Cover Image: The Only Light Left Burning

The Only Light Left Burning

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Ah, another sequel that I daresay outshines its predecessor! We love to see it! I was giddy excited when I heard there was a follow up on the way to 2022's All That's Left In the World , and wow did it deliver. By now, you all know that apocalypse novels are kind of my "thing", so makes sense that I was a fan.

This book was so full of heart, much like its predecessor. I found the stakes even higher in this one, probably because we know how messy the world is. I felt like I had a lot more in common with Andrew, and as such I related to him and his chapters more, because he made choices that I'd have probably made. Even so, I enjoyed reading Jamie's point of view as well. The differences between the two characters make them work well together, both in a relationship and just as a team. I equally loved the side characters, and how much our guys grew to consider them family. I think that has to be the key to surviving in a TEOTWAWKI situation- if there are no people to live for, what have you got? I will say, there were a few times where Andrew and Jamie's voices felt a little too similar, even though they are very well developed- so much that I had to look back a couple times to see whose chapter I was on. Minor gripe, in the grand scheme of things though!

The same bad guys from the first book are still a threat this time around. If there's one thing I can say about surviving the end of the world, the crappiest people seem to make it- probably because they'll do the most awful stuff to survive. That is no exception here, as our characters have to face a lot of brutal people, and also a brutal changing world in which things that seemed benign no longer are. Makes for such a thought provoking and realistic reading experience, frankly. Everything about this story, from start to finish, has been full of heart, and I have to say that is my favorite part about it- the idea of finding light in the darkest of times.

Bottom Line: Such a great sequel/ending, exciting and satisfying and all the good stuff.

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Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for this advanced copy.

This was absolutely better than the first one. Our main characters had more chemistry in this book, heavier conflict and more sweet moments. Absolutely nailed it!

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After a long journey in the aftermath of a disease that wiped out most of the population, Andrew and Jamie have finally found a home, and a measure of security, among other survivors in Florida. Andrew could see staying there forever among the community they are building, Jamie, though, is less sure. When a massive hurricane hits the colony, its aftermath forces Andrew and Jamie to leave to find new shelter. This latest journey exacerbates growing tension between the two, just as it exposes them to some old enemies. As Andrew and Jamie once again must fight for survival, they also find themselves fighting for a future . . . and wondering if that future will be together.

A novel about both adventure and relationships, this story explores what comes after the initial happily ever after. This is a strong and well-written sequel that touches on interesting themes about community, trust, and family.

Highly recommended!

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Andrew and Jamie have finally made it to the Florida Keys after a long, treacherous journey to get there. However, safety doesn't seem to last when you're living in a post-apocalyptic world. Andrew is happy to settle down with the new family they've found, but Jamie is anxious for them to head out on their own. After everything the two of them have experienced, he's not ready to trust people yet.

But when a hurricane hits the Keys, their new home is destroyed. Followed by a betrayal they weren't expecting, Jamie and Andrew are forced to head out to find new shelter. But will their relationship survive another dangerous journey?

Thanks to Balzer + Bray and NetGalley for an advanced copy of The Only Light Left Burning by Erik J. Brown to review! All That's Left In the World was a favorite of mine from 2022, so I was excited to get to see Andrew and Jamie again. Plus, it gave Brown the opportunity to expand on this post-apocalyptic world he created.

From the beginning, this book will have you stressed. Just when Jamie and Andrew think that they're safe, things start to take a turn for the worse. They honestly can't catch a break in this book. Throughout, you can see the toll that it takes on their relationship, all of the trauma and constant running. They want to do normal teenage relationship things, but that's hard to do when you're constantly running for your life.

We get to see a new cast of characters in this book as well. Rocky Horror was probably my favorite; he was someone both Jamie and Andrew felt like they could turn to. If you like the found family trope, this book definitely has an excellent one. They all form a strong bond as they're just trying to survive in this new world.

In addition to the relationship conflict between Andrew and Jamie, they both have their own things going on as well. Getting to see both of their perspectives fleshes both of them out really well, and gives overall more perspective to the story.

All in all, this is a great extension of the first book that will definitely keep you on your toes the entire time.

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5 stars

Calling all fans of _All That's Left in the World_ who have been dying for this to come out: YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.

Prospective readers who have NOT read the first book should absolutely correct that crime before leaping into this one. Everyone else, do not delay.

Andrew and Jamie share perspectives and much, MUCH more as they continue their existence in this challenging new world. There's a lot of movement in this one along with a nice balance of romance and sweetness and humor and adrenaline. I enjoyed the predecessor and this newest installment so much because character development and other plot points beyond just the romance are also focal points. There's more to these characters than just each other, and that's an even more apparent in this one.

I love how these characters are growing and how they're encountering each other in the process, and I want to read much more about these two. Like I did with this one, I'll be queuing any future installments instantly.

