Back around 2005, when I first discovered David Moody's work, he was a self-published writer, releasing the UK zombie series AUTUMN through his own Infected Books press. Then along came HATER, a book so awesome that people like Guillermo Del Toro took notice; movie rights were optioned, publishers started circling like hawks, and the rest, as they say, is history. Infected Books stopped publishing, the entire back catalogue of both AUTUMN and HATER series passed over to publishing giants St Martins Press (US) and Gollancz (UK).
But there were a few disgruntled murmurings amongst Moody fans. Not all of his back catalogue was to see re-release through St Martin's and Gollancz. Two books in particular remained in limbo: Moody's debut apoc horror, STRAIGHT TO YOU, and his only sci-fi work to date, an alien invasion novel entitled TRUST.
And now, after years of waiting and being badgered by fans, Moody has finally re-released TRUST. And it's an Infected Books release, the book now available worldwide in limited edition hardback, trade paperback and e-book formats. In addition, Moody is also posting the book online, chapter by chapter, for free, from now through to December 2012.
And here's the headline: TRUST is Moody's best work yet.
Don't get me wrong, I love the HATER series. And the AUTUMN books were the very thing that reawakened my love of zombies, inspiring me to write my own zombie fiction. To be clear: AUTUMN and HATER are two groundbreaking series that you really need to check out, if you haven't done so already.
But TRUST is even better.
There's something about this book. When I first read it, back in 2006, under the first incarnation of Infected Books, the story felt epic. The re-released version feels even more epic, to be honest. Which is odd. Because everything about TRUST is understated.
The setting for the book is Thatcham, a small coastal village in England which suddenly finds itself host to a stranded alien vessel. The first part of the novel plays out a little like the excellent TV mini series V. Slowly, the establishment starts to trust these new visitors, welcoming them into society, glamoured by their obvious sophistication and seemingly noble intentions. But, just like in V, there are doubters, people who don't believe the hype. The book's main protagonist, Thatcham blow-in Tom Winter, is one such doubter.
TRUST is not a slow burn by any stretch of the imagination. I was hooked by page one. It is fair to say, however, that there's less gore-stained action than you'd expect from Moody, the book going more for suspense and mystery than full-blown horror. Are the aliens who they say they are? Why are they really here? Our protagonist Tom, a disenfranchised and paranoid individual to begin with, grows progressively more so, isolating himself from just about everyone, as he tries to dig deeoer into the aliens' background. And as readers, we're right there with him, asking the same questions, turning page after page seeking the same resolution Tom seeks. And that's the strength of this book: it puts you right in the man's shoes, in the place where he lives, with the people he shares his life with. You'll know these people already. Single mother Clare, someone who hasn't time to think about aliens, struggling just to make ends meet. Tom's slacker brother, Rob, as gullible as he is likeable. Pub landlord John Tipper and his alcoholic fishwife. Even the village drunk, Ken Tratham will ring a bell. Like all Moody's work, this is a book about extraordinary things happening to ordinary people. And its more powerful for that.
Moody is selling TRUST as an anti-scifi book, and that's pretty much what you've got here. Unlike a lot of contemporary scifi, this story is defiantly character-focused, and heartbreakingly accessible with it. It's not Hollywood fodder. Think DISTRICT 9 as opposed to INDEPENDENCE DAY. I'll stand by the word 'epic' to best describe this book. Because from gripping start to heart-pounding finish, this is a story that will shake you to the very core, resonating long after you've turned the final page. And there's nothing more epic than that.
Try it for yourself at (...)
And then buy.