Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Publication Date: Available Now from Simon and Schuster ( Simon 451)
Jeanie and Ben arrive in Paris just in time for a festive New Year’s Eve celebration with local friends. They eat and drink and carry on until suddenly, at midnight, all the lights go out. Everywhere they look, buildings and streets are dark, as though the legendary Parisian revelry has somehow short circuited the entire city.
By the next morning, all hell has broken loose. Fireballs rain down from the sky, the temperatures are rising, and people run screaming through the streets. Whatever has happened in Paris—rumors are of a comet striking the earth—Jeanie and Ben have no way of knowing how far it has spread, or how much worse it will get.
I love apocalyptic novels they are one of my very favourite things to read…and “The Undying” by Ethan Reid certainly fit the bill and there was a whole lot about this novel I adored. Honestly, for me, it also had its faults but we’ll come to that.
So Jeanie and Ben are in France celebrating with friends. Jeanie is getting over the death of her father and Ben has tagged along to help her and support her. They are having a great time dining and drinking with local friends when suddenly the lights go out. Assumed at first to be a power cut, this is anything but, so cue madness mayhem and fire and suddenly Ben, Jeanie and friends are running for their lives through the streets of Paris…
So firstly the excellent stuff: The sense of place is amazing, terrifically well imagined and places you right at the centre of the action. The “zombies” are VERY cool, very frightening and have just enough mystery about them to make you long for a sequel. Introduced subtley they will certainly haunt your dreams. There is also a great adventure to be had as our protagonists try to work out what is going on and face a whole plethora of obstacles in their desperation to escape. It is emotional at times, most definitely scary in places and written beautifully – the descriptive prose is top notch.
However I question some things: The author chooses to let us know at the beginning of the novel who survives this journey and who does not – the rest is told in a flashback scenario. I can’t help but feel this reduced the tension – after all you may not know when or how but you DO know who – therefore it is a bit harder to relate to characters and commit. Occasionally as well, some of the placement of the flashbacks regarding Jeanie and her father felt misplaced – right in the middle of an extremely exciting moment, and by the time you’d got through the flashback the tension again had gone.
Even taking the above into account I have to say that overall I thought this was an excellent read – I am assuming that there will be more set in this world based on where we were at the end of the book (although it could stay there) and if that is the case I will certainly be reading them. The world building is superb and the writing is very good and there were a lot of teasers and information that make you want to know what is going on beyond what we have already discovered here.
A solid 4* with some reservations and most definitely recommended for fans of Apocalyptic novels – and hopefully there is more to come.
Happy Reading Folks!