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'Bringing Forth the End of Days' by Simon Law.
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|Rachael Prior, Crawley|
|Excellent Mystery/Suspense all the way through. - (4/5)|
I have to be honest I'm not normally a Horror fan, but this was such an enjoyable read. I would put it more in a 'great suspense' category rather then horror. A few moments are a bit gruesome but this doesn't deterrent away from the great writing and clever way of bringing all the facts and hidden mysteries together. The pace of the book was great, you slowly, chapter by chapter learn more about the character and what devastation brought them all together. There’s allot of plot twists and you never really know how it's going to end. It always a great read when you are completely wrong on where it’s going and shocked where it leads you and how it ends. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a sci-fi mystery; I could honestly not put this book down after the first few chapters and read it in 3 days flat.
|John Lloyd , www.thebookbag.co.uk|
|A distinctive look at a near-future end-of-days scenario, with great energy and memorable scenes. - (4/5)|
Imagine the hell of a dying world, less than a generation from now. World War Three has been and gone - ended with conventional bombs galore but started by a plague on all plant-life, that removed all the oxygen from the planet's atmosphere. As a result, the few survivors must live in air-tight houses with special oxygenating equipment - the ultimate in air conditioning - or, they must have got in early with a special biomechanical adaptation that allows them mobility and independence, but at a freakish cost. Worse, religion has mutated - the Jehovah's Witnesses are now the most violent gang, rushing to nudge what's left of humanity towards its final judgment. Worse still - even worse than all of that - you're living in Crawley.
Such is the scenario faced by four human survivors, one of whom has been adapted as mentioned. They're soon to meet a fifth and sixth survivor, to form a very raggle-taggle community. And throughout all the trials and tribulations as they struggle to survive, one of the band will emerge as appearing to be more than what at first they might seem.
This is a very engaging set up for an end-of-days scenario, and while the book has more holes in the more you think about it (why don't the Jehovah's Enforcers just play their upper hand and demolish all the air machines?), there is little room in the breathless story (no pun intended) to actually pause for that thought. This doesn't fully apply to the beginning, however, as the mixture of flashbacks to form and define characters, daily action, and exposition needed a little more punch.
But before long there are more than punches - we get drop-kicked and more into submission. One scene is particularly fond of the claret, and this turns out to be quite a violent book - forever justified and reasoned, thankfully.
The science in the science fiction was introduced well, and all of it I remembered from my school days seemed to ring true. The author doesn't quite create a fully realised life a decade from now though. People still play CDs - and argue the merits of Kylie, pre- and post-cancer. The most upmarket, automated cars still have real old-fashioned door-keys.
I'll be generous as well and say he fully intended the dialogue to be as mundane and bland as this. There are certainly meaty scenes of argument between firmly realised characters, but a lot of the humdrum existence before things start to kick into gear is just that - humdrum.
And to clear my sheet of critical comments, I felt I guessed too much of the answer too early. But that seems churlish when considering how quickly and how happily I paced through the book after that - there was still a lot to go that confirmed my suspicions - to some extent - and that was the core of the book, which was a core that is wholly to the author's credit.
This will go down as a science fiction adventure of laudable scope and energy. The drive of the plot, in both scenario and psychology of characters, is spot on, and the cinematic depiction of the empty waste of south-east England welcome in this genre, and brings to mind something like Danny Boyle's films.
|Highly recommended - (4/5)|
Bringing forth the end of days is a science fiction novel of post apocalypse survival, and is the debut novel of Simon Law.
The year is 2013 and World War 3 has scorched the earth, on top of a biological attack that has destroyed all plant life, leaving a world without life giving oxygen.
Civilisation has been destroyed, with just a few pockets of survivors clinging on to a bleak existence with the aid of oxygen and food generating machines, only able to venture outside for short periods with an oxygen mask and cylinder.
Living in the remains of the south-eastern UK town of Crawley are four such survivors, adults Tom and Susan with children Jacob and Steven have banded together and holed up in an air-tight house with one of the life giving machine providing air and food. These machines, known as Photo-synthetically Generated Oxygen and Glucose Machine's (PGOGM) are powered by solar energy and rainwater and appear to require little or no maintenance.
They soon find another two survivors, Jobe and Karen, quickly becoming a tight-knit little community. They are not the only survivors however, lurking the streets are the deadly Jehovah Enforcers, twisted mutants that carry portable PGOGM units surgically attached and have their external orifices stitched shut.
Bringing forth the end of days has much to reccomend it, with firmly realised characters and a very good attention to detail, with the science of the holocaust clearly and realistically explained, you can tell that a good level of research has gone into the details. The fact that it's all so plausible and set in the very near future makes the plot all the more disturbing. This is further reinforced with the authors local area used as the backdrop to the story, giving a greater sense of reality.
There is a clear division of style with the first half of the story telling a very detailed, concise and believable survivalist story of individuals coping with life in this holocaust hell, but then roughly halfway through, the story explodes with violence and continues the violent (and quite graphic) horror theme until the very end. This change of pace is handled very well and draws you deeper into the plot, having built up such a rappor with the characters in the first part of the novel.
This does make the graphic portrayal of violence all the more disturbing, a trick that many much more experienced writers have failed to achieve. The visual sense from the novel means that this story would make a very good screenplay, and the authors love of film is clear.
It is however clear that this is a first novel, with a few rough edges here, there could be said to be too much detail in the first half, and there and a slightly weak ending, but overall the intelligence, scope and energy that Simon Law has managed to breath into "Bringing forth the end of days" more than makes up for any lack of experience.
|Description||A mysterious green gas released upon the world causes the earth's entire plant life to slowly wilt over and die. Oxygen levels drop to dangerously low readings bringing forth the birth of strange new technologies and surgical procedures to combat against the effects of the poison air. Flash forward ten years to the story of a group of survivors as they struggle to find salvation in the desolate world. With oxygen now completely non-existent in the air, their existence relies upon a strange machine to provide them with the clean air they need. After years of isolation, they encounter what appear to be other humans outside in the oxygen-deprived atmosphere. Uniting with their new friends and now hopeful, they embark on a mission to find more survivors. But the path ahead holds many dangers and one person in the group has been hiding a dark secret from them.|
|Format||Dimensions 15.2x22.9x2.5 cm|
|Publisher||AEG Literary Publishing Services, Incorporated|
|Subject(s)||Fiction / Religious|
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| Last Updated|
02/12/2023 at 04:00.