Book Review – The Fearing (Book Three, Air & Dust) by John F.D. Taff

Where to begin? The end is nigh for this post-apocalyptic masterpiece and I have a problem, but it’s a nice one to have. I’m running out of superlatives to use when reviewing John F.D. Taff’s serialized novel, “The Fearing.” I mean, how many different ways are there to say “these books are great, go buy them”?

“Book Three: Air & Dust” is a change of pace from what has already been printed, but the story is no less hard hitting as we move into the final countdown (cue Scandinavian eighties hair rock music).

Here’s the Goodreads / Amazon blurb:

John F.D. Taff’s apocalyptic novel, “The Fearing,” continues in Book Three: Air & Dust as Adam and Jelnik make their way to a prophetic meeting and a mysterious darkness is creeping inward from the horizon, further threatening the lives of all who remain.

Amid the devastation of his Georgia church, a Baptist minister comforts an orphaned girl suffering from amnesia. All she knows is her name. Together they confront the darkest of fears as they make their way to a gathering point for the remnants of society.

After a disastrous night of attacks at an abandoned airfield, a group of survivors plans its exodus. But their hopes are dashed when an autocratic leader arrives to seize control. Fears are one thing, but could this man represent something far worse?

This is it. The calm before the storm. This is where the characters (and the readers) are allowed a little, but not too much, time to take a breath and take stock of the relentless action that has transpired in the previous two volumes.

That being said there’s still plenty of powerful stuff going on as we meet several new characters and experience more dark deeds. Taff gives us some time with Reverend Mark and his enigmatic amnesiac friend, Monday. The more you read, the more you begin to realize these two characters are going to be pivotal in the final installment.

The majority of “Air & Dust” takes place on a deserted military base called Camp Straggalot. Here we join Mark, Monday, and other survivors in what should be a place of safety. But this is from the ‘King of Pain,’ John F.D. Taff so you know there’s little safety in numbers here. Monsters take many forms, and this is where Tim Jacoby steps in and proclaims himself to be the savior of all. Like other apocalyptic tales, the biggest danger normally stems from humanity itself and Jacoby is no exception as he tries to take full advantage of the situation.

We also reunite with Adam and Jelnik, Kyle and Carli, and Rich’s survivor bus as they work their way toward what appears to be their final destination, Memphis.

Book Three is all about Taff expertly moving the story forward and putting the characters where they need to be for an epic, balls-to-the-wall final installment, that cannot come soon enough.

The final countdown ticks ever closer for “Book Four: Earth & Ember” on November 12th, and I firmly believe it will surpass all expectations. The end of the journey is nearly over, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

If you aren’t reading “The Fearing,” you should be. What the hell have you been doing? You’re missing out on something special. Do yourself a huge favor. You need to take action to right this tragic wrong. Read this series ASAP. What are you waiting for? You’re welcome.

Once more, a big “thank you” to Anthony Rivera and Grey Matter Press for the advanced reader copy.

The Haunted Pen Rating:


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