Dec 20, 2010

Ebook Review: Torment by Jeremy Bishop

I came to this book blind, no inkling about what the book was about at all.  Receiving it as an ARC meant that there was no advance buzz about it either.

The Story
An American sniper is captured and a plot to assassinate the Russian President exposed.  World War 3 ensues and the world descends quite literally into hell.

The narrative focuses on a mixed group of survivors, including the President, his security detail, the fiancée of the American sniper and her niece as they attempt to survive a strangely intact post nuclear strike America.

They must battle hordes of regenerating zombies and determine how to escape becoming one them.  If I were to describe it in one line it would be Twenty Eight Days Later  meets Dante's Inferno, if that's not giving too much away.

The Good
The writing in the book is top notch thriller writing.  Until I was about three quarters of the way through the book I was eagerly wrapped up in the story, keen to find out what was happening. The book is well paced and the characterization ample for the techno-thriller genre, the gore and theological horror enough for the horror fan.

If I can compare it to another book with similar themes - Origin by JA Konrath, where Konrath leans to the Techno-thriller side Bishop is more religiously or theologically themed horror.

The Not So Good
As I mentioned above, it was full steam ahead for me until about 75 % through the book when I started to get a bit paranoid about what the book was saying and where it might be heading.  I had a fear that I might actually be reading some very well written and engaging "End-times" porn - evangelical Christian disaster fiction where the only way out is accepting Jesus.  Thankfully the ending of the book makes up for this, but only just.

My second gripe is with the treatment of women in the book.  Three out of four of the adult female characters are presented as adulterers and for that sin, the women are condemned to an eternity of rape, unless of course they figure out what it is that allows them to pass on to the next life.

Final thoughts
I'd read Jeremy Bishop again in a flash.  His writing is engaging and well paced.  If theological horror is not your thing ( being an atheist I find it terribly hard to suspend my disbelief) I would possibly skip it - the ending not being ambiguous enough.

Disclaimer:  This review is based upon ebook provided by the Author at no cost to myself.


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