Hodder & Stoughton
“They’re here … The boy. The boy watch the boy watch the dead people oh Lordy there’s so many … They’re coming for me now. We’re all going soon. All of us. Pastor Len warn them that the boy he’s not to??–
The last words of Pamela May Donald (1961 – 2012)
Black Thursday. The day that will never be forgotten. The day that four passenger planes crash, at almost exactly the same moment, at four different points around the globe.
There are only four survivors. Three are children, who emerge from the wreckage seemingly unhurt. But they are not unchanged. And the fourth is Pamela May Donald, who lives just long enough to record a voice message on her phone. A message that will change the world.
The message is a warning.”
4 of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the publishers via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Four planes crash on the same day, each one in a different area of the world. Only three young children survive. Pamela Donald lives long enough to leave a cryptic message on her phone, warning her Pastor to warn people about the boy. The ramifications of the crash, the survivours and the message reverberate around the world.
This is a book within a book. The story is told as if it were a true life book written by Elspeth Martins. Each chapter deals with a different person involved in the story, be it the uncle of one of the survivours, notes of online discussions between the Japanese cousin of an other and her online friend or the crash investigator. As we hear from each the story develops, layer upon layer. We see that the children have changed since the crash, or at least it so appears.
Religious zealots use the crashes as warnings that the apocalypse is coming, relationships develop and disappear and people begin to re-evaluate themselves and those around them. All the while the questions remain, what really caused the planes to crash, and what has really happened to the children?
This is a gripping, enjoyable read. I particularly loved the narrative tool of the book within a book. It set the pace for the story and meant that I didn’t find any part dragged. I simply wanted to find out what had really happened. This has been labelled by some as a horror novel. I don’t tend to take much stock by genre types. To me there are two types of books; fiction and non-fiction. I therefore cannot comment as to whether it is a horror novel or not. I can say however I found this a creepy read, and frightening in the respect that the fallout of the crash could in some respects come true.
This is as much a story of human nature than it is the supernatural. It deals well with the evils of power and greed taking over by those who will use even the worst of circumstances for their own gains. It discusses the world’s need for explanation of the explainable, the media culture and how it can harm as well as help and how fear and prejudice can be mankind’s downfall.
I enjoyed this book a great deal and look forward to reading more from Sarah Lotz.