Publication Order of Remaining Books
|The Remaining||(2012)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Aftermath||(2012)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Refugees||(2012)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Fractured||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Trust||(2014)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Faith||(2014)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Allegiance||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Extinction||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
The Remaining Series follows the struggles for survival of Special Forces member Captain Lee Harden and begins with him taking part in a clandestine operation known as Project Hometown, a last-ditch effort by the United States Army and government to save the human race from a potential world-threatening catastrophe. Very few specialists were chosen for the task, and Harden is one of them.
Contrary to what Harden initially thought, disaster does strike. A plague leaves majority of the Earth devastated and infested by mindless and savage predators. The predators are the result of a powerful and aggressive bacterium which affects the human brain so potently that the victim is left with nothing but his primal and animal instincts, once the bacterium has fully infected the host. Receiving no orders from his higher-ups, Harden fortifies himself in the fully-reinforced underground bunker that was built under his house, which can only be accessed via a special route from the basement. t’s not his first time to enter the bunker, though, as he has already been allowed to enter it every now and then, but only when ordered to do so.
He was also briefed about a secret order found in the bunker that he should open only when he hasn’t received orders from his superiors for longer than 48 hours. When he does open them, he learns about the nature of the virus and his three ultimate goals: survive, rescue, and rebuild. With his equally highly-trained dog named Tango as his only companion, Harden ascends into an Earth filled with hostility, misery, and bloodshed, for not the infected are not the only ones vying for dominance of the planet, but separate warring tribes led by ruthless warlords as well. Can he survive in this very alien environment and fulfill his duty of restoring order and looking for survivors?
The second book in the series is titled Aftermath and starts off with a Harden that is slowly turning pessimistic towards the seemingly impossible and unattainable goals that Project Hometown set him out to do. His many adventures in the surface, filled with both heroic feats and highly dangerous encounters, has really sharpened his survival and combat skills, even so. While the first novel tackled Harden’s adventures (and misadventures) in a very episodic and isolated manner, Aftermath is where the story’s elements finally coalesce, accompanied by the revelation of a primary antagonist.
It is also in this book that he finally encounters a number of survivors who have fortified themselves in a truck plant. This is the first time that he has come into contact with a group that could rightly be considered a “society”, amidst an unceasingly violent world. The settlement is called “Camp Ryder” and, when Harden arrives, he is immediately made the subject of distrust and suspicion. Eager to prove his genuine desire to help, Harden volunteers to look for supplies to revitalize the camp which is already bereft of necessities such as food and medicine. At last, Harden is given a chance to establish a stable community, which he hopes would jumpstart his lofty goal of rebuilding civilization. But, engrossed at his task and keeping a druggie warlord named Milo from taking over Camp Ryder, Harden fails to see that a greater storm is brewing in the horizon, and it involves the infected – they are, apparently, beginning to evolve.
The second book is a worthy successor to the first because it, simply put, can stand on its own. Gone are Harden’s aimless wanderings, for it is in this book that he gains a solid purpose to fulfill. No doubt, this also served to give the series its much-needed substance and direction. Harden gets to have plenty of engaging dialogues with interesting characters as well. Slowly, the new and exotic world that Harden arrived in is rearing its ugly head and getting ready to settle in nicely to replace the old one. Does Harden have the will and ability to put a stop to this threat?
The zombie trope, without a doubt, is already overused in literature, films, and other forms of media; nonetheless, Molles is able to provide it with his own personal touch as is evident in the unique qualities that his infected have. Overall, the book never fails to provide that much-needed action, suspense and thrill that every zombie apocalypse enthusiast looks for in an action book. The action, in particular, only slows down for a short while and never really stops as Harden and company are never really given ample time to rest and plan their course of action because of the hostile forces that constantly prey on them – no doubt, a lot of people would probably agree that this is what a zombie apocalypse would be like if it ever happens in real life.
The first novel provides the necessary exposition to set the tone of the plot and setting, as well as the post-apocalyptic world that Harden is destined to explore. It also served to introduce to the reader the author’s considerable knowledge of martial fighting and modern weapons – a truly laudable and necessary skill for any action writer. Molles writing style though not without flaws, complements the fast-paced and non-stop action that happens frequently. His vivid depictions of Harden’s specialized method of killing is excellent, to say the least.
What is apparently likable about Harden as a character is his relentless drive, albeit not without stumbles along the way, to fulfill his ultimate goal and save as many people as possible. These alone reveal, though rarely expressed by the character himself, the true depths of the compassion that Harden feels towards humans and his professionalism as an elite soldier. His interactions and conversations with fellow survivors show his natural leadership capabilities and charisma. His decisions when facing critical situations, in battle or otherwise, almost always stem from his desire to do the greater good. Some readers are quick to label him as too “good” and too righteous that it just makes him unrelatable at times. However, in a post-apocalyptic world that is just about as friendly as a wild wolf, wouldn’t it be better to have someone like Captain Lee Harden at your side?Book Series In Order » Characters » Remaining