IMPACT: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale. Review by Sam Fort, apocalypsescript.com
In the near future, three meteors - Colossus, Europa, and Nero – hurtle toward the earth. Upon impact, they release a pathogen which causes the slow, tortuous decay of the human body, ultimately turning the afflicted into “meteorwraiths.” The afflicted are not zombies. They are alive and sentient, and some are even cared for, if they’re fortunate enough to reach a charitable community of uninfected survivors.
Other ‘wraiths, finding themselves less welcome, have begun to roam the countryside in packs. The world is devolving into an “us” vs “them” world. In a world of perpetually overcast skies, where food is scarce and medicine even scarcer, the competition begins.
The story focuses primarily on the physical struggles of a group of survivors in a small English village, and the contrasting mental and psychological struggles of three Americans confined to a vast but otherwise unpopulated underground military complex in the United States.
There are some interesting things happening just on the fringes, however. Men in starched black uniforms have appeared in England, and their actions suggest that these may not be the saviors the survivors were hoping for. The American survivors are beginning to slowly loose it and are becoming a threat to one another. A quirky stranger saunters into the English with murky motives…and so forth.
There are subtle indicators in this first book that a supernatural force is at work, but I’ll avoid specifics for fear of spoilers. It reminded me a bit of the first half of Stephen King’s “The Stand,” before Randall Flagg made his appearance. Just as in King’s book, the author focuses not only on the external threats, but also the internal ones, i.e., the behavior of otherwise normal people when confronted by an unimaginable terror.
The book is crisp and tightly written. It’s a fairly quick read, at around three hours, with events unfolding at a respectable pace but never rushed. If you like your post-apocalyptic tales with a measure of humanity and soul-searching, minimum combat, and a hint of the supernatural, I think you’ll enjoy Mr. Eliot’s book.