If The Light Escapes
will be published by SFK Press
on August 24, 2021
A solar electromagnetic pulse fried the U.S. grid. Now northern lights are in Texas—3,000 miles farther south than where they belong. The universe won’t stop screwing with 18-year-old Keno Simms. All that’s left for him and his broken family is farming their Austin subdivision, trying to eke out a living on poor soil in the scorching heat.
Keno’s one solace is his love for Alma, who has her own secret sorrows. When he gets her pregnant, he vows to keep her alive no matter what. Yet armed marauders and nature itself collude against him, forcing him to make choices that rip at his conscience. IF THE LIGHT ESCAPES is post-apocalyptic science fiction set in a near-future reality, a coming-of-age story told in the voice of a heroic teen who’s forced into manhood too soon.
"Gritty and powerful, If the Light Escapes takes the reader on an emotionally charged and adrenalin-fueled journey that lingers long after the last page is read."
Mae Clair, Author of the Point Pleasant Series and the Hodes Hill Series
“Brenda Marie Smith stuns again with the breathtaking sequel to her debut. Dark and intense, IF THE LIGHT ESCAPES explores one young man's coming-of-age against the aftermath of a devastating electromagnetic pulse. With her skill for detail and character, Smith captivates us with Keno's kindness and humanity, while also exploring the capacity for violence that lurks within all of us. This book held me until the last page and lingered with me afterwards.”
Aden Polydoros, Author of The City Beautiful
“In this sequel to IF DARKNESS TAKES US, teenager Keno inherits the mantle of leadership when his beloved Grandma Bea has a stroke. As Keno falls in love and tries to start a normal family life in the post-electromagnetic pulse apocalypse, things turn from bad to worse, culminating in a violent showdown that threatens to forever destroy the peaceful farming community Bea helped to build. IF THE LIGHT ESCAPES is a rich coming-of-age story about the legacy of family, infused with hopefulness and humanity.”
Laura Creedle, Author of The Love Letters of Abelard & Lily