All That Remains by Al Barrera is a dark, post apocalyptic story that sucks you in from the beginning and doesn’t let go. There is so much going on in this future world that I was afraid it would be hard to keep track of everything when I first began reading; It wasn’t. Al Barrera does an amazing job weaving otherworldly elements into the story while making it all feel real.
The story itself is set thirteen years after what is essentially the apocalypse. Monsters roam the planet and have decimated humanity. Nature itself has also been slowly corrupted, which makes trying to grow food all but impossible. Instead, any surviving humans have to try and find canned food in order to get by.
That’s where the main characters Kyle, Sara, and Tim come in. When the story begins, they are on a mission to scavenge food for their small group of comrades. During their outing, they come across a young girl named Kaylee whose group was massacred by monsters. They decide to help her and take her with them.
I don’t want to spoil anything, but their struggle for survival is an incredibly well-told journey. It kept me engrossed and excited to continue reading with each page. The book’s world really came alive and I found myself invested in each of the characters throughout every bleak, impossible situation. Each time when I was afraid the story was about to slow down, a new surprise lurked just around the corner to draw me back in.
The one thing I do wish was made a little clearer is Sara’s powers. The story is occasionally interrupted with a strange mental realm where Sara is able to see and do things that others cannot. Why she has this power and what exactly it is isn’t ever really addressed. Part of that is probably because Sara herself doesn’t seem to fully understand it. After finishing the book, Al Barrera also mentions that he may write a sequel, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the explanation plays a role in his next book.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I really enjoyed this book. If you’re into dark stories or post apocalyptic things, I can’t recommend this enough. For that matter, if you just want to sit down and read a great book, check this one out. You can find it as either an eBook or a paperback on Amazon. If you do read it (and you should), be sure to leave a review of your own.
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