Out now to great reviews
IN SUBURBAN AUSTIN, TEXAS, BEA CRENSHAW SECRETLY PREPARES FOR THE APOCALYPSE. But when a solar pulse destroys modern life, she’s left alone with four grandkids whose parents do not return home. She must teach these kids to survive without power, cars, phones, running water, or doctors in a world fraught with increasing danger. If Darkness Takes Us is loaded with resilience, humanity, and heart.
“Bea Crenshaw is one of the most unique characters in modern literature; a kick-ass Grandma who is at once tough and vulnerable, and well-prepared to shepherd her extended family through an EMP disaster, or so she thinks. If Darkness Takes Us is post-apocalyptic fiction with realism, tragedy, humor, and heart.”
Laura Creedle, Author of The Love Letters of Abelard & Lily
Winner, Writers League of Texas Best Young Adult Novel of 2017
"This ambitious post-apocalyptic novel reminds me strongly of the classic George R. Stewart novel Earth Abides, published in 1949, or the justly famous 1983 film Testament. It studiously avoids melodrama, concentrating instead on the everyday lives of the survivors if an unknown cataclysm that has left them without the modern conveniences to which they, to which we all, are so accustomed. There is no spectacle such as we are used to in end-of-the-world stories, but much real, identifiable humanity. The book’s effect is slowly cumulative, subtle and sweet and sad, and the events it depicts are utterly believable, and shattering in their intensity."
Author of Dogs of God, Miracle Boy, and more
“Bea Crenshaw leaves other post-apocalyptic heroes in the dust. She's fierce, cunning, and the toughest grandma in Texas. But it's the soft, hidden parts of her that will leave readers smitten. Bea's fight to keep her grandchildren alive--and sane--is more riveting than the chaos exploding beyond their walls. Humanity might be crumbling, but Bea's struggle offers a glimpse into the most human parts of us all.”
Cate Hogan, Author, Editor of Boss with Benefits and How to Capture a Duke
“IF DARKNESS TAKES US gives an unflinching look at survival in a post-apocalyptic world, featuring the gritty, unforgettable protagonist -- 70-something-year-old Bea Crenshaw. Where William R. Forstchen's One Second After focuses on the survival of a city, Smith's fascinating tale focuses on a family's struggle to survive.”
Peggy Rothschild, Author of Punishment Summer
“Brenda Smith’s IF DARKNESS TAKES US is a riveting and powerful tale of perseverance in the aftermath of the unthinkable. Unlike any other apocalyptic novel I have read, this book feels both very realistic and very relevant to this day and age. I was immediately taken by this novel’s memorable characters and lyrical writing, and I fell in love with Bea’s wit and courage from the first page. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a gritty but heartfelt literary novel that subverts the usual tropes of the apocalypse.”
Aden Polydoros, Author of The Assassin Fall series