Antimone Lessing returns in book two of the ground-breaking Decimation trilogy.
Nearly twenty years after the Orestes virus swept across the earth, finally there is hope. Women are no longer dying within seconds of giving birth. For the first time in two decades, the global population is on an upward trend.
As the world returns to normal, Antimone is back on the athletics track and a single race away from achieving her lifetime goal of winning the Olympic 1500-metre Wheelchair gold medal. But a deadly new threat has emerged, one that could reverse the fragile recovery and spell the end of humanity’s time on the planet. Could Antimone’s unique biology once again provide the vital clue to develop a cure?
When the details of her past become exposed, ruthless forces prepare an audacious plan to kidnap the first woman in a generation to survive childbirth. Now, the only hope for her survival and that of her young family may rest with the one person she trusts least in the world.
My Review (5 stars out of 5)
Twenty years after a deadly virus sweeps the earth, women are no longer dying after giving birth. As the world returns to normal, Antimone Lessing’s Olympic hopes rest on the athletics track in the 1500-metre wheelchair gold medal. But Antimone has attracted the attention of a foreign power – one that knows how important the young athlete’s unique biology could be. When bombs are set off in the Olympic stadium, the ensuing chaos masks the activities of a small group who claim to be helping Antimone and her family escape. In the meantime, Antimone’s old adversary Rosalind Baxter is offered an interesting deal by the Prime Minister. But Rosalind wants something in return…
This is book two of the Decimation trilogy, picking up the story twenty years after the Orestes virus created havoc across the globe. Though I haven’t read the first book (Decimation: The Girl Who Survived), it wasn’t hard to get into the story. There’s also a handy recap on the plot at the beginning. The plot itself is an interesting one that has many similarities to our current Covid situation. However, the difference here is in some ways far more frightening in its possibilities. The level of detail too, gives it a realistic feel along with the machinations of world leaders, which works well. There’s also a fairly hefty cast of characters who keep the story simmering away as the plot unfolds and the various factions fight to get the upper hand. One thing I did wonder about was the instances of repeated dialogue – several characters relate information we have already been told, and while some authors (yes, Dan Brown, I mean you) think it’s vital to repeat everything ten times, most readers don’t need to be told twice.
I do have one technical niggle relating to the copy of the book that I read – the paperback starts on an even-numbered page, which, considering every other printed book in the English language starts on an odd-numbered page, suggests a lack of knowledge about publishing.
For the most part, though, this is a clever, thought-provoking and slightly scary book that has an inventiveness to it that’s not often seen.
Richard T. Burke is the author of crime thrillers with a twist. To date he has written six novels, The Rage, The Colour of the Soul, Assassin’s Web and the Decimation trilogy: Decimation – Termination – Annihilation (out 12 Sept 2021, now available for pre-order).
Richard also contributed short stories to anthologies by Bloodhound Books and Corona Books.
Richard lives with his wife, Judith, and daughter, Emily, in the village of Rotherwick in north-east Hampshire, UK.