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The End Begins: Sudden Darkness

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  187 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
"Brothers and sisters, may I have your attention," President Green said into the megaphone. I held my breath. What would he say next? At that moment, I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd said the moon was scheduled to turn to blood next Tuesday night. "As you know, alarming events are unfolding. People are scared and confused. Life as we have known it will never be the s ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published September 30th 2012 by Covenant Communications (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jan 01, 2015 Kathy rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
This is an LDS Post-apocalyptic fiction story. An EMP takes out power and the LDS saint from Zillah Washington make a trek to Utah for safety. The story revolves mainly around two teens Amelie and Zach. Amelie is a member of the Mormon church, Zach is not.

More than anything I appreciated that this story made me think. How prepared am I? What would I do in a similar situation?

Portions of this story seemed very realistic, others not so much but overall it was a great book.

Rating: 4 Stars - Great
Sep 29, 2012 Nadia rated it it was amazing
First, let me admit something - I'm completely, and utterly, biased. This is a book by a friend of mine, whom I absolutely adore. She could fingerpaint an entire book, and I would still give it 5 stars. And not just b/c I love her; it would be incredibly impressive to fingerpaint a book and get it published.

That out of the way, I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the main character for being atypical in the land of LDS fiction - independent, not looking to marry, and spiritual without walking
Oct 30, 2012 Laurie rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 27, 2012 Christy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, inspirational
Margot Hovley’s debut novel, Sudden Darkness, is a gripping story of a young girl, Amélie, caught in a world of terror and uncertainty. Since radiation is leaking from a nearby nuclear plant, Amélie, her immediate family, and her church family must walk to Utah from their home in Zillah, Washington. Not only is there physical danger lurking at every turn in the road, but personal struggle awaits— Amélie may lose her heart.
This well crafted, fast-paced novel will delight young and old alike, as t
Apr 21, 2015 Josi rated it really liked it
I don't often like YA and I have some prejudice against "End of Times" fiction, but I loved this book. It took me about 50 pages to feel hooked, but once I did it carried me through. The writing is good, the characters feel real and though the story certainly encompasses faith and conversation and acts of the spirit, it was not preachy or overstated. I loved the way Hovely portrayed families, and church organization and put this book down with a real feeling of possibility, perhaps even probabil ...more
Amelie (pronounced ah-may-lee) is an 18-year-old senior in a small high school in Zillah, Washington. She lives on a farm, loves music, plays piano, and works hard despite her leg that was crippled in a devastating injury as a little girl. Her father leaves town on a business trip, and other than a visit from local celebrity Ryan Cook, Amelie’s life in Zillah is nothing out of the ordinary.

Until the night the power goes out.

When Amelie and her family are instructed to pack up necessities and pre
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
Sep 17, 2014 Lisa (Bookworm Lisa) rated it really liked it

What happens if the United States becomes the target of a massive terrorist strike? In "The End Begins: Sudden Darkness", Margot Hovley paints a fictitious picture of how it could happen and the devastation and chaos that would ensue for the government as well as the civilians of the United States.

Amelie is a normal teen young woman. She was left crippled when her leg was run over as a child. She limps and walks with a cane, but makes the best of things. One evening while talking with h
Nov 02, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars

Reviewed for

Overall Review:
Ever wondered if you have what it takes to be like the pioneers of old? In Sudden Darkness, author Margot Hovley places the world under terrorist attack. With the United States government in disarray and modern technology useless, main character, Amelie, and her family must trek for hundreds of miles to find safety. Hovley crafts an intriguing and down-to-earth character in Amelie and readers will enjoy witnessing her character's
Jun 24, 2013 Shauna rated it it was amazing
What a story!
What would you do if all the lights went out...for days on end?
What would you do if all of the electronic devices didn't cars, phones, computers, games?
What would you do if you were asked to walk across the span of multiple states?

This story makes you really think about your life and what would happen if everything just quit and you were asked to leave it all behind.


Tragedy and war have filled the newspapers.
But, to Amelie life goes on as normal...
Dec 30, 2012 Kenneth rated it it was amazing
This story reads like a page from tomorrow

Eighteen-year-old Amélie Hatch lives in a troubled time — our time. And when terrorists explode a high-altitude nuclear device over the U.S, it creates an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) which destroys electronic circuitry all across the nation. Amélie and everyone she knows is plunged into technological darkness.

