Author: Albert Nothlit
Publisher: DSP Publications
Length: 530 Pages
At a Glance: Eight people wake up to a post-apocalyptic nightmare in this fantastic science fiction story.
Reviewed By: Ben
Blurb: The world is gone. All that’s left are the monsters.
The creatures attacked Haven VII with no warning. An AI named Kyrios, a nearly omnipotent being, should have protected the city during the Night of the Swarm.
Except It didn’t.
No one knows why It failed, or why It saved eight specific people: the Captain, the Seer, the Sentry, the Messenger, the Engineer, the Alchemist, the Medic, and the Stewardess. They have no idea of the meaning behind the titles they’ve been given, why they were selected and brought together, or what Kyrios expects from them. When they awaken from stasis, they find their city in ruins and everyone long dead. They’re alone—or so they think. But then the creatures start pouring out from underground, looking for them. They don’t stand a chance in a fight, and with limited supplies, they can’t run forever. All they know is that the creatures aren’t their only enemies, and there’s only one place they can turn. Kyrios beckons them toward Its Portal, but can It be trusted? In Its isolated shrine in the desert, they might find the answers they need—if they can survive long enough to reach it.
Review: Earthshatter is an adrenaline-pumped page-turner with an action-packed plot—I freaking loved it. I was on the edge of my seat from the beginning to the end. The premise of the plot is pretty simple: eight people are taken by an artificial intelligence for safe keeping during a riot, but when they wake up, the town they grew up in has been destroyed by swarming bugs, and even though it seems to them as if they were just put into stasis, the evidence stacks up to suggest they were under for a lot longer. Why they were chosen, and what happened to the town is a mystery they have to uncover before they die of the elements, starvation, or the horde of man-eating insects that are hot on their trail. Yeah… that might be a problem.
The author told an amazing story, and took some risks too. The point of view is in first person, but the author divides the POV into large chunks between each character. At first the reason for this particular type of shift isn’t clear, but as the story unfolds it adds a brilliant dynamic to the telling. Usually I’m not a huge fan of rotating POV, but the fact this was in first person helped because I tend to prefer it, and the fact that these shifts were in large chunks allowed me enough time to sink into each character and enjoy them before I was directed to the next character. Expertly done!
This is a smart suspense/thriller science fiction, with political intrigue reminding me of X-Files, which dips into a bit of horror, Stephen King style. I loved making “ew gross!” faces through the entire thing, and my knuckles were white on my iPhone—a truly fantastic reading experience.
In addition to the incredible plot and the horrific bugs, I was impressed with the world building. As readers we aren’t given the entire story of the world, on purpose, so we have to construct the bits and pieces as we go. What’s clear is the world isn’t our Earth, or if it is, it’s an Earth way, way in the future. What’s also clear is there was a horrific cataclysmic event which left the planet nearly barren of life. An artificial intelligence was set up to create lush cities and protect the people, and it had been doing a fairly good job until the bugs attacked and destroyed the city. We don’t know why the AI couldn’t handle the bugs, or even where the bugs came from—at first. The clever mystery and science fiction elements to the world building completely won the scientist in me over. I loved the technology, I loved being in the dark with what was happening, and I loved the rich history of the world. This was an absolute win for me, and one of my favorite books of the year. I can’t say enough good things. Read this book so I have someone else to gush to, please.
5 fucking fabulous stars.
You can buy Earthshatter here: