now being released here on ThinkingMichael.com through July 14, 2018
A story about a father and his daughter searching for each other after a gruesome civil war has torn America apart and left it in a state of ruin and anarchy. Theia, only 11 years old, is all alone as she faces the freezing-cold weather, and prowlers and mobsters who dominate the desolate streets of her city. She is a strong, but sweet and compassionate girl, forced to make impossible decisions. Will she survive? If she survives, will it come at the cost of her humanity? Remnant is told from Theia’s perspective, and from the perspectives of everyone who has a crucial role in her finding and being reunited with her father. A philosophical journey, exploring the contrast between what is moral and what is necessary. Everyone learns the hard way that things are not always what they seem.
2007: At the age of 16, conceived the idea for the series.
2014: Finally began work on first book, Remnant.
2015: Publication of Remnant.
Originally, the series was nothing more than a ‘fantasy’ about my group of friends and I being war heroes while the United States was invaded by multiple foreign powers. I didn’t even take the story seriously. It wasn’t meant to have any philosophical depth. It wasn’t even meant to be a drama, like the final product turned out to be, but rather a book with a ton of unrealistic action scenes.
A couple years later, in 2009 when I was 18, I was going through a difficult time in my life, and that experience inspired me to not only go back to this story, but revamp it, and take it absolutely seriously. I thought: A story about what I and my friends do when my country is invaded and falls apart has HUGE potential to be meaningful and good. In a way, I felt the story had to be written, as if I had no choice in the matter.
Finding the time, energy, and frankly, the motivation, to write proved difficult. Very few of my friends were supportive of my hobby. But by 2014 I finally got started on the first book of the series, and my first book ever, Remnant.
The following synopsis is detailed in chronological order, not the order in which it is presented in the narrative.
Eleven-year-old Theia narrowly survives a massacre in the home that she has been held hostage in for some time. She walks through the piles of bodies and escapes outside. She sees that the city, Portland, is desolate from the United States’ second Civil War. Feeling her only hope is to find her father, who is the only one she fully trusts, she heads in the direction of her home on the other side of the city. During her first night alone, she is almost apprehended by a group of men who want to take advantage of her. This experience makes her realize the environment she is in, and she falls into a depression. The next morning, Theia sees a group of boys around her age walking about and joins their ranks. Later, though, the leader of the group attempts to rape Theia, and she narrowly escapes, falling deeper into depression.
To comfort herself, she imagines her father is with her as she hides for the night in an abandoned office space. Knowing her father would tell her to push forward and not give up, Theia decides to do just that, but shortly after leaving the building, she is apprehended by an army of child soldiers. During her first night with the gang’s hostage children who are not yet in the field, she befriends a boy with asthma named Matt. Theia meets the leader of the gang, Marcus Solomon, who asks her to join his ranks since she impressively defended herself against his forces when they apprehended her. Theia refuses, but Marcus manipulates her by saying her friend Matt can only get the help he needs (for his asthma) if she joins him. Reluctantly, Theia agrees.
Thinking she can help out her peers if she attains a little power, Theia goes on a mission with Marcus’ army to earn Marcus’ favor. She is forced to lure a group of US Army soldiers into a vulnerable spot, where Marcus’ forces slaughter them all. From the supplies they gain, Theia is able to provide Matt with an inhaler, but she remains in shock. Later, Theia goes on another mission intended solely to slaughter military troops who occupy Marcus’ territory, but she hides instead, and witnesses the death of another friend. Feeling her spirit is broken, Theia contemplates murdering Marcus.
One night, Theia meets a man named Seth Graves, who she is isn’t aware is acquainted with her father. The two relate to each other about how they feel their circumstances have turned them into horrible people. Later that very night, the military raids Marcus’ base, but Seth pulls her out of the battle before it’s too late. Right after escaping, Seth orders Theia to hide, but she doesn’t know why. What she learns only minutes later is that her father, Ethan Krohn, was running toward them, but Seth, thinking Ethan was a threat, attacked him. Another man aids Seth by shooting Ethan, but when Theia cries for her father, Seth attacks the shooter. Theia hides, so as to not see what happens next. Ultimately, her father is the only survivor the fight, but still remains shot, so she runs outside to get him help.
Later, Theia is temporarily brought to a home for orphans while waiting for her father to be treated. She meets a woman named Mercy, who claims to know her father. Too impatient to wait any longer, Theia runs to the hospital her father is being treated in. When they meet, they embrace, and Ethan, though still in need of rest, carries Theia outside to an empty field. He tells her that her mother is dead, and that it’s his fault she was kidnapped and separated from him in the first place, and for this, he tells her that Mercy will be taking care of her. Before separating again, Ethan promises they will be a family again someday, and Theia says she trusts him.
Remnant will be followed by 6 sequels. The next book in the series, Resurrection, is slated to be released December 17, 2016.