Creepy but intriguing apocalyptic read

November 22, 2013
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The Testimony, by James Smyth (Blue Door, RRP $35):

This is the book everyone was getting excited about last year and I can finally say I now understand why.

It joins the ranks of dozens of other dystopian stories and has a slight feeling of Stephen King’s Cell at the start but it certainly comes into its own as the story unfolds.

It begins with the world coming to a standstill: everything stops. Then there is a deafening static. Everyone hears it inside their own heads but no one knows what has caused it.

Then they hear the words: “My children. Do not be afraid”.

What would you do if you heard those words inside your own head? Would you turn to religion? Suspect a conspiracy theory? Go a little insane?

The lives of the 26 people in this book are affected by the broadcast. Most because they heard it. Some because they didn’t.

Panic spreads across the world with riots and paranoia as civilisation slips into chaos and the planet heads towards an apocalypse

Once I started reading this, I couldn’t put it down. The story is creepy and certainly intriguing. An impressive debut novel.

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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