Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Book Review: Dark Days Troubled Times by Matthew D Mark (#2)

Months after an EMP, Electromagnetic Pulse, strikes the country, Roger Haliday continues to fight for survival along with his friends and family. With the rogue militia under control they now face new dangers. The people around them and throughout the country are dying of starvation and illness. They are taking desperate and deadly measures in order to survive. Gangs are terrorizing cities and suburbs as they move through them searching for food, water, and supplies. With the gangs committing atrocious crimes along the way, the now lawless society leaves regular citizens to fight for their lives.

Throughout the entire nation the government and military struggle to take control of the country. Word rapidly starts to spread that their agenda may not be as innocent as it appears. Rumors abound that they may have been responsible for the attack, and they are fighting amongst themselves. With cities burning, people dying, no law, no help, no future and no hope, the country is indeed experiencing troubled times.

This sequel brings you closer to the end. This book is not only loaded with action and adventure, but suspense and drama as well. If you're a prepper or survivalist you'll love the military style guerilla warfare, the tips, tricks and gadgets. If you're just an apocalypse reader, you'll love the insight into human behavior after the SHTF. 

My Review:
Roger is becoming concerned that the next challenge is going to be in the form of raiding parties moving further out from the cities and he reaches out on the radio to get a sense of what is going on. He reaches Adam, who is holed up with prepper friends in a defended property near where Alan lived, and Adam reports that a big gang has moved into the vicinity. Bruce and his family are self sufficient in the woods and close to a military base that Bruce wants to keep an eye on. Dennis is also watching the military getting moving in his area. Roger is able to get a picture of what is happening thanks to their information.

The first task is to bring Roger's ex wife Linda, her partner Mike, Mark and Lisa and their parents Linda and Bill from their farm just outside town back to the safety of the cabin. As they are planning the operation, an armed group have moved into the area and butchered one of Bill's cows. It is getting too dangerous to stay so Roger leads a group to remove them and their supplies before it turns into a gun battle. But even as Roger's group arrives, it is clear that the raiders are not going to let them leave without a fight and it turns into a brutal reminder of what the world now is. Roger is also trying to persuade Rob and Brad to move everyone into the safer environment of the town to stop those on the outskirts becoming targets. A gang moving into the vicinity of the town and Roger is on edge and decides to set up a few tree barriers on the road to add security for his group nearby. With the raiders attacking houses and stealing supplies, it is time to teach them a lesson and save the local people.

People are suffering, especially those on outlying farms or stuck in the city. Jimmy is a former veteran who was already living on the streets when disaster struck. His attempt to take up residence in an old theatre is about to be thwarted by one of the gangs that Roger is going to be tracking. Tim is beaten and left for dead as raiders snatch his daughters Wendy and Kate. Steve and Peggy have to try and defend their farm from attackers. Even in the safer area near Brad's town, people are being killed and robbed of their supplies as ruthless gangs move in.

The military are moving into the area, encouraging groups like Roger's to become a policing force to take down the bad guys in the area while they establish a base at the airport. At first there seems to be good cooperation between them with Roger and Brad receiving more supplies and weapons to fight the bad guys. Rob is excited to see the military and starts to relax his guard which makes it harder for Brad and Roger to persuade the townspeople that the danger from the gangs is still real and they need to take their guard duty at the roadblocks seriously. However, Roger becomes concerned about the military wanting to control supplies and issue ID cards for local people, along with new military roadblocks. Can their allies really be trusted?  

Regardless of whether the military can be trusted, Roger does agree that the gangs need to be dealt with. Adam's people are about to face off with a group bigger than them and they are concerned that they might not survive, and consider the use of Roger's old house as a bug out location. Roger and Brad know of three target areas near them-a trailer park, an apartment complex and another apartment block. With these areas cleared, they will be safer and can extend their territory boundary outwards which the military can then guard. It should provide longer term security but they have to risk their own people each time.  

There is a lot of action in this book as Roger's people take the fight to their enemy, leading to many exciting battles. It keeps the intensity of the first book but the danger seems to be ramped up in this one as desperate people on all sides do battle. There is the side story where the military are helping people but at the same time are introducing things to control the population which aren't popular. Are they restoring order for the American government or are they part of the military uprising that caused the EMP in the first place. At the moment it is hard to decide and that will obviously happen in the third book. 

I'm still very much enjoying the book even with my frustration at the attitude Roger sometimes displays. I guess I can understand that his stress levels are high and he feels real responsibility for keeping everyone safe, so he is bound to get angry when others don't live up to what is expected from them. I very much like Brad and Mark, and I hope we see more of Adam, Dennis, Jimmy and Bryce. 

Read February 2018
4 stars


  1. So you are still enjoying this series. Perhaps I should take a closer look at these:)

    1. I've enjoyed the first two. He is meant to be working on a third and final part but it does seem he channels GRRM when it comes to the time between books!