Graphic violence riddles this post-apocalyptic tale in which a global, financial crash brings society crashingly to its knees. The class system upheld by the banks is upended; the previously privileged cower from the unprivileged who have nothing left to lose.
Disturbing as the violence is, and it is fully described, it isn’t without precedent which is reason enough to include it. Class divides led to horrible unrest and atrocities even in the past few decades in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda. Often times, in such conflicts, the men and boys are outright killed and the women and girls are brutalized in other ways. Such is the background here. At one point in the story as a gang of brutal looters destroy a gated community in London, a privileged woman makes the argument that “they worked hard for their success in life.” The looter correctly counters that she cannot even begin to know where the privilege got her in life. The tenuous balance is broken in this moment, and the system that has propped her life is swept away.
The story follows ex-banker Chris, resident of the gated community, cowering with his son Michael in his vast house that has lost electricity and water like everyone else’s. His wife and daughter just left him that morning. The looters tear into the neighborhood and terrorize each family in order, destroying each house in the process. The slow build until they arrive at Chris’ door along with the treatment of the neighbors adds the horror element.
Alternating chapters fill in the back story of the crash and the slow demise of Chris’ relationship with his wife and of his family life in general.
The story is bleak, but not entirely without hope thanks to a later-added epilogue. The series continues following other characters that are more minor in this episode. There’s definitely more to learn of this world and where the unrest will lead.
I received my copy of this novel directly from the author after previously reviewing his thoroughly enjoyable zombie apocalypse novel series [The Alpha Plague, The Alpha Plague 2, and The Alpha Plague 3] which deservedly made my Best Reads of 2015 list. I also just recently read this author’s novel, New Reality: Truth, which is the opener to its own series.
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