Moments after several huge earthquakes shake every continent on Earth, something strange starts happening to people. Michael can only watch in horror as an incidence of road rage so extreme it ends in two deaths unfolds before his eyes; Clementine finds herself being hunted through the small town she has lived in all her life, by people she has known since childhood; and Mason is attacked with a baseball bat by a random stranger. An inner rage has been released and some people cannot fight it. For those who can, life becomes an ongoing battle to survive - at any cost!
An earthquake triggers a primal spirit to emerge in many humans, driving them to do the most dangerous and horrifying things. It was all a bit vague, what had happened and why, but I kinda of liked it like that. There was no logical explanation for these things, for this weird power to come over people that makes them kill. And like it. All we knew was it was happening all over the world and it was scary as hell.
It was written between four narratives, the main characters experiencing the same event at different parts of the US. It takes a while for them to actually meet but before they do, we get this universal impression of the horror that's happening everywhere. All four of them were scared and left alone to survive as best they could. Split between the four of them as it was, the story should have felt staggered, and it was to a certain extent but not so much that I lost the thread. I actually really liked the way it was written, with a variety of characters in different situations and varying skills of survival.
It was terrifying to the point that my heart was in my throat for half of it, my breath held until whoever was out of danger. The not knowing, the horrible rage, the lack of power and food made for a very scary and gripping read. I especially liked the girls point of view, Clementine and Aries had no proper skills but were both stubborn and smart enough to get by. Mason was difficult to get a read on but such a tough time of it that I couldn't help but like him a little; at least his strength came in handy! And finally Michael was quite vulnerable, put on a good face but was actually scared out of his mind, but he did pull through when it mattered.
Honestly, I wasn't sure I'd like it, it's not my usual thing, but was so well written, so easy to get into that I actually loved it. A very good book for fans of horror and zombie-type dystopian.
Published 24th May 2011 by Macmillan Children's Books.