Life As We Knew It meets Lord of the Flies in a mall that looks just like yours

A biological bomb has just been discovered in the air ducts of a busy suburban mall. At first nobody knows if it’s even life threatening, but then the entire complex is quarantined, people start getting sick, supplies start running low, and there’s no way out. Among the hundreds of trapped shoppers are four teens.

These four different narrators, each with their own stories, must cope in unique, surprising styles, changing in ways they wouldn’t have predicted, trying to find solace, safety, and escape at a time when the adults are behaving badly.

This is a gripping look at people and how they can–and must–change under the most dire of circumstances.

And not always for the better.


“A nightmare scenario plays out in a shopping mall, and a group of very different teens must strategize to survive in this engrossing . . . thriller. . . . A whopping and disturbing cliffhanger serves as the conclusion. Readers will anxiously await the sequel.”

Kirkus Reviews

“[Lorentz’s] detailed depiction of the escalating chaos over the course of seven long days is deeply unsettling. . . . [a] riveting disaster novel.”

The New York Times Book Review

“This tense trilogy opener takes its time establishing the memorably diverse and sympathetic characters, while foreshadowing and vivid staging . . . build a sense of claustrophobia and desperation. . . . [R]eaders will eagerly await the next installment.”

Publisher’s Weekly

“Think of the heart-racing chase of The Hunger Games but a giant mall is your arena and everyone is potentially a tribute.”