I loved reading this book. Some parts of it held my attention like a vice. I can still hear the roar of roller blades, the shatter of glass, the cawing of circling crows.
Some passages needed a touch more editing. However, the little stutters in the flow, the very occasional clumsy phrase, certainly didn’t spoil the book. I guess it might if you happen to be the sort of grammarian that suffers pain from every linguistic deviation, but then you must often be short of reading.
I had the constant nag at the back of my mind that the electricity supply for Geneva should have died, along with 99.9% of the population. Though this continuing availability was never explicitly explained the implicit assumption I eventually made tied the threads together satisfactorily. Another strand that I felt needed earlier enforcement was the childhood experience of Dan, which led to his life of chronic tinnitus. The early avoidance of these issues was I’m sure in part due to a determination to hold the surprise of the ending. I, though, like to see all the main circles of direction earlier in a plot build.
We start with reports of animal population crashes that might have come from the culturally shifting writing of Rachel Carson, move through a quiet apocalypse, then delve into the individualistic process of survival. Finally, Marino pulls together an episodic and dystopian past history of mankind, and the promise of a new galactic spirituality for our species. Erich Von Däniken, Philip K Dick and Arthur C Clarke might all have been sitting around a table collectively weaving together the elements of the new start instigated by the Daimones. I can see Marino sitting at the end of the table rapidly scribbling notes. Then finally, he selected a touch of each to colour his vision. Though each of these great authors probably inspired a few sentences, I feel that there is a lot of novel speculation to come in the rest of the planned trilogy.
I really found this to be a very enjoyable read. I am sure this is partly because I’m a writer of speculative science fiction of a similar nature. But also it’s because this is, even with science fiction discounted, a very entertaining book. The differing psychological profiles and difficulties of the main characters are well drawn, giving very real feeling grist to Marino’s speculative ideas.
Not every aspect of the book deserves 5 stars, but we are required to use this crude classification. As you will have noted, I gave 5. I thank you for having taken the trouble to read my review.