- Peter Crowther
Publisher: Angry Robot
Released on 27th September 2011
E-Arc with thanks to netgalley and Angry Robot.It was a typical all-American backwater - until the night the monsters came. When four employees of KMRT Radio investigate an unearthly light that cuts off communication with the outside world, they discover that something has taken the place of their friends and fellow townfolk, and imbued them with malign intentions. Little do they know, the phenomenon is not unique to the town of Jesman’s Bend...
One dark night a bright light suddenly blinds you and when you can see again, everyone has disappeared. Everyone in the house, everyone in the town, everyone on the plane. That is the starting point for this creepy and rather chilling story. Only a few people are left...and not all of them are particularly sane... And then twenty-four hours later, the light comes again and this time it brings the missing people back.
The premise of this novel is so intriguing – people disappearing and leaving an empty world. And then returning changed. Just thinking about it gives me the creeps and I couldn’t read fast enough wanting to know what was happening. However, the true strength of novels like this relies on the characters and wanting them to survive. I have to admit I had mixed feeling about some of these characters. Ronnie, Karl and Angel were the only characters I really cared about and I wanted the story to follow them all the time. The other characters included a slightly mad older woman, a murderer and a selection of people from the radio station that I really connect too. (Okay, I wouldn’t want to connect to a mad person or a murderer, but the people from the station Geoff, Mel and the others should have been ones to root for).
There is plenty of action here as well as gruesomeness – if you don’t like gory and bodily function then this isn’t for you. However, it all fits into the story and doesn’t feel gratuitous. There are plenty of sieges, chases, fight scenes which keep the story moving as the characters are gradually pulled together by the end. As this is the first of a planned trilogy, it doesn’t answer many questions, but is an exciting start and I really do want to know what the light was and what happened. I just don’t really know if I want many of the characters to survive! Still I will be looking out for the next book in the trilogy Darkness Rising
Recommended for fans of Stephen King and Joe Hill. 6 out of 10.