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The Descent

The shocking, visionary climate-emergency thriller – prequel to the critically acclaimed THE FORCING

Published by Orenda Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

A young man and his young family set out on a perilous voyage across a devastated planet to uncover the origin of the events that set the world on its course to disaster … The prescient, deeply shocking prequel to the bestselling, critically acclaimed Climate Emergency thriller, The Forcing.

‘Paul Hardisty is a visionary' Luke McCallin

'A superbly handled tale of struggle and survival in a maimed world' The Times

‘Paul Hardisty is a fine writer’ Lee Child


Kweku Ashworth is a child of the cataclysm, born on a sailboat to parents fleeing the devastation in search for a refuge in the Southern Ocean. Growing up in a world forever changed, his only connection to the events that set the planet on its course to disaster were the stories his step-father, long-dead, recorded in his manuscript, The Forcing.

But there are huge gaps in his stepfather’s account, and when Kweku stumbles across a clandestine broadcast by someone close to the men who forced the globe into a climate catastrophe, he knows that it is time to find out for himself.

Kweku and his young family set out on a perilous voyage across a devastated planet. What they find will challenge not only their faith in humanity, but their ability to stay alive.

The devastating, nerve-shattering prequel to the critically acclaimed thriller The Forcing, a story of survival, hope, and the power of the human spirit in a world torn apart by climate change.



‘The cataclysmic climate-emergency thriller we all need to read … this is where it all begins. My heart was in my mouth every second of the way’
Reader Review

‘Compelling, concerning and completely engrossing … a book that demands your attention and your action. A must-read’ Jen Med’s Book Reviews

Praise for The Forcing

‘Provocative and insightful, visceral and terrifying' SciFi Now

‘Announces Paul E. Hardisty as the true heir to John Christopher' Tim Glister

'A novel that might have actually predicted our future' Ewan Morrison

‘The book I’ve been waiting and hoping for…’ Paul Waters

‘A riveting eco-thriller [that] paints a realistic picture of our future if society as a whole continues to ignore scientific warnings about global warming’ Crime Fiction Lover

‘Fierce, thoughtful, deeply humane and always compelling’ David Whish-Wilson

About The Author

Canadian Paul E Hardisty has spent 25 years working all over the world as an engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist. He has roughnecked on oil rigs in Texas, explored for gold in the Arctic, mapped geology in Eastern Turkey (where he was befriended by PKK rebels), and rehabilitated water wells in the wilds of Africa. He was in Ethiopia in 1991 as the Mengistu regime fell, and was bumped from one of the last flights out of Addis Ababa by bureaucrats and their families fleeing the rebels. In 1993 he survived a bomb blast in a café in Sana’a. Paul is a university professor and CEO of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS).

The first four novels in his Claymore Straker series, The Abrupt Physics of Dying,The Evolution of Fear, Reconciliation for the Dead and Absolution all received great critical acclaim and The Abrupt Physics of Dying was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger and Telegraph Thriller of the Year. Paul is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Orenda Books (February 29, 2024)
  • Length: 300 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781916788039

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