The Apocalypse is Coming!
Moving house has become a way of life for fifteen year old Isobel Miller. Her father is an Army Major; her mother, a middle aged, pregnant, chain smoking alcoholic. But the move to the village of Langham could be the straw that broke the camel’s back. To the truculent teenager it might as well have been to Timbuktu. Isobel is resentful of the baby, angry with her mother for dragging her away from civilization to live in a village which has no street lighting, let alone any decent shops.
The only light in her miserable existence is her grandfather, story-teller elite, her saviour. And when one of his macabre tales is mentioned in the local paper, Isobel is drawn into the depths of evil and devil worship. Her world, and that of everyone around her, turns upside down. The cause? A mysterious book, an omen, which once opened and read starts a cataclysmic chain of events, and their lives are filled with tragedy and disaster. Salvation comes in the guise of three other teenagers-Peter, Oswald and Ariel-and the four form a bond so strong nothing can tear apart-nothing except maybe the devil himself!
A must read!
By Madgwick on 2 Mar. 2013
This book is just a little different from the usual fantasy genre.
The description of everything going on is very well done. There are some really super scenes which really brings you face to face with the story of this family and where they are living. I really liked the way the teenagers were pulled together by their slightly dysfunctional lives. It was as though they had been just waiting for each other to arrive before they could prove their worth.
I was a little unsure of Isobel’s mother. She seemed to sway so erratically from one type of person to another that I found her almost confusing but I think this is what the author had in mind. I really liked being lulled into a false sense of security too. I thought the author had made the plot very obvious in the first few chapters so I was pleasantly surprised when another twist opened up even more of the story.
All in all an enjoyable read with a decent plot and plenty of interesting and captivating characters.
By Carol Macfie Lange on 3 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The relative normality of the beginning provides a good contrast to what follows.There is a good sense of place and the atmosphere of the countryside they find themselves in: “… as they walked through the dark throat of trees where the occasional shot of moonlight punched down onto twisted branches” and ” … the darkness teeming with life: glow worms, foxes, large moths …” as well as a chilling image of a “plague of toads”. All this sinister nature effectively builds the atmosphere and sets the scene for the grotesqueness of the struggle between good and evil that follows.Wixley is good at showing us disturbed and fantastical characters. The particularly loathsome Bishop Francis, his brutality disguised as “fake compassion”, whips up mass hysteria through fear; after his bizarre metamorphosis, he gloats that “fear is a great thing” as his victims are “… transformed into hollowness, free of emotions and dreams, unable to see the beauty in a flower, a sunset, a human face.”
The horrid opponents to peace and justice keep coming: “Here was a magnificent beast, a black furred wolf-like creature” and “a creature of some height, neither man nor woman, a vision of shimmering blue-green …” As the plague eats into the population, good people are pushed to the limits of their endurance. The exhausted Prime Minister has his work cut out!The dreadful Francis is remorseless, devoid of emotional affect. After he slaughters the soldiers “like a farmer swiftly scything down the hay”, he matter-of-factly tells his servant to “just sweep it all up”.This is the stuff of nightmares! Vividly described horrors. I told myself I must stop reading, but … well, maybe later … no, just a bit more. Aahhhhhh! It’s over!
The characters, their names, their relationships and their speech are genuine making this story a pleasure to read. What at first I thought would turn out to be a Young Adult aimed tale, soon turned into an apocalyptical epic fantasy novel on the scale of some of the bestsellers in this genre. It is written with intelligence and insight throughout all aspects of the writing and the storyline.
It has the usual suspects of dragons, ghosts, monks, tyrants, heroes, monsters etc. but is crafted in a way that puts the reader’s mind into that world. After finishing the story, I didn’t feel that I’d read anything instead I had the sense of leaving a cinema with all the imagery still in my head like I’d watched the film.
I don’t often get really excited about particular authors, but this lady is highly talented with a natural style on a different level than your average writer. I look forward to reading more of her work very soon.
I’m not one for dropping in spoilers to push a book to readers, as I don’t believe that to be helpful. I do believe that whatever age you are, you will truly get lost in this book and agree with what I’ve said above.
What an imagination this author possesses. Good and evil battle it out in this thrilling fantasy adventure, which was a much deeper read than many I’ve read in this genre. It started with tantalising hints of what was to come. Then it rapidly, became increasingly dark and my excitement increased.
Everything was beautifully described. I felt as though I was in the story and participating with the unfolding events. From the beginning I found myself rooting for the misfit teenagers, hoping that they would survive. I liked the way the author was true to their characters and how their issues later shaped how they reacted to the horrors.
The ending was a complete surprise but then nothing panned out as I expected. If you like being completely immersed in an adventure, then this is the book for you.
Wow! What a ride. This story by Elizabeth Wixley was completely unexpected as it was different to most apocalyptic books I’ve read. This is not just a book for young adults, all though they would be equally fascinated. I’m a mature adult and think this book would appeal to all ages. My favourite characters were the Cathedral and the dark gothic atmosphere which is a theme throughout the story. I shall be reading Blood Borne next.
Elizabeth Wixley is a talented and gifted wordsmith. For example: “When thy God scattered his seeds of life, the Devil plotted his own grains of destruction.” And “With a thrill of adrenaline keeping his strong heart beating and with the devil walking closely at his side…”
I’d like to read more of her tales of the battle between good and evil.
I give it four stars because it needs a bit of editing, but not enough to detract from the strong storyline.
This book is not like any other apocalyptic book I have read before. There are so many twists, turns and interesting plot points. You can’t guess what is coming next. It is very original and the writing mixes depth with the art of story telling at its finest. I felt that this author has a unique talent. You won’t get the real answer until the very last page.
I shall be following this author with great interest.