On the one hand, there's a rawness about self-published books that can add excitement to the read. On the other hand, Extinction Point highlights just why books need editors.
Hyphens and apostrophes appear when they shouldn't, or don't when they should. The occasional homophone creeps in, such as a reference to an animal's tale - this ain't Rudyard Kipling! But these things are only minor irritants.
More serious is the sheer amount of waffle. I honestly think the word count could be cut by nearly half without hurting the book - indeed, it would make for a leaner read. We don't need every detail of how Emily packed each item in her bergen, and there are more succinct ways of telling us which tins she opened in which order with what kind of tin opener. On the other hand, when Emily, dirty and injured and hungry, occupies an abandoned house, we're not told if she checks if the water supply is running or if the cupboards contain food or medicine.
My biggest concern with the book is Emily's occasionally unbelievable behaviour. She's a savvy journalist taking refuge in her apartment with a computer that works (for now), and she has good reason to suppose that the Blood Rain has killed every human being except her. She is desperate to know if there are any other survivors. What is the absolute first thing she would do?
She would Google "Blood Rain", of course. She would check news sites, and webcams. That way she might actually gain vital information about the dangers outside her apartment BEFORE she saunters out into the transformed city.
Just how much can you load onto a bicycle? How difficult is it to learn to drive a car when there's nobody else on the road? Why isn't this experienced journalist making any attempt to record or pass on information?
On the plus side, the exploration aspects of the story are very enjoyable, and there's some satisfying imagery. Has the Blood Rain merely killed everybody, has it turned them into vampires or zombies, or has something unprecedented happened? The reader is no wiser than Emily, so we share her curiosity and dread.
Judging by the Afterword, I suspect Paul Jones is an author who listens to criticism. I have every confidence that he can address the issues I've raised without putting off the readers who gave him five stars.