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Caethe Schwehn's thrilling first novel The Rending and the Nest (Bloomsbury, 18.99) complements the exuberant post-apocalyptic undergenre. After the rendition, which unexplainably wiped out 95% of the world's populace, wildlife and foods, a relic of mankind is scratching a life in dispersed slaves. Seventeen year old Mira and an unequal group of villagers live in a mid-western village named Zion, where the skies are constantly gray and the temperatures are cold, curious new crops produce fruits for a livelihood and people comb through the heaps - enigmatic rubble that remains of rending.
There is never an explanation for the reasons for the rendition, and Schwehn is not so much worried about the why of their premises, but about their consequences: Mira's mature humanness, her love and loyalty, and how she faces a situation that is even more strange and worrying than the first rend. If people all over the globe are losing their shadow, their memory follows quickly and leads to the disastrous breakdown of people.
Most of the story is about Ory's frantic quest for his spouse, and Max's trip to New Orleans in quest of a remedy for oblivion. Their tales are permeated by tales of people from all over the globe trying to make meaning and survival in a fast-breaking state.
Riddle AG knows how to provide the readers with a story catch in his fifth novel, Pandemic (Head of Zeus, £8.99), is three-pronged. Dr. Peyton Shaw is asked in the USA to lead a quick response unit and travel to Africa. The following is a complicated, multi-layered story over 700 pages, which is like a superlative cooperation between Dan Brown and Michael Crichton.
Riddle uses brief, professionally nested sections to describe how the characters come together not only to stop the spreading of the worldwide plague, but also to find out who triggered it. The first novel in the Extinction Files range. Synapse sequence (Titan, 7.99) is a decent technology innovation: the download of witnesses' recollections into a scenarios of virtuality input and studied by detectives.
Integrating futurist high technology smoothly into a fast-paced story, Godfrey draws a compelling portrayal of a lady plagued by past crimes.