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5.0 out of 5 stars A Personal Journey Through The End of The World, 24 Jan 2014
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This review is from: A Necessary End (Paperback)
It's the characters that really made this story for me. Nigel and his partner Abby are wonderfully observed. Their actions and reactions to events are perfectly judged and never jar the reader out of the world that the authors have created. Don't be fooled, this isn't just a typical by the numbers apocalypse; it's also an insightful character study. There's something fascinating watching people trying to live their lives in exceptional circumstances, it's mesmerizing stuff.

The element of the story that really struck a chord is the different way in which both these characters come to terms with the inevitability of events. Nigel is driven by reason, science, rationality and the need to discover the source of the insects. His nature is such that he just can't sit idly by and wait for the world to stop. He has to know why, no matter what the cost of that knowledge is. Meanwhile, Abby is the polar opposite. She has returned to a faith she thought lost, letting her feelings and intuition guide her decisions. She's convinced that the apocalypse is all part of some grand plan and she is happy to let events unfold naturally. She is resolute that there is something better waiting for them all on the other side.

It's interesting; in some respects the end of the world feels almost inconsequential in comparison to the breakdown of the couple's relationship. Abby has a serious medical condition and Nigel doesn't know how to deal with it. This causes resentment on both sides, and when we first meet them they're dancing around the issues they have. Neither is willing to voice their fears, both are so paralyzed by the potential outcome. There is a genuine sense of sadness that permeates both characters. The deterioration of their life together mirrors the larger events going on around the couple. Their interactions act almost as a microcosm to the world surrounding them.

On top of all that, let's not forget that this is still a horror novel at its dark heart and there are a number of suitably gruesome moments. I'll admit, I got so caught up in the lives of the two leads that most of these horrific scenes managed to catch me totally unaware. The good news is because we're talking about vast plagues of insects proceedings do sometimes rate quite highly on the old ick-o-meter. I can tell you this in no uncertain terms - I'm never setting foot in an airport again.

I have to admit a certain amount of curiosity whenever I find myself reading a collaborative effort between two authors. It becomes almost a game to try and spot each writer's contributions. There is always a concern that different writing styles will clash and disrupt the flow of a narrative but I'm glad to say that's not the case in this instance. Wilson and Pinborough are both accomplished storytellers in their own right and their styles complement one another well to form a truly compelling tale.

If you're a fan of apocalyptic fiction and are looking for something that is a little bit more character driven than your standard fare, this could well be the book for you. It's always a pleasure to discover writing that's introspective, insightful and emotive. I strongly suggest you seek this little gem out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly told end of days tale., 9 Jan 2014
By 
Liz Wilkins "Lizzy11268" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Necessary End (Kindle Edition)
LIFE CAME OUT OF AFRICA...
But now it's death's turn....
It spreads like a plague but it's not a disease. Medical science is helpless against the deadly autoimmune reaction caused by the bite of the swarming African flies. Billions are dead, more are dying. Across the world, governments are falling, civilization is crumbling, and everywhere those still alive fear the death carried in the skies.

So, just as an aside to start this off, I'm going to have to go and check out some of F Paul Wilson's other stories - so my to be read pile is probably about to significantly increase. Sigh. Ah well. Life throws us these curveballs...

Here we have a pretty much character driven end of days tale...following along mainly with a married couple, Abby and Nigel, as the world falls apart around them and they each find their own way of coping, it is both horrific and fascinating all at the same time.

I'm not going to say too much about what they do or why, as that really is the point of the whole thing and you need to find that out for yourself when you read this - which I highly recommend that you do - but there are many themes woven seamlessly together here, love, loss, redemption, science v faith, ultimately creating a very human story.

The writing is brilliant, I expected nothing less, but the best thing about this for me was the emotional response it elicited in me when it came to these two characters. I hated Abby with a fiery vengeance but equally I can see many readers will adore her. By the end of the book I loved Nigel with something close to hero worship, but equally I can see many readers will want to throw things. When you get characters like this, drawn with such depth and substance that they really make you FEEL then you know you are onto a good thing.

Add to that an interesting take on the apocalypse, some often disturbing descriptive prose and some very authentic scenario's when it comes to the reactions of the general public and you have a truly terrific tale. I love reading drama's about the destruction of humanity (hey its not just me ok?) and this is a great example of that with the added Pinborough (and Wilson of course) magic that gives it just a bit of an edge over everyone else.

Highly Recommended.

Happy Reading Folks!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, 30 Dec 2013
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This review is from: A Necessary End (Kindle Edition)
I'm glad I read this in the winter, I think if I'd read this during a hot summer, I'd have been very disturbed to hear the buzzing of a swarm of flies! A really interesting, thought provoking ,apocalyptic tale by 2 of my favourite authors.
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A Necessary End
A Necessary End by Sarah Pinborough (Paperback - 12 Jan 2014)
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