Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Book Review: Remnants by Daniel Powell

The blight fell across the face of the world like a shroud. It mutated so quickly that the virologists never really had a chance.

America sealed its borders, but it was too late. By the time the first North American cannibalism clusters surfaced in Montreal, Winnipeg, and Vancouver, the blight was already incubating in many northern cities.

A dozen weeks later, everything was gone.

And yet, survivors have persisted. This is the story of the Keanes—an ordinary American family from what used to be Portland, Oregon—and their not-so-ordinary story of survival in the face of unthinkable human depravity.

My Review:
I usually, but not always, like to see the apocalypse unfold from the beginning. I don't generally like joining the survivors weeks, months or years later when a lot of interesting stuff has already happened. But in saying that, joining the apocalypse late is never a deal-breaker for me. A good author in the genre can make it interesting either way.

This book for me did not really deliver. 13 year old Allie, older brother Billy and her father are trying to survive the blight while the kid's mother is missing and assumed infected. I'm not totally sure what the blight was-the impression given is that infected people become cannibals intent on infecting others and feeding, but retaining intelligence, tactics and human behaviour. The focus is on Allie's thoughts so I didn't get a clear picture in my head of what the enemy looked like or what they were doing. We don't really see much of them so it lacked the real tension and excitement that I expect from this type of book.

Allie is totally unbelievable as a 13 year old narrator. How many 13 year olds start talking about the conscientious infected specter of devolving??? Seriously, what is she talking about? I'm in my forties and I didn't have a clue what this girl was on about. And bear in mind that due to the blight, school is out forever, so where she got all the fancy talk is beyond me. All of her language and expressions are much older than her years but I didn't really get what she was talking about at times. It was quite confused.

The overall structure of the plot was also confused. Allie was rambling about all kinds of things with no cohesion and it was frustrating to try and follow what was happening. There was no structured timeline, and it was a bit all over the place. It was also all tell and no show. We were getting a brief description of events that had taken place with no drama or excitement. I like to be there in the story as events unfold, scared as to what is going to happen next-but it just isn't there in this book.

I didn't get drawn into the story or feel any great emotion reading the book. For me, the lack of show really spoiled any chance of getting into the story. A bit disappointing!
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

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