So this week I’m reading Extinct, a post-apocalyptic novel by Ike Hamill:
In this book, the appearance of carnivorous vines, ferocious snow storms, tornados, and flesh-eating puddles, among other things, herald the beginning of most people disappearing into thin air or being killed by a severe case of exploding eyeballs. And the only person who can figure out what’s going on is, apparently, twelve-year-old
Charles Wallace Robby:
“So what’s the difference then between my theory and yours? Either way, we’ve got an ultra-powerful force changing the landscape around us. Whether it’s God or not, how does that affect what we do from here?” Brad asked.
“It changes everything,” Robby said. Something was different about his voice when he spoke these words. Brad looked up at Robby and for the first time wouldn’t have characterized him as a boy—he would have Robby said was a young man. When Brad’s eyes met Robby’s, the young man continued. “Because I’m going to fight it. And if it’s not God, then I’m going to win.”
Such confidence! But is it misplaced?
Sobs followed the scream. The noise came from the second door on the right. Brad pushed the door open with the barrel of the gun. Inside the door a flashlight lay on the floor. It illuminated a grizzly scene. Christine squatted next to a bloody mess. She hugged herself tight, leaving bloody handprints on her tank top and naked shoulders.
When she heard Brad approach, she turned. Her face, twisted in grief, was streaked with tears and smeared with blood.
Hmm, a grizzly scene? Seems Robby may have been wrong, and Colbert correct, about what the real threat is:
While not without its merits, so far, this book largely reads like somebody threw a bunch of Stephen King stories (The Stand, The Mist, that one short story where the kids are on a raft and have a run-in with a very hungry floating patch of oil) into a blender along with The Ruins and The Day after Tomorrow and poured the resulting slurry into a cake pan and baked it at 350 degrees for not quite long enough. Disappointing, but it was free, so not too disappointing. Less disappointing than this bit from the scene I’m currently editing in Father’s Books, anyway, in which a detective is speaking with a colleague about a potential suspect in a crime that I’m not going to tell you any more about, because spoilers:
“What are the chances that Pritchard crawled out of his cave and visited Bentonville yesterday to haul people onto rooftops and throw them off?”
“Zero. I inquired. He was giving a presentation at the time of the incident. There’s videotape and everything. If you like him for this, you’re going to be disappointed.”
Here’s a little tip from the Man in Black, detective: