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.