Friday, 8 March 2013

EARTHLINK: IMPACT: Sarah Barnard

Sci fi with a troubled teenager, aliens and spaceships.
What if they are up there, monitoring us, and the planet? What if the planet has grown, developed, become conscious in some way? What if just one person could hear that consciousness in pain? What if that one person had just crashed a stolen car after a night of drink and drugs?
Sage is eighteen years old and, ever since she can remember, there's been a voice in her head. She'll tell you that she doesn't hear voices, they don't tell her to do anything. It's just a single voice, and it doesn't speak, it screams. She hears an unending scream as if the voice is someone in constant agonising pain.
She's been told she's hallucinating. She's spent time in psychiatric care and on strong drugs that cut her off from her feelings, and she hates all of it.
But she's not hallucinating, the voice is all too real and Sage has been watched for years in the hope that she's not the only one who can hear. When Sage puts her life in danger, and it's clear that she is unique, intervention is necessary.

A short story of about 20,000 words, this is a wonderful story. This was one of the few books that made me look forward to going to bed for my evening read. I loved it. It's sci-fi with a sound, down-to-Earth feel to it. The storyline was good, the writing was good and it had been properly proofed (something which can often be sadly lacking in Indie books) so it was an effortless joy to read. I could rant on about it for ages, but then the review would be full of spoilers so I'll be brief. The writer portrayed Sage beautifully. She made me remember what being eighteen felt like--all the inner turmoil that goes with that age, but Sage has something extra to contend with. Her realisation of what that something is, is the story. The adventure unravelled before me at a good pace with sound supporting characters and scenes. I look forward to the sequel. 

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