Remnant (series)

Remnant is a series of seven dystopian novels. It began with the titular first novel, Remnant, in 2015. Originally, four volumes were planned, there are now a planned seven, with several short-story spinoffs in the works as well.

The series takes place in an alternate history, where American society and infrastructure has been decimated by a second civil war, fought between infighting military personnel, social classes, and political parties. There is a lack of solid lines between the sides, resulting in confusion and chaos rather than organized warfare with clear motivations.

The series primarily focuses on Theia, who is only eleven years old at the start of the series. She is the daughter of a mob enforcer and procurer, who raised her to have all his strengths and none of his ruthlessness.

I conceived of the idea for the series at the age of 16, but would not complete and publish the first volume of the series, Remnant, until the age of 24. The series was initially planned to have four volumes in total, but this was changed to seven. The third volume, Relics, is set to be released July 10, 2019, the day Theia would turn 18 in real life.

 

The Novels

The first volume, Remnant, was first published July 19, 2015. It took eight years to write from conception to finish. It totals 126,000 words, a rarity for first-time authors, however also being over 40,000 words longer than originally intended.

The second volume, Resurrection, was published the following year on December 9, 2016. It has 9 fewer chapters than its predecessor, while also being over 8,000 words longer.

On July 10, 2019, the third volume, Relics, will be published, marking the first in the saga not to be published under an Amazon.com ISBN. It will also be released under ArcaneArtists.com, a new site I created meant to serve artists of all varieties. Relics is my personal favorite story of all seven novels. It is also likely to be the longest in the entire saga.

Following Relics, the series will be on hiatus for several years while I start other projects, including other book series. Volumes 4 through 7 will be released approximately three months apart, starting and ending, respectively, in January and December 2025.

 

Inspiration and Message

Among many others, the greatest inspiration for the Remnant saga was the American political climate of the 2000s and 2010s. The Iraq War, which began in 2003, quickly became a source of division in the country as many left-wing sympathizers and politicians saw the war as pointless, a mistake, and based on lies. Political Correctness, a phrase that relatively died off after the 1990s, returned in full-swing in the 2010s, and rapidly led to a rise in radical left-wing political activism. Finally, one month before the release of Remnant, Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President, and as a result of his antagonistic strategy, and then ultimate victory, divided the country even further. A common phrase now heard is that America “has never been this divided since the Civil War.”

I saw this rise in tension long before Trump announced his presidency. I felt concerned about the rising tensions that stemmed purely from the Iraq War. I personally felt passionate about the subject, believing that it was indeed unnecessary and costly. Around the time I began writing the first draft of Remnant, I had noticed that both left- and right-wing activists and pundits justified their more repugnant stances to a disturbing degree. With the Left, they see fit to stifle free speech and endorse socialism; with the Right, they saw fit in the 2000s endorsing an unnecessary war, and generally speaking, war itself.

Remnant was born in large part due to the fact that if any people, not only Americans, are not careful about having healthy discussion with one another, it can lead to armed conflict. It did before, from 1861-1865.

One could say that the saga has an anti-war message, and that is mostly true, but more accurately, the message of the saga is that human beings are their own greatest enemies, both toward each other and within ourselves. I wanted to convey to readers what it would be like if we gave in to our worst impulses; how it would affect our innocent children (through the character of Theia), and how it would affect most people who had no desire for conflict in the first place (through the character of Mercy).

 

Themes

Despite being a series of seven, each novel carries its own plot that is always completed by the end of the book. The purpose of this is to allow each novel to hold its own weight, not relying on the others to stand out or make sense. For this reason, each novel also has its own distinct theme.

Remnant is about faith, in its various forms. Faith in terms of hoping for that which seems impossible, and religious faith. Resurrection is about family – the different kinds of families people have, from friends (the family we choose), to blood relatives, to military personnel, to even mobsters. Relics will carry a theme of nature, exploring why the universe, and human beings, are the way they are.

 

Reception

The series has received mostly positive reviews, with many praising its realism and complexity, however, it has been criticized for being too graphic in its violence. One anonymous review from a person in the military stated, “[The author’s] descriptions brought back some very disturbing memories.” A slightly different opinion reviewed, “It was jarring, it was realistic, it was gritty. It also felt forced.” Most other criticisms stem from the fact that the series is independently edited and published, such as some descriptions being too exaggerative while some important details seem to be lacking. Otherwise, the series has been praised for its deviation from typical and predictable plots, and for its believable characters.

The first volume, Remnant, holds a 3.5 out of 5 on Amazon.com, while Resurrection, the second volume, holds a 5 out of 5.

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