This is quite possibly the darkest novel I have ever, or will ever, read. Yup. It's THAT dark. What makes it so incredibly dark is the complete absence of light. Seriously. There is nothing light-hearted or hopeful. The apocalypse has happened, death is inevitable, and all there is left to do is wait. All is festering, foul, futile, bogged down in a slow, tortuous process of degradation, madness and utter despair. Sigh. It really is DARK.Scorch Atlas is a series of short stories and snippets chronicling the end of the world through some catastrophic disaster or another which is never in any way explained. Houses and cities are bombarded by earth, water, electricity, ash, glass, ink, human skin cells, even glitter, all while the inabitants ever so slowly starve, go insane and die. You would be surprised what people will eat when they're starving and insane. I won't be surprised..... ever again.I'll admit, it was the striking book design that prompted me to hunt down a hardcopy. Every page is the very image of decay in one way or another, each page different, and themed for the story written on it. As it turns out, the writing is also beautiful, if self-indulgent. Read this book, but do it with a bottle of Prozac handy. And hide the shotgun.