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4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
A Departure
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

on 9 February 2014
Tom Ward has written an excellent story here. One which, although doesn't venture far from the familiar road of immediate post-apocalyptic future, but still feels fresh.

A really enjoyable (if that's the right word) story following one young man's journey after most of the population of Britain have dropped dead from an unnamed purge (disease/weapon?).

The story left room for a potential sequel and i would happily pick that up to find out what happens next.

The word play between characters could be better and there is one character (you'll know who) over which i questioned whether the main character would really stick with her for that long, but they're only real criticisms I have of the book and i'd put that down to Tom being a new author, something which he will develop and improve upon over time.
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on 22 February 2015
Great little book. End of the world done differently. Enjoyed it!
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on 2 September 2016
A great book on war zombie apocalypse great read interesting I liked it you can never have enough zombies
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on 4 June 2013
A modern Lord of the Flies, using the theme of apocalyptic disaster in various settings.
A plot which stumbles along in a sluggish start, so much so that I nearly gave up, wondering at the point of it all. However, the quality of the writing kept me going, and the direction of the story clarified. I became engaged as the fugitives Michael and Judith joined a refugee camp in the heart of England.
But too many bodies litter the pages, blood and foul odours plaster the scenes, which become samey - as they collect David and Zanna in their escape towards France.
Into London. The description of Michael penetrating the window of the shop, from the perspective of a tiny mouse, is a masterpiece of prose. It keeps me reading on.
"... for a millisecond, the air was a multitude of colours, the weak milky light reflected a thousand angles ..."
A child dies, falling down "limply in a pile of stolen life" as sanity flies in the face of fire and fireworks in the streets.
The book improves with every page, and then dips into anti-climax, which is not wholly unsatisfying.
An interesting read, and I have no doubt that Tom Ward is capable of achieving greatly in the world of literature.
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on 24 September 2013
With the amount of hype surrounding this book online, I was expecting big things. I had to wait quite a while between buying 'A Departure' and actually getting round to reading it and, now that I have, I can only say that I have a serious bone to pick with Tom Ward. I feel I am owed an apology. I want Ward to say sorry for three nights without sleep, buffeted by two days where I achieved nothing except flicking through the pages of his book. I want him to say sorry for the additional cost I incurred in downloading a copy of 'A Deprature' for my Kindle, so that I could instantly give my mum a paper copy for her to read. And, perhaps most of all, I want him to say sorry for being so talented as to make the rest of the guys his age question what we've achieved with our lives.

The term 'a real page-turner' has become a bit of a cliche of late, but I feel entirely justified in using it to refer to 'A Depature'. Ward has created a gripping narrative, with each chapter leaving you wanting more, making it nearly impossible to put this book down. Although slightly rough around the edges in parts, he writes with a level of erudite insight and depth of character development that exceeds anyone's reasonable expectations for a first-time novel. This is a book which is funny without being crude, challenging without being preachy, and which inserts itself with relative ease and comfort into a genre which could easily become laden with cliche. Most of all, Ward perfectly captures a boy leaving home on the fraught journey into manhood in a way that raises laughs of recognition in the initiated, without alienating other readers. So bravo Tom, I look forward to your follow-up. And my apology.
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on 5 July 2015
I gave up on this after plugging away till 75%, it didn't seem to be going anywhere and by that point I was fed up with the childish language and dreadful use of similes.
The story is that a young lad survives some mysterious 'something' which wipes out half the country, apparently he then loses his family due to something else - again no details given. For some reason the lead character believes the situation only affects the UK so decides to get to France, if this is the case then where is the international relief effort which always goes into action whenever there is a disaster affecting one country?
For reason's unknown they enter a refugee camp when it is obvious that this is a total screw up with conditions far worse than they experienced fending for themselves. Just one in a series of decisions or actions which make no sense what so ever.
I'm glad I bailed on it as I immediately found something much more worthwhile to read.
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on 16 August 2013
I love anything apocalyptic and was looking forward to this debut novel by Tom Ward based on all the good reviews it has received as well as an endorsement from Tony Parsons. It was a good read, well-written in places but in others my attention definitely waivered. The apocalypse and road trips seem to be entwined subjects - which is fine, I like the subject of road trips too but I wasn't overly convinced by this one. I think, in the end, it didn't deliver anything different from other books of the same genre - there was no new angle being explored. Michael I never really felt for, nor Zanna. Judith seemed to speak like a woman much older than 48, which made her unrealistic to me. Also the reason for the apocalypse was only every alluded to - though I appreciate that the story was told from Michael's viewpoint and he's just as much in the dark as the rest of us. The plot ebbed and flowed - the best bit for me when they found a refuge (of sorts) later in the book. Then the writing was excellent. Also the writing regarding Michael's grandfather was great too. I'm wondering if there'll be a second book in the series, certainly the ending suggests there will. Without giving away the ending, a second book I think might offer us a bit of a different take on the subject (and why what has happened has happened) and that I'll be interested to read about.
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on 3 March 2014
Found the characters to be either dull or unbelievable - what was Judith all about?? Too many holes in the plot e.g. the soldiers at the housing complex, they had umpteen flats to choose from so why didn't they change out of uniform!! Kept waiting for something to happen and kept thinking that something was about to happen and then it didn't. Sorry, just didn't like it much.
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on 4 July 2016
Well, any book you finish must be OK, right?
I'll try not to drop any spoilers in here andand, it's fair to say, I actually quite enjoyEd the book. The actual premise for the story was good but the storyline was a bit rambly and jumpy, a bit like the author had to hid a deadline and chucked out thirty pages of blah, blah, blah. Then, miraculously, it was like an author had again appeared and we got some intelligent writing. I did look for the sequel, but only briefly. A good stand-alone read, but nothing that would touch the Dust trilogy.
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on 9 October 2013
Oddly structured.
Fickle 2D characters.
Character developments were predictable.
Doesn't really answer any questions. I fear there may be another book in the pipeline but I doubt I'll want to read it.
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