Wednesday, August 9, 2017

London, Orbital - The Change 01 (Guy Adams)



Neverwhere makes a baby with Rick and Morty, what is born is the wholly original series 'The Change', written by Guy Adams.

The Change impacted the London suburbs as bizarrely as it did the rest of the planet, with close to any imaginable horrors coming to life. It's more than just London, the entire world is in a state of 'screwed beyond comprehension'. Anyone who witnessed it, staring into the sky while the fabric of our world shredded, died on the spot. They dropped to the ground like their strings were cut and existence was over. Those who witnessed it second hand, via recording or playback, went crazy; It just broke them and they fell apart in whatever manner their minds required in order to remain 'living'.

Everyone else just plugs along. The blind, the sleeping, the hermits and Luddite technophobes. If they failed to witness the end, they live through the aftermath until something else tries to kill them.

Howard lived and to the best of his knowledge was not crazy. Hard to tell since he had no memory of any personal history.. Full amnesia. Even his name is a guess, based on a journal in his pocket. He just woke up blank and started walking down the crowded freeway filled with cars, corpses, and periodic unexplained bloodstains.

Howard is rescued, after being maimed by locust style swarms of pigeons with teeth, a taste for meat, and flock coordination. His savior is a boy named 'Hubcap' who brings him to relative safety in a group of survivors. Relative is key terminology as they are being hunted by something hungrier and crazier than any mutant pigeons could be.

The world of The Change is a teen fiction export from the UK. It is short, clocking in around 160 pages and probably falls more to the vein of Novella, but is solid from cover to cover. London Orbital is the first in a series, currently three novella, but seems ripe for easy expansion due to the way it was crafted. It relies heavily on world building, but delivers the world quickly and easily, spacing out key data into punchy conversation and short journal snippets.

Unfortunately for me, while the target audience (teens) might take The Change at face value and survive, I would not be so lucky. As an adult, I cannot resist obsessively speculating what was in the sky that murdered the planet, or ways in which you could filter video or perspective to see via tape. I would be dead or crazy as a loon in the world of The Change after day one.

While this Novella is not 'graphic', it absolutely does not hold punches when it comes to accurate and potentially queasy descriptions. It may not be appropriate for 0-8 year old age ranges but who really knows these days, my five year old loves Jurassic World after all. He cheers for the Dinosaurs..

This should not be confused with another series from the UK in the 1960's called The Changes which was equally enjoyable for different reasons. Nor the books of the Change by SM Stirling which I personally have mixed feelings on.

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Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the publisher for review purposes. Had I said no, there is minimal risk they would have left me to die on an ant hill covered in honey. Lucky for me, I like ants and honey, so I do not know how that would have changed my perception. I would advise if this book sucks and then eaten protein laden honey on toast.
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