It all starts when a third grade class takes a field trip to the site of a mining accident to see the ecological damage. A troublesome young boy wanders off and encounters an ancient evil that could spread across the world.
Superficially the plot is very familiar to those of us who read apocalypse fiction. The decay of society, few survivors, a growing menace (very similar to that in the movie version of I am Legend.)
Langan however takes her time with these traditional themes. The real-time collapse may be frighteningly quick but she seems to relish the minor details. And the details are not for the weak of heart. There are many graphic descriptions here and Lagan pulls no punches.
Be prepared to be shocked as Langan doles out the misery more in line with McCarthy’s The Road rather than adventurous like The Stand.