‘I didn’t know danger was floating behind us on the breeze as we walked along the beach, seeping in through the windows of our picture postcard life.’
The year is 2024. A new social networking site bursts onto the scene. Private Life promises total privacy, with freebies and financial incentives for all. Across the world, a record number of users sign up.
A deadly virus is discovered in a little known African province, and it’s spreading—fast. The UK announces a countrywide vaccination programme. Members of underground group Unicorn believe the disease to be man-made, and that the people are being fed lies driven by a vast conspiracy.
Vicky Keating’s boyfriend, Dex, is working for Unicorn over two hundred miles away when the first UK outbreak is detected in her home town of Shipden, on the Norfolk coast. The town is placed under military controlled quarantine and, despite official assurances that there is no need for panic, within days the virus is unstoppable.
In London, Travis begins to question the nature of the top secret data analysis project he is working on, while in Newcastle there are scores to be settled…’
I was completely surprised by this book. I sat down on the recent rainy Sunday with a cup of tea and then several hours later I emerged and realised that it was past lunch time and I hadn’t eaten.
The story is shown to the reader through several different people. The main protagonist is Vicki she’s great, she’s sweet, she makes bad decisions and is very relatable. You also see chapters from a variety of different people. Each individual brings a different flavour to the story and it allows the book to progress in a really interesting way, showing you other areas and background which you wouldn’t have been privy to if you stayed with the main character the whole way through.
The characters are vivid and seem like actual people, there are several scenes in the book where quite surprisingly it plays out in a way that would actually happen in really life – people get hurt – people have stuff stolen from them – things go wrong and that’s one of the strengths of this book and the way its written.
I also adored that this is not a zombie story, initially I really thought it would be and even as the story carried on I kinda kept thinking that it might evolve into a zombie disease hybrid (until the point where its brought up in jest within the story). Its interesting to see and explore how much carnage and chaos would happen through a truly virulent and very deadly disease with no need to add dead people also running around everywhere. The book highlights in quite a scary way that things can fall over pretty fast if a large proportion of the population succumbs to disease or death.
Another big theme in this book is the idea of ‘big brother’ or monitoring by the state and it makes you think about how much you post about yourself online completely willingly and what that information could potentially be used for.
It also explores that after everything goes down the pan how difficult it would be to try and learn how to do something without the ease of just looking it up on google or youtube – do you know how to siphon petrol from a car?
A little bit scary considering the ongoing issues currently BUT I absolutely loved this book and read it from cover to cover in a day. I even instantly downloaded (love kindle) the second book straight away and I’m very much looking forward to the next part of the story.
5 out of 5 biscuits
Let me know if you have read it and what you thought below 🙂