“Day names and the concept of weeks were human inventions, useless, really. Without culture only seasons mattered, the solstices and equinoxes.”
― Lou Cadle, Gray: The Complete Collection

Gray: The Complete CollectionGray is a science fiction novel written by Lou Cadle. This is a combined edition of Gray I, Gray II, and Gray III, originally published in 2015 and 2016. 

Prompt from Goodreads: “A dense black cloud boiled up in the southeastern sky. It rose high and fast, like a time-lapse movie of the birth of a thunderhead. But it was no rain cloud. Wholly black, it reached up and up until it loomed over her, blocking out the sun. Somehow, she knew, it was Death coming for her.

Pre-med student Coral is on vacation in Idaho when something terrible happens. The black cloud is followed by a wildfire and searing heat that lasts for days. She survives deep in a cave but emerges days later to find the world transformed, with blackened trees, an ash-filled sky, and no living creatures stirring–except for her.

So begins her desperate journey: to find water, and food, and other survivors…and the answer to the mystery of what happened.”

I accidentally stumbled across this book on Audible and was instantly hooked by the description of the book. I love apocalyptic stories. I also think Audible has picked on my taste of books and its algorithm is now good at book recommendations for me. This was an interesting read. Book is told from first person point of view. Coral does not know what has happened but the world is not the same anymore since “the event”. People are not the same anymore. Coral comes across other survivors, some are kind but there are also some religious cults and some cannibalistic societies. It makes you ponder on what would the society become if such an event really happened. I do not think it would be too different from what has been described in the book and that should be a warning to all. 

I would warmly recommend this book. I think this book deserves more recognition and I think Lou Cadle has potential. One thing that bothered me a bit when reading this was the American spelling of Gray. I am more used to the English spelling of Grey and I had never seen Gray before. 

How-To Read Gray
1.
If you like survival stories like Project Hail Mary or The Martian or robinsonades, I think you will like this one too. Also it has female heroine so that made it way more exciting for me at least.
2. I am not sure how this would work as three standalone books, I really enjoyed the collection. I think Part I would have been overly short on its own so I recommend the Collection.
3. I listened to this on Audible and I was hooked so I would recommend you do the same.

Picture credit Smoke City New York