Thursday, 7 April 2016

Book Review: Static prequel: White Noise by James Hunt (Static #0.5)


What controls us? Is it Fear? Anger? Hope? Every day these emotions influence our decisions, some more than others. Wren Burton, one of the top architects in Chicago, has never let anything stand in the way of providing a better life for her family, but those choices haven’t been without sacrifice. And when the power shuts down across the city, which submerges the masses into chaos and cuts her family in half, tough decisions are only the beginning.

My Review:
Wren is collecting her kids from school and thinking about her decision to divorce husband Doug when the power grid goes down and multiple car accidents start to happen. An ambulance takes them to the hospital but she can't contact paramedic Doug or son Zack. Panic sets in when she sees on TV a group of armed terrorists closing in on the hospital and tries to get her daughters to the locked ICU ward as the shots start in the hospital building. Now she must escape the terrorists, find her son and husband and get out of the city.

I've read other apocalypse books by this author so when I saw the prequel to another series by him going free, I just had to grab it. What I like about this author is that he gives you just enough description to let you imagine the scene in your head and feel the danger they are in but there is no excess waffle to send you to sleep. He just gets on with the story and it is always delivered at a fast pace. He builds up tension well, has exciting action scenes and delivers a good story. I also like the way he writes his characters. Wren is a dedicated mother who is focused on saving her kids. She is a normal woman who has to be smart and brave to survive the disaster and you can really relate to her. The other characters I feel are written realistically as well and the writer has you rooting for them all, which is important to me in a book. If I don't care about the characters, I don't care what happens to them and often disengage from the book.

Wren gets her kids safely to the hospital after the crash and is pretty alarmed to see the TV coverage of the terrorists in the street. It only takes a few seconds to realise how close they are to the hospital and by the time she gets her girls ready to move, gunfire and screaming can already be heard. The outbreak of violence in the hospital is nicely written and you can feel the fear and chaos around the people fleeing in all directions to try and find safety. Wren has the brains to realise that only ICU is secured and tries to lead other survivors in that direction. However finding sanctuary is only a temporary safety when the terrorists start setting bombs to blow up the whole hospital. The next priority is to find an exit that leads outside and avoids the terrorists. I loved the whole hospital part of the story as there was real tension to it. I don't want to say too much and ruin the plot for anyone who decides to read it!

The other issue for Wren is where her son is. She knows that he didn't go to school but she has no idea where he is and can't contact him. She can't go looking for him until she finds safety for the girls and finds out where he is. Her best hope is to get to a nearby fire station where Doug once worked and hope to contact Doug and perhaps use their equipment to trace where Zack's phone is. Zack meanwhile has his own problems, injured, scared and alone. The attempt to rescue him is also interesting and tense, with the dangers of terrorists or armed civilians lurking on the streets or people looking to steal rescue vehicles to save themselves.

My one real niggle was the slightly dumb plan for escape from the hospital which alerts every terrorist in the hospital to the fact that survivors are trying to escape. Still, we are talking about ordinary people trying to think up a plan, not military personnel with tactical training so I guess some of their choices are going to be a bit dumb at times!

This is a short novella that is the ideal introduction to a new fast paced series. I certainly enjoyed it enough to grab the omnibus edition which has books one and two for 99p. Bargain! Grab this prequel free and the next two books for 99p on Amazon UK! So now I will be able to follow more of Wren's upcoming adventures! I recommend this to fans of apocalypse and disaster fiction.
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

2 comments:

  1. Nice to hear! I did pick this one and I think the next book for free on Amazon. Sounds like a great find. :)

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    1. I enjoy these action packed character based survival in a disaster books! It's what I mostly read now. Nothing like a good apocalypse! In this one the characters were good and the plot just rolled along!

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