Rating: * * * * (of 5)
Imagine a New York City without any people. No cars rushing by, no chatter at every street corner, no bright lights, no sirens…all silence. This is the New York envisioned by Paul Antony Jones after the spooky disaster he rains onto the city, literally. Reporter and protagonist Emily Baxter is suffering through a fairly normal day of errands and interviews when a strange red rain begins to fall from the sky. The thick substance bears a more than passing resemblance to human blood, and further— some eight-ish hours after its brief but heavy appearance —people begin to die. By the millions.
The only human left alive (so far as she has found), Emily must figure out what her next step is and execute it. I won’t give all that away, but things become more urgent when she discovers that although she may be one of the last humans in New York City, she is not the last living being.
Jones’ novel is tense and creative as it covers the sorts of things that might occur in this unique sort of disaster and I plowed through the book, partially by reading the ebook and partially by listening to the perfectly-synced audiobook that I bought for a song thanks to my Kindle (so that I didn’t have to stop the story when I had to drive to and from work).
Mind, I am not entirely without complaints. Emily Baxter serves as a witness to the goings-on, but is not the most rounded character in her own right, even though she has a solidly-crafted background. Sometimes she’s smart about her own precarious situation and other times she’s a little obtuse. Jones also uses a number of weird phrasings and seeming malapropisms, which I was much more likely to notice listening to the audiobook than reading the text myself.
Overall it was a pretty solid read though, and I’m looking forward to the sequel, Exodus, due out next month!