all the others in the book?

"I'm not going to let a blackout, or a storm, or a flood, or anything stop me from getting my family back together."

General Summary for Context:

After an EMP creates a total blackout, a man, his young daughter, and a female doctor they just met travel across several states to find his wife and reunite the family. Along the way, they meet people of all kinds and must overcome many obstacles while society as we know it crumbles around them.

Concise Review:

Blackout Trail is the first apocalypse story I've read where an EMP is why modern society crumbles, and I was not disappointed. It was believable and even scary to read at some points when you realize what panic and desperation can make humans do and how woefully unprepared most of us would be if something like this ever were to happen.

The journey the characters set out on is extreme. Walking a thousand miles through a world falling apart, even in the name of love and family, is hard to fathom. The author has done her research, and it shows. She manages to make the trip exciting, nerve-wracking, and emotional.

The character cast is varied and well-written. Most have depth and are realistic. The story flows and its grip doesn't lessen at any time, changing pace between slow and high speed when the action hits. I also liked that the ending wasn't entirely predictable.

Blackout Trail is a long book, but the story was well worth the time it took to read it!

General Thoughts on the Novel:

I could tell the author has put a lot of effort into research before writing this book, making it both believable and enjoyable.

Linda Naughton’s BLACKOUT TRAIL tells the story of Anna Hastings, a doctor trying to help a family reunite and find a haven after a EMP causes a blackout that shuts down all forms of technology and leaves the world in turmoil. Replete with a fast-paced narrative and thrilling, suspense-filled series of events, the story also includes two fascinating love triangles and realistic medical ordeals.

Original review on Indie Reader

Blackout Trail was selected as a Finalist in the eBook Fiction category for the 2023 Eric Hoffer Book Awards.

Blackout Trail was selected as a Finalist in the Adult Fiction category for the 2022 Wishing Shelf Book Awards.

Read more reader reviews on Goodreads.

Cover design by Deranged Doctor Design.

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