Post-apocalyptic novels seem to be ten a penny these days but Tremor stands out from the crowd because it is chillingly believable. There are no zombies or super-intelligent robots and the world as we know it hasn't been destroyed by aliens or an enormous meteorite. The damage has been done by The Fossil War, a global conflict brought on by the near exhaustion of the world's fossil fuels, which has left all major governments and cities wiped out and the earth wracked by powerful and destructive tremors. After spending a couple of years in bunkers, the survivors have resurfaced to a soulless world of poverty, danger and ruins. Terrafall, initially a relief aid organisation, has evolved into the all-powerful governing body and, behind its outward air of respectability, its Peace Enforcers seem to enjoy a reign of terror more than looking after people. Civilians are mysteriously starting to disappear, supposedly abducted by bandits, but what if that is just propaganda and there is actually something much more sinister at work.
We are introduced to teenager William, struggling to come to terms with the death of his dad in the war, who comes home to discover that his mum has gone missing, presumably abducted. His driving force becomes his all-consuming passion to rescue his mother and he has a couple of allies in the shape of his feisty female friend Althea and her little brother Ori. As they set off on their mission to discover the truth about the abductions, they unite with a bunch of rebels, holed up in a secret and far more pleasant valley, who agree to join the mercy mission, whatever the cost.
It's a fast-paced, action-packed read with certain passages that really make you think about where the world is going - what if global warming was the least of our worries? The characters are believable and appealing, even if the bad-guy-pretending-to-be-a-good-guy and hero-disguised-as-a-villain type characters were a bit one dimensional and obvious. It was believable throughout, with enough twists and turns to keep you glued to the page, although the final chapter did all seem a bit less realistic, with overtures of Indiana Jones escaping from disintegrating ruins by the skin of his teeth !
Enough feelers and loose ends have been incorporated to make sure you want to come back and read the next episode. For a debut novel, it's very impressive and I'll certainly be looking out for the next book.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £8.99
Disclosure : I received the book in order to write an honest review.