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The Cleansing Paperback – 22 Dec 2013
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We are introduced to various characters, witness horrible deaths and sadness. We see how a virus is spread throughout various parts of the world and how it affects all these people. We meet the people who have started the virus. I kept reading through all this desperate to know why this was happening?
The revelation is timed perfectly. The characters are brought to life effortlessly and you will love them (and hate some). It's a compelling read reminiscent of the works of great authors like James Herbert and Stephen King. I loved the ideas in this book and think that this is a unique apocalypse story, a good mix of tension, action, conflict and human emotion.
Although this is part one of a trilogy it ends very well, although of course leaving the story open to be continued and I will definitely be continuing it. I loved the fact that this book is set partly in the UK and finally Wales gets a mention but then the author is from Wales.
by Sam Kates
Reviewed by J Bryden Lloyd
Writing Style – 4.0/5.0 (Very Good)
This is, without doubt, an example of a read which improves as it progresses.
I felt that the opening structure was loose and occasionally dragged as characters seemed to meander through the sub-plots. However, once a quarter into the book, the whole thing seemed more focussed and the plots better defined.
Whether this was something perhaps written and rewritten over time is hard to distinguish, but there does seem to be a definitive step within the quality.
Dialogue was occasionally excellent, but generally very good, nicely supporting the differences in the characters. There were one or two occasions where it felt a little wooden (again in the earlier stages) but I didn’t feel these minor lapses damaged the characters.
Character Development – 3.5/5.0 (Good)
I have to admit being more than a little torn on this one.
Tom and Milandra are very strong in relation to the other characters on display, though Diane and Troy did come across as being a key part of the main plot.
Most of my issues reside with the group of deputies. They feel very flat, awkward, over-complicated characters.
Even with their obvious origins, these four come across a little like spoilt children at times and as such, their development seems to be restricted.
Beyond this, there is a wider group of far more realistic characters, and although there are only two or three who really build into the plot, they do make a big difference to the read.
Descriptive – 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
All else aside, the descriptive was superb. I really felt pulled into the plots by certain characters, and even though the atmospheric writing and scene building was not always perfect, the standard remained very high and was backed up by some excellent, hard work by the author.
The places and events were exquisitely drawn and enhanced by good, strong character descriptive.
For the most part, the dialogue supported the work, though there were a couple of characters who always felt a little detached from the surrounding events.
Language & Grammar – 4.0/5.0 (Very Good)
There is good language and word usage throughout. The structure of the writing lends itself nicely to the word and term selection.
I felt there were ebbs and flows of good and bad punctuation, especially with comma placings and sentence structure here and there.
Even so, the book was entirely readable, very solid and only really in need of a read through.
Plot – 4.5/5.0 (Excellent) – VERY MINOR SPOILERS
The aliens are coming! Okay, yes… well, that is the gist of the story, though there is a far more involved plot at play and, to be honest, the war is lost long before this is even established.
This is a clever, original twist on the long-standing ‘alien invasion’ story and one which definitively settles man’s gung-ho philosophy of “Aliens?! Let the little green buggers come and see what they get!”
Rather than the usual preamble of ships heading through space, toward an unsuspecting Earth, this story is very much set here, as opposed to out there. It begins in the right moment to define the story, but perhaps ends a little early, just as things begin to evolve and the plot looks like it will finally burst into flower.
I enjoyed the premise very much, though perhaps the execution is a little laboured in the early stages… especially as fate will later deal a strong, key character a very bum hand… and then occasionally frantic toward the almost premature end.
Could this have been an epic novel as opposed to a series? Most likely and it may well have benefitted greatly from the kudos of such an undertaking.
Nevertheless, this is definitely worth the time and effort to read.
General – 4.0/5.0 (Very Good)
The cover art is very clever. Not particularly memorable, but very apt for the tale.
Yes, I suppose I have a few minor issues with the read, but these are not significant and certainly don’t stop me from recommending this; more as a sci-fi-thriller than a ‘good old alien invasion romp’.
This is one of those books that many will appreciate for what it is.
4 very good stars. Recommended.
The characters fit well into the tale, the plot, though not entirely original, it did give room for thought.
Some of the science felt wrong but then it is a work of fiction.
Worth a look for those who enjoy this genre.
At first we have no idea why the mysterious Milandra and her followers are unleashing the powder on the world, obviously to cause the downfall of humans but why? We find out later on, the origins and the purpose for this. Each character was well written, the story flowed nicely and kept me intrigued. I'm eager to read book 2 in this series.