Sunday, 6 January 2013

Without Warning - John Birmingham

In a bookshop that was nearly empty of people on new year's eve I took advantage and looked around slowly. Without Warning was filed in amongst the crime fiction and as it was an author I hadn't heard of I settled in for a read of the first chapter. Cheeky maybe but not as cheeky as photographing it to buy from amazon/ebay/abe later.
The first little bit that I read dealt with a woman awaking from an accident and realising she had been using an alias to infiltrate a group and to compound the deception she had been pretending to to understand French. An impression she quickly dispels, accidentally. As a taster it is well written enough to warrant handing over the cash.
It's a 'what if' book and in this case America has been nearly wiped out by a mysterious 'wall'. It deals with the impact on the near community and also overseas repercussions including Cuba and France. From food shortages to riots to who is going to be the government now that New York is gone there's a wide variety in the book with a cast of very distinctive diverse characters.
Despite the dire situation that people are in the book still has a sense of humour running through it lifting the tone to an enjoyable entertaining 600 pages plus read. For those of us not immediately aware of who the prime minister of Venezuela it is adept enough at leading us through the different politicians involved in the various scenarios although it's slightly disconcerting reading about Tony Blair (not something I usually volunteer for).
The ending leaves us on a hook ready for the next in the series, due out in February 2013. It looks like a re-issue and it's a book that will appeal to Ken Follett fans, although it is likened to Tom Clancy. It could have done with less acronyms or maybe just more explanation of what they were but overall a great adventure sci-fi to read.
Would I buy another? Yes, in February 2013
Publisher Titan Books

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