Twilight Times, 2005
The aliens came and conquered the Earth without much resistance. Many humans died in the first wave; other became guinea pigs for horrific survival testing though none of the earthlings know why. That is the pandemic big scale impact.
However, there are little stories also that roll up into the globalization nightmare like that of eleven year old Lyda Brightner. Her beloved father Bruce is dead; her equally overprotective mom Elaine is gone and assumed either dead or about to be dead. Lyda is hurt badly, but awakens in a camp with no protector. Someone named Boris sells her for a brick and water to Big Bill. He mistreats her and sells her to a slave owner. Lyda escapes and meets Ginella Sparks who is hiding with her baby having escaped from the “spiders”. Lyda vows to never be abused again as she finds an inner strength to protect herself and those who soon depend on her for leadership. As she and the others adapt to a rough terrain and the alien tests they grow stronger mentally and physically. They each wonder what the spiders have in mind for the dwindling survivors.
Readers will enjoy SAVAGE SURVIVAL, a wonderful “Darwinian” science fiction tale that questions what human strength truly is. Lyda is a terrific lead individual who mentally grows stronger with each horrific adventure as she adapts to whatever is thrown at her; she truly comes a long way from the overly-protected suburban tweener to a powerful ethical leader. Darrell Bain provides a coming of age saga of a pampered loved preadolescent becoming a strong independent woman.