Thom Roth, a member of the third generation born within the security of the Refuge, has worked nearly the entirety of his young life to become a member of the Admin caste of the Refuge. Thanks to the fastidious mentoring of Nicodemo Trask, current Minister of the Refuge, Thom has nearly realized his goal, as well as gained the favor of Trask’s granddaughter, Dee. Publicly, he only has to win the Feats of Strength and Wisdom to attain the Admin post, and eventually, the girl. Privately, he must fulfill a loathsome deal with Trask, keeping and concealing the Minister’s lecherous secret.
However, when Thom’s best friend, Geoff Mann, discovers another secret hidden deep beneath the security of the Refuge’s concrete walls, everything Thom thinks he knows about the founding of the Refuge is shattered. Confronted with the horrific evidence of the Refuge’s past, Thom must decide whether to accept the truth and renounce his home, girlfriend, and title, or embrace the egregious lie that nonetheless may have saved humanity from extinction. Either way, the consequences will be deadly.
Shadow Incandescent is a dystopian reimagining of Plato’s "Allegory of the Cave," (with just a splash of Lord of the Flies) that is part love story and coming-of-age tale, but also a meditation on the subversive capacity of youth to break the entrenched cynicism of the powerful.
The premise for Shadow Incandescent originated from a short blog post I read about the Greenbrier Luxury Resort, the location of a secret bunker the U.S. Congress built so that they could continue to safely and luxuriously govern while us commoners died from exposure to the Apocalypse. Apparently, only members of Congress and limited staffers would be allowed to enter. Family members were prohibited. What a nightmare it would be if your only company with which to ride out the Apocalypse were other politicians! At the time, I was working on my MFA in Creative Writing. An earlier version of Shadow Incandescent became my MFA thesis.
Multiple sequels are planned.