But the spiritual darkness that falls over the community is even worse. While some people rally together, others steal and even murder. Amélie's ch
Oct 19, 2012 Photina rated it it was amazing
The End Begins: Sudden Darkness is Margot Hovley's debut novel. Amélie is an 18 year old girl who goes from being a senior in High School to a modern day pioneer. When the government is attacked and the country plummets into chaos, Amélie and her family leave their home in Zillah, WA to start a trek to Salt Lake City with the other members of their LDS Stake. As a large group with resources that were in high demand Amélie, her family, and the others walking to Salt Lake City are a target for loo ...more
Jul 05, 2013 Jessica rated it it was ok
oh how I wish covenant communications would allow it's authors/ editors/ book making people to run with their ideas... expand them and fill them in, instead of making them into these... useless... urg... gah!! I loved the characters, was fascinated by the idea of the plot, loved the references to the church (they felt authentic instead of gimmicky... hey, a mormon book, we better put churchy stuff in here!). It was an ok book. Everything just moved so quickly, nothing seemed developed or fleshed ...more
Brooke Berry
Aug 11, 2013 Brooke Berry rated it really liked it
I read this book a few months ago and I still find myself thinking about it.

If something were to happen, whether it be natural disaster or something nuclear, and we were left without power for a long time. Would you be prepared? If the computer systems didn't work, all new cars wouldn't work. Gas would be scarce, and when people panicked it would cause chaos.

Sudden darkness describes just this event. And if over time nothing changed, longer term solutions would be needed. In this case, their l
Jul 09, 2014 Erica rated it liked it
3.5 Stars. This was due back to the library, so I took a short hiatus from Fire of the Covenant to read it. Surprisingly, it was similar to Fire of the Covenant, but set in modern times. There's a nuclear attack on the USA and Amelie, who was crippled as a child, must trek with her mom, brother & best friend/new love interested from WA to Utah. I thought the premise of the story interesting (and was mentally packing my own backpack for what I'd want to take with me), but it felt a little rus ...more
Katie W
Oct 24, 2012 Katie W rated it really liked it
In this LDS novel, the Hatch family (minus their father, who is on a secret business trip) is asked by their stake to leave with all those who are willing and make a trek from southeastern Washington to Utah, following a disaster that leaves the US government struggling to control the country. Amelie Hatch is a crippled girl and is so determined and strong, even when she has reason not to be.

This is a fear come true!! Reading about their struggles and willingness to do what is asked and to ride
Feb 11, 2013 Cherie rated it it was ok
Before I started reading this book, I thought it would be an interesting "take" on the "last days," Mormon style. It definitely is LDS fiction, and deals with a group of saints from the central Washington state area, trekking to Utah after a terrorist attack on the US causes the nations's power grid to completely shut down. For me, the problem with this book was the simplistic solutions to everything that happened. I had so many questions about what had really happened, and how it had affected t ...more
Renae Mackley
Mar 17, 2013 Renae Mackley rated it really liked it
Sudden Darkness by Margot Hovley brings futuristic YA into the contemporary. The premise revolves around terroristic world events that hit home for a quiet town in Washington state and the saints must trek by foot to Utah, paralleling pioneer days but feeling like the near-future. Walking hundreds of miles is not easy for Amélie Hatch, a musically talented eighteen-year-old with a crippled foot. This alone caught my interest. She is not a popular girl and yet she has so much to offer. Many teens ...more
Jun 08, 2013 Shellie rated it it was amazing
Wow!! I was on edge from the beginning clear through the book. I felt and angst and worry of the characters and I felt like I was there with them. Great writing!! I really liked how I felt calm and comforted by the outcome. This was not an easy book for me to read, as it hits close to home with the concept of the 'last days' and all, but I still really enjoyed it!

Short review: an electromagnetic pulse has hit the U.S. knocking out all electricity and all vehicles that have a computer chip. The
Kris Irvin
Dec 04, 2012 Kris Irvin rated it liked it
In the end, I loved this book. But I had some major troubles with it in the beginning.

There are some serious editing errors throughout the first 50 pages. Several paragraphs where there are mixed-up tenses, which is one of my biggest book peeves ever. There's also a few lines that fall very short - one, I couldn't tell if it was supposed to be a joke or just a typo ("cemetery," I corrected him. No.)

