Review & Giveaway: House of the Rising Sun by Richard Cox

Richard Cox
Category: Techno Thriller / Science Fiction / Adventure
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Date of Publication: July 27, 2020
Number of Pages: 408 pages
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Both a frightening apocalyptic story set in the southern United States and a character-focused, deeply moving literary thriller.

What would happen if technology all over the world suddenly stopped working?

When a strange new star appears in the sky, human life instantly grinds to a halt. Across the world, anything and everything electronic stops working completely.

At first, the event seems like a bizarre miracle to Seth Black–it interrupts his suicide attempt and erases gambling debt that threatened to destroy his family. But when Seth and his wife, Natalie, realize the electricity isn’t coming back on, that their food supplies won’t last, they begin to wonder how they and their two sons will survive.

Meanwhile, screenwriter Thomas Phillips–an old friend of Natalie’s–has just picked up Skylar Stover, star of his new movie, at the airport when his phone goes dead and planes begin to fall from the sky.

Thomas has just completed a script about a similar electromagnetic event that ended the world. Now, he’s one of the few who recognizes what’s happening and where it will lead.

When Thomas and Skylar decide to rescue Natalie and Seth, the unwilling group must attempt to survive together as the world falls apart. They try to hide in Thomas’s home and avoid desperate neighbors, but fear they’ll soon be roaming the streets with starving refugees and angry vigilantes intent on forming new governments. It’s all they can do to hold on to each other and their humanity.

Yet all the while, unbeknownst to them, Aiden Christopher–a bitter and malignant man leveraging a crumbling society to live out his darkest, most amoral fantasies–is fighting to survive as well. And he’s on a collision course with Thomas, Skylar, and the Black family…


House of the Rising Sun by Richard Cox is the type of book that reminds you of what the world could really be like and encourages you to examine your priorities. On the surface, this post-apocalyptic book isn’t that different from others in its genre. However, the idea that people would go so far as to blame a screenwriter because he wrote a movie that eerily resembled the current situation is just too delicious. The spectrum of paranoia in this novel is interesting to flip through. And much like The Walking Dead, you come to realize that the biggest threat is also your salvation.

In the world that Cox has built, the end is brought on by a supernova. And unlike a zombie apocalypse where civilization slowly grinds to a halt, the aftermath is instantaneous. With every device that relies on a microchip dead, there are only so many modern conveniences left functioning. While millennials are not the only ones running around like chickens with their heads cut off, it does seem like the majority of the characters who are either prepared or have adapted pretty quickly are Boomers and Gen Xers. Pretty much, if you remember how the world functioned without computers, you are okay.

Cox’s characterization of the different types of people is dead on. This skill not only drives us through riveting tales that eventually intersect, but it makes you wonder which camp you would fall into. What choices you would make. When he shifts the point of view, it is obvious and the thoughts and actions of each narrator feel very authentic. Cox delves into the ugly side of humanity without being gratuitous about it. I am not squeamish about violence and sex in books, but I always appreciate when authors leave some things to the imagination. That being said, this is a book about the end times, so there are some scenes that are reader discretion advised.

I found the pace to be perfect in the beginning, but somewhere near the end it felt a little rushed. My right hand held about 20 pages when I realized in distress that the author was trying to wrap things up. I hope that Cox has a sequel planned because I would devour it in a day like I did with this book.

I think that House of the Rising Sun offers an interesting premise and even more interesting characters. I believe that it could be made into a film and hold its own very well. There will always be comparisons to other post-apocalyptic books, films, or shows, but I really do think that this story is different enough to come out on top.

Richard Cox was born in Odessa, Texas and now lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His newest novel is House of the Rising Sun. Richard has also published The Boys of Summer, Thomas World, The God Particle, and Rift. He’s written for This Land Press, Oklahoma Magazine, and
When he’s not writing or reading, Richard loves spending time with his wife and two girls. And hitting bombs.
He also wrote this bio in third person as if writing about someone else. George likes his chicken spicy!
1st: Signed copies of House of the Rising Sun & The Boys of Summer;
2nd: Signed copy of House of the Rising Sun;
3rd: eBook copy of House of the Rising Sun.
Giveaway ends Midnight, CST, January 15, 2021
(US only)

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2 responses to “Review & Giveaway: House of the Rising Sun by Richard Cox

  1. Great review! Nothing better than when you think you know what you’re getting in a story, and it surprises you and stands out from others. Thanks for the post!

  2. Thanks for this review! I’m glad it made you wonder what choices you would make because it made me feel that way, too. Let’s hope Hollywood feels the same as you do about the film possibilities. Cheers!

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