By Eric Brown, Solaris, 432 pages

“The drifting sand…now inundated all traces of civilization and seemed to wipe clear the collective mistakes of humankind’s sorry past.”

How do you survive the fall of civilization? For the dynamic characters in Eric Brown’s Guardians of the Phoenix, only uncertainty lies in the future. Less than ten years ago there were still oceans to fish, animal herds to hunt, and water sources to discover. But the invading sand has consumed everything and left nothing but barely habitable ruins and barely edible bats and lizards. Humanity has been all but annihilated, as much by the drought as by the nuclear and biological conflicts. Who is out there? Are there any other surviving colonists? What is the value of human life? Is murder and cannibalism sanctioned when survival is at stake?

Brown offers readers his own unique spin on a post-apocalyptic story as he tells the tale of the last survivors on planet Earth. Fans of science fiction and readers new to the genre will appreciate the care with which Brown handles his characters. His writing style is accessible to everyone. He does not focus on scientific details but more on interpersonal relationships between colonists. Even the barren, stark landscapes become a character. Will the colonists discover the hidden Phoenix and their only hope of redemption and salvation? Read Guardians of the Phoenix to find out.

Kathryn Franklin