BUT. I really liked this book. I liked Amelie's guts. I liked the story a lot. I am excited to s
Oct 06, 2012 Lorena rated it really liked it
This is a well-written story from an LDS Christian perspective with just the right amount of everything--excitement, adventure, conflict, humor, and romance. Amélie’s character is easily relatable, with many thoughts, feelings and questions that I have often had myself. She and Zack‘s blossoming friendship is sweet and endearing. I can hardly wait to see where the next book takes them!

One thing did cloud my thoughts while reading, mostly for personal reasons. I couldn’t help thinking of the effe
Aug 10, 2013 Emmeline rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book! I have read several end of the world books, some I have really enjoyed, others I was more like, "Meh." But this one is told from the perspective of a Latter-Day Saint, which was new to me. I usually steer clear of LDS themed books, because it is so in your face with the religion that it's kind of embarrassing for me a little bit (I mean, we aren't really like that, right?). And so I was trepidacious about this one, but what a fun time! I mean, mind you, it is the last ...more
Oct 15, 2012 Terrie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, lds-fiction
Although I am not a fan of most LDS fiction, this book was written by a friend who I wanted to support. Friend or not this book was excellent!

This is the story about the end of days. When the electricity goes out, 17 year old Amelie's Stake President calls everyone together to announce that the government has collapsed and his Stake will be walking from their home near Seattle to Utah.

Very well written, with plenty of tension, realistic situations and characters made this a book I couldn't put
Oct 21, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Way to go, Margot Hovley! This was such a fun book to read! I started it last night and have been hard-pressed to get anything else done. Amelie is such a likable character- her insecurities so easy for all of us to relate to. As she struggles with her challenges, you can't help but root for her and evaluate your own at the same time. What a great book to remind us to be prepared for what is to come both spiritually and temporally! I will be recommending this book to everyone and look forward to ...more
Jun 25, 2014 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
What a surprise! I loved this book. Reading the summary, I thought, " I don't want to read a book about the end of the world," but this was sooo good. I read to escape into the happily ever after story world. This was such a real, type story line, but I couldn't put it down and wanted more. There were so many emotions in Amelie's feelings of " damaged goods" thoughts for herself, her discovery of confusing feelings of friendship and more for Zack and then her attraction and vise for ryan the cou ...more
2.5 stars. It was an interesting story, but had a LOT of holes for me. Why add Ryan as a love interest if he just drops of at the end? Why have him be famous at all? It didn't really matter to the rest of the story. The first half of the book was going one direction, then it changed completely and most of what happened at the first didn't matter at all. And her dad just leaving out of nowhere? Didn't make sense to me. He would at least have said goodbye to his family and told them he was going t ...more
Mar 28, 2013 Diane rated it really liked it
Oh, I liked this!!!! This is one book that could certainly benefit from being thicker - it needs a lot more details and explanations, but I'll take it and happily look forward to more in this series. It is a kinder, gentler version of One Second After, which is one of my favorite "beginning of the end" books. It's the kind of premise that comes back into your thoughts day after day in the form of "Is that how it would really happen?" and "What would I do if that happened?"
Feb 01, 2014 Natalie rated it it was ok
An interesting idea but not very well written. However there were two typos that were more entertaining: main character tells her non-LDS friend that she goes to "cemetery" instead of "seminary," and a short time later she is headed to the "funeral doors" [chapel] to play the piano. No, it didn't seem that the heroin was trying to be funny. It is funny that no one caught that in the editing process.
Andrea Smith
May 20, 2015 Andrea Smith rated it liked it
This book started out strong and then kind of petered out. Part of it could be because I'm so busy, I could only read in bits and pieces, but the story did not demand my attention. I felt like there wasn't enough rising tension to support the climax making it fall a little flat. I actually wasn't sure where the true climax was. But the writing itself was well done. She did a good job tying up loose ends and there were several feel good moments.
Oct 28, 2012 Suzana rated it it was ok
It was okay. The writing was matter of fact and frustrating at times. At times it felt too far fetched and other times made you think of the reality of something like it. I liked Amelie, but the author didn't do a good job of explaining why the stake president would choose her over others for things. All in all, the writing was okay, not the worst I have read, but definitely not the best either.
Oct 19, 2012 Debbie rated it really liked it
This is a great starting book of a series. Terrorists attack the U.S. power grid and shut it down. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints are asked to gather together and head for Utah. They end up walking there. One of the Saints, a teenage girl, is kidnapped. She is rescued, but not without casualties. There are other adventures for the Saints as they walk to Utah.
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