This review is for a blog tour. I received the book for no compensation and for an honest and fair review.
Author: Massimo Marino
Genre: Post-apocalyptic, science fiction
Series: Book One of Daimones Trilogy
Stalk the author: Twitter
Dan Amenta woke up one morning to discover the world had changed…the Apocalypse had arrived.
Death, destruction, and disaster were wreaking havoc across the globe. Yet Dan and his family remained untouched and he sensed some sort of supernatural power had left them the only three people alive on Earth. They were not.
The efforts to survive and find others brought Dan to discover the disturbing truth about the human extermination. He met Laura, who brought revelations about the catastrophe, and her presence – a young, sexy, disruptive girl – raised questions about what was moral and ethical in the new reality. Other survivors reported what they had seen, forcing Dan to seek explanations from his own past.
Ancient hallucinations strike Dan with the force of a sledgehammer and bring him face-to-face with his new role in a scenario with roots millions-of-years old. Planet Earth was now in the hands of an older power but not the one Dan had ever envisioned.
I’m not really sure how I feel about this novel. Despite glowing and rave reviews, I’m not completely won over, but I didn’t hate the book. I’ve read a couple of Massimo’s short stories and I’ve fallen head-over-heels for them for their beautiful poetic language and gripping stories that have given me chills and made me tear up. So I accepted to review his novel expecting the same thing — I was wrong.
It took me awhile to adjust to the narrator’s voice. The narrator isn’t American, and English is not his first language (like the author) and there wasn’t a smoothness to the prose. Sometimes there would be a comma put in that though it would be stylistically correct, it caused the sentence to sound stilted; fragmented sentences littered the novel giving the narrator a broken English sound. I don’t know if that was intentional or not, but it was a little jarring for me at times and I had to go back over and re-read a section two or three times to get what the narrator, Dan, meant or sometimes a sentence would be correct, but should’ve been re-worded for a clearer meaning such as:
Our property included an adjacent cottage that we used for visiting family and friends.
I understand that the narrator meant to say, “Our property included an adjacent cottage that we used for family and friends that came to visit.” Though this work is science fiction, the cottage isn’t a transporter.
I also had an issue with the first half of the book. I love emotional dramas where you see what’s going on with a family and whatnot and everything. I’m even for slow beginnings that showcase character development. However, I felt like there wasn’t enough emotional drama in the beginning; I wanted more from it, but never quite received it. Actually, upon further reflection, I think it would’ve been more interesting if the first half of the story (or maybe even the first three parts) was told from Mary’s, Dan’s wife, point of view. To me, she was the most interesting character to write about from an emotional standpoint. The sacrifices she went through and the decisions she made were nothing short of astounding. But what really frustrated me was the fact that the first half of the book was summed up in two sentences within the book:
Ours had been more of an emotional struggle, overcoming the initial fears and getting ourselves organized. We had not faced any menace or dangers…so far.
Despite any and all issues I had with the first half of the book, I thought the second half of the book gave me more of what I was expecting from the first half. With the addition of another survivor, the family dynamic shifted and became more interesting to me. They adapted. Though I didn’t agree with them morally; I also understood the reasoning behind it. The most interesting and compelling part was when Dan met the creatures that were responsible for the cause of the deaths of so many humans. Massimo Marino wrapped up the ending quite nicely, almost too nicely. Though I’m interested to know more about these creatures known as the Daimones, the book ends on a rather clean note where it’s difficult for me to see where it could spin-off to and as a result, I’ll most likely be picking up the second novel to see where Marino plans on taking the rest of his trilogy.
Anyone who enjoys post-apocalyptic novels. This novel is more about emotional struggles and is quieter than the average post-apocalyptic novel which is more action-packed and full of aliens and/or zombies. (So I’ve been told.)
There’s also this slight issue of redundancy that I think should be edited out. Stating that you received an automated Facebook email is usually enough, you don’t need to write the entire email out, too. I also felt that at times the narration took on a steam-of-consciousness style of writing, which I’ve never been a fan of.