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Thank you HarperCollins and Netgalley for this eARC, these opinions are my own. I am so happy that we got to go back to Andrew and Jamie! Jamie and Andrew made it to the Keys and have finally been able to find peace. But Jamie is having trouble relaxing. As they get ready to sail, to get Amy to Henri, they’re hit by a storm. Their peace begins to crumble. With Fort Caroline still after them they’re forced to hit the road again. This time they aren’t alone. With all new dangers, people chasing them, and a long journey ahead of them can they find their peace? And how will all their troubles impact their relationship? I was hooked from the beginning! I had to give some side eye to Erik throughout, Andrew and Jamie go through a lot in this book! Funny, adventurous, sweet, and loving! I know if I survived the superflu I would end up dying from all the walking they do! Plus there’s so many additional characters to fall in love with! A must read!

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Jamie and Andrew are back in The Only Light Left Burning and not everything is as smooth in their relationship as they'd like. Sure, they found a "safe" community to live in. Sure, they have made connections with some of the people in their new community. Sure, they have some future plans - kind of. Sure, maybe they aren't quite in the same page of communicating well, but they are teens after all. And sure, maybe everything is going to start to unravel again - which honestly makes perfect sense in this sequel set in a post-apocalyptic world.

Erik J. Brown has woven a powerful story with lots of twists and turns embedded that brings us a conclusion to the story he started in All That's Left in the World. Jamie and Andrew will return to the cabin in the woods they left behind in the first book, but the journey won't be easy - it's physically and emotionally grueling for the both. Along the way we meet new characters and say goodbye to others. There is a perfect balance of adventure and reality blended into the story and just enough coming of age growth that show just how teens might handle the complete upheaval of their lives. And yes, we come back around to Fort Caroline as well.

If you enjoyed the first book in the duology, you'll most likely enjoy this conclusion as well! (I do recommend reading the first book first.)

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This uses the post-apocalyptic element perfectly, it had everything that I was hoping for from the description. It uses the characters perfectly and I wanted to read more in this world. Erik J. Brown has everything that I was hoping for and thought the story was fantastic. Erik J. Brown has a great writing style and enjoyed how everything worked together.

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As a sucker for post-apocalyptic stories and a fan of All That's Left In The World - as soon as this sequel was announced, it was immediate an anticipated read. And boy, did it follow through! Let me tell you, this sequel ATE, and I loved it even more than the first.

I think having our two main guys Jamison and Andrew already established fast tracks the beginning and we're continuing the plot right on from the ending of the first (I think with a little time jump).

I honestly couldn't remember too much, but there's sufficient bread crumbs told throughout that makes you go, "a-ha! That's right, that's what happened!"

Initially, I was concerned with the influx of characters that we're introduced to, but I think the amount of characters works in it's advantage because it's just so fun seeing how some of the characters play off each other, and the different dynamics. You really grow to enjoy their company!

A quarter of the way through was when I had to check my progress, because I felt like I was already half way through... and this is only because so much happens so quickly! I was astonished but delighted, which mean that even though the pacing was fast, I was eating it up.

I felt and experienced what it was like to in those situations with the characters, and it really felt like a nod to post-apocalyptic stories like The Walking Dead (minus the walking dead) and The Road.

Big big kudos to Erik J. Brown for bringing us back into this story - it was told so well, and I was constantly intrigued, at the edge of my seat, uncomfortable, and had my heart do some overtime with those feelings that they were feeling.

Dare I say that I want a third book? It wraps up perfectly though. But I still want a third book. Ha!

Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins for the chance to read this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!

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There's something about "The Only Light Left Burning" that doesn't sit right with me. I wish the first chapter with Andrew and Jamie were switched for a slower introduction. I wish the conflict with Jamie not trusting anyone and slowing realizing he can was introduced and processed more clearer. I wish the whole conflict with Fort Caroline was handled better because, honestly, if I were Andrew, I would have broken up with Jamie right away. Jamie's whole character feels like it takes an 180 degree turn and I wish it was set up better. I completely understand where the author was coming from, we get to the point, I just wish it was more clear?

I'm not sure why I'm so upset with this sequel but it was honestly disappointing and I've been ranting to my poor friends about it for the last few days without any clear conclusions to my feelings. I'm glad too see Henri again! I'm glad for more happy queer representation! But conflict is brought up in a chapter and dies in the next one and something about the story as a whole is really unsatisfying. I retract my earlier "maybe this shouldn't have been a sequel?" comment as I was in the process of reading, I see where Erik J. Brown was going in the end!

I would reread the first book in the series. I would not reread this one.

Thank you Netgalley for the Arc.

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10/10 - great sequel that perfectly maintains the tone of the original work while vastly expanding the world (and worldview) of the two leads. Similarly to the first book in this duo, I devoured this book in a single sitting. The pacing is fantastic, the characters are well developed, and the storyline flows seamlessly. There were many, many characters introduced in this book, but it was never difficult to keep up with, and each character was used to move the story forward in a compelling way. I don’t often find sequels to live up to the original novel, but this one surpassed my expectations.

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I am obsessed with Erik J. Brown's brain. Obsessed.

I've been refreshing Edelweiss nearly daily to get this ARC when it dropped, and when I tell you I read this in about six hours, I am not exaggerating.

The hits for Jamie and Andrew. start coming right out of the gate and literally do not stop coming. Filled with the same intensity and heart-pounding action (remember the lions? It gets WORSE somehow) as All That's Left in the World, The Only Light Left Burning looks deeper at the relationships needed to survive the end of the world.

I loved that even though they were "safe" and experiencing a complete civilizational collapse, Jamie and Andrew still had their normal teenage relationship issues: not talking about emotions, being unsure about how to progress their physical relationship, and raising several orphaned kiddos in the camp. You know, normal teenage things.

Seriously, TOLLB is another wonderful look at how we depend on one another, how learning to let someone in and love them even though the risk of hurting or losing them has the potential to be devastating, and how important a community can be. With faces new and old coming in, it was so nice (and sometimes not too nice) to grow attached to them and see their journeys play out. I only cried TWICE this go-round, but it was more than enough.

It's a heart-pounding, gut-wrenching, keep-you-guessing tale that perfectly wraps up Jamie and Andrew's story. 10/10.

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In this captivating read, the author masterfully weaves a narrative that is both engaging and thought-provoking. Through a blend of richly developed characters and a meticulously crafted plot, the book offers a unique exploration of its central themes, inviting readers to immerse themselves in the story's depth and complexity. The narrative is paced perfectly, balancing moments of intense action with thoughtful reflection, ensuring that readers are hooked from the first page to the last. The author's ability to evoke emotion and create a vivid, immersive world is truly remarkable, making this book a must-read for anyone looking for an exceptional literary experience.

Beyond its compelling storyline, the book stands out for its insightful commentary on the human condition, weaving philosophical questions into the fabric of its narrative. The author's skillful use of language not only enriches the text but also elevates the reader's experience, offering new perspectives on familiar themes. Whether it's the intricate dynamics of relationships, the exploration of identity, or the confrontation with ethical dilemmas, this book tackles complex issues with sensitivity and intelligence. It's a testament to the power of storytelling to illuminate the nuances of life, making it a valuable addition to any book lover's collection. Regardless of genre, this is a work that resonates on multiple levels, affirming the enduring impact of well-crafted literature.

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I ended up reading the first book so that I could understand the backstory, and I’m glad I did. You *could* get by reading this as a stand-alone, but the first book is good, so go check that one out first.

I liked this cute duology! I don’t know if the author is planning on writing more books in this post apocalyptic world, but I really hope he does. I read that Brown saw that there wasn’t much queer representation in post apocalyptic stories, so he wrote the book he wanted to read. And the result is great! It’s important that everyone is able to read books that have relatable characters, especially in traditionally underrepresented categories.

The story of Andrew and Jamie continues, with a power-hungry megalomaniac using up insane amounts of quickly-dwindling resources to find Jamie and make him pay. Seriously, this man is crazy. Jamie even finds a Wanted poster of himself in a sporting goods store! Why do so many despots and tyrants rise up in a post apocalyptic world?! It annoys me greatly.

Would you keep running from the person who wants you dead? Jamie knows that he’ll always have to be looking over his shoulder…and that anyone he stays with is also in danger.

You can run…or you can do something about that threat. Which is worse?

My thanks to NetGalley, HarperCollins Children’s Books and Balzer & Bray for the complimentary eARC. All opinions are my own.

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"The Only Light Left Burning" is a winner! This sequel picks up the story of queer teens Jamie and Andrew, who already navigated a not-so-safe apocalyptic world in "All That's Left in the World". Well, they aren't done yet. After making their way to what seems like a safe and secure settlement in the Florida Keys, the guys leave and continue their nail-biting fight for survival with the ultimate goal being a return to Jamie's cabin. As they trek back up the east coast, both boys learn how important love, family, and friends are to their survival and happiness. What sacrifices will they make to protect them? Do they make it back to the cabin? Does their relationship grow or fade over time? Eric J. Brown answers those questions with more twists and turns than in the first novel. I read this in one sitting. It's that good! This clearly deserves 5 stars. The only note I'll add is that the epilogue is completely unnecessary. The story has a perfectly solid ending in the last chapter and nothing more is needed. Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins for providing me an early review copy in exchange for an honest review. 😊@erikjb #postapocalyptic #mmromance #loveislove #booksofinsta #adventure #fiction #booksforteens #lovestory #romance #netgalley #harpercollins #theonlylightleftburning

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I would like to start this off by saying, Mr. Erik Brown, I need an address to send my therapy bill. Oh my god. I am physically unwell after reading this and I don't think i'll ever be ok. Like the first one, The Only Light Left Burning had me screaming and holding my breath over Andrew and Jamie's relationship, except this time, instead of "omg just realize you like each other already" it was a very steady chorus of "oh my god be adults and talk to each other for christs sake" and I loved every minute of it. When I was approved for this book I genuinely screamed so loud my mom yelled at me and that same scream was uttered reading that epilogue. A wonderful, fulfilling and at times nail biting conclusion to Andrew and Jamie's story.

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