Bringing forth the end of days is a science fiction novel of post apocalypse survival, and is the debut novel of Simon Law.
The year is 2013 and World War 3 has scorched the earth, on top of a biological attack that has destroyed all plant life, leaving a world without life giving oxygen.
Civilisation has been destroyed, with just a few pockets of survivors clinging on to a bleak existence with the aid of oxygen and food generating machines, only able to venture outside for short periods with an oxygen mask and cylinder.
Living in the remains of the south-eastern UK town of Crawley are four such survivors, adults Tom and Susan with children Jacob and Steven have banded together and holed up in an air-tight house with one of the life giving machine providing air and food. These machines, known as Photo-synthetically Generated Oxygen and Glucose Machine's (PGOGM) are powered by solar energy and rainwater and appear to require little or no maintenance.
They soon find another two survivors, Jobe and Karen, quickly becoming a tight-knit little community. They are not the only survivors however, lurking the streets are the deadly Jehovah Enforcers, twisted mutants that carry portable PGOGM units surgically attached and have their external orifices stitched shut.
Bringing forth the end of days has much to reccomend it, with firmly realised characters and a very good attention to detail, with the science of the holocaust clearly and realistically explained, you can tell that a good level of research has gone into the details. The fact that it's all so plausible and set in the very near future makes the plot all the more disturbing. This is further reinforced with the authors local area used as the backdrop to the story, giving a greater sense of reality.
There is a clear division of style with the first half of the story telling a very detailed, concise and believable survivalist story of individuals coping with life in this holocaust hell, but then roughly halfway through, the story explodes with violence and continues the violent (and quite graphic) horror theme until the very end. This change of pace is handled very well and draws you deeper into the plot, having built up such a rappor with the characters in the first part of the novel.
This does make the graphic portrayal of violence all the more disturbing, a trick that many much more experienced writers have failed to achieve. The visual sense from the novel means that this story would make a very good screenplay, and the authors love of film is clear.
It is however clear that this is a first novel, with a few rough edges here, there could be said to be too much detail in the first half, and there and a slightly weak ending, but overall the intelligence, scope and energy that Simon Law has managed to breath into "Bringing forth the end of days" more than makes up for any lack of experience.
Written on Wednesday 1st July 2009 by Antony.
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