- File Size: 2121 KB
- Print Length: 448 pages
- Publication Date: August 5, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B074LSCX5M
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,259 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Tipping Point (Project Renova Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 448 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled|
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Terry Tyler starts with a similar premise, and like the excellent writer she is, she pushes into its most extreme potential ‘what if’. What if big brother really IS watching you? What if ‘they’ know every single thing about you, your family, your favorite brands of coffee, chocolate, porn? Nothing new here, right? Well, then what if ‘they’ want to do more with that info than try to sell you more things? What if ‘they’ are going to use that info to decide who gets to live and who will die?
What if those flu vaccinations everyone is urged to get are actually a way to inject you with something far more sinister? And what if ‘they’ are prepared to make that happen?
Is there a point of no return, the tipping point where all the what-ifs add up to an end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it shift? Where all the conspiracy theories you’ve laughed about are suddenly not paranoia, not when your friends and family are dying.
[QUOTE] "In the case of a pandemic,” he said, “it’s when there are more cases of infection than can be controlled by isolation—and, later, when there are simply not enough healthy people in authority to keep the basic needs of a society going, or to maintain order. Which is when chaos takes over. The problem is that no one recognises that the tipping point is about to be reached until it’s already passed." [END QUOTE]
Terry Tyler pulls together a dystopian cocktail with a distinctly current recipe: a shot of populism, a dash of Nazi racial cleansing/holocaust, stir in bubonic plague references, and top it with a jaunty paper umbrella that neatly covers all conspiracy theories.
After a rocky start as a teenage mother, Vicky Keating is finally happy with her life. She loves her coastal town of Shipden, her pretty house, her quirky daughter Lotte, and especially her smart boyfriend Dex. She laughs at his conspiracy theories, but reluctantly goes along with his request not to open an account on the new social media site, Private Life. Even as all of Dex’s conspiracy theories begin to come true, Vicky still believes that her world will continue. But as things start to break down, infrastructure topples, and people are dying in ever greater numbers, Vicky sees a corresponding breakdown of the things that glue a society together. Trust. Honesty. Friendship. Love.
Dex has disappeared, her town is under military quarantine, people are being killed by disease and increasingly, by each other. Realizing that her paramount responsibility is to keep her daughter safe, Vicky takes Lotte and flees across England to a safe house Dex had told her about. As social order completely breaks down, a tiny group of survivors has to invent a new reality, one in which you must be prepared to kill if you want to live.
In short, brilliant episodes, Tipping Point also tells other stories. At first they seem unrelated to Vicky and Lotte. Travis is a young worker who begins to realize the sinister implications of the project he’s working on. Scott, a hacker with the Unicorn group working to uncover and expose the conspiracy, is arrested, jailed, and forgotten. And as conventional checks and balances disappear, there are the ones whose violent behavior and self-gratification become their own justification—the criminally insane Wedge who escapes from the prison that no longer functions, the anger-fuelled clerk whose spur-of-the-moment action changes the course of the pandemic, and the many monsters who see the lack of police and government presence as license to butcher, rape, and steal.
As I was reading Tipping Point, I realized that it’s not so much about figuring out the world-ending conspiracy or stopping the forces of evil. (Which is actually lucky, considering that the economics and science involved here are sketchy at best, and ultimately irrelevant.) Instead, it’s the zombie apocalypse. “Dex said that the whole zombie thing was symbolic, that zombies were a metaphor for the masses who believed what they were told, had no nose for danger, didn’t have the survival instinct and believed that the authorities would save them.” As director George Romero said of the 1968 trope-defining classic, Night of the Living Dead, “Zombies don’t represent anything in my mind except a global change of some kind. And the stories are about how people respond or fail to respond to this. That’s really all they’ve represented to me.”
What Tipping Point adds to this are the individual faces and their responses to their new world. With the brilliant writing we’ve come to expect of her, Terry Tyler has created a character-driven story in the best zombie apocalypse tradition. Ordinary people step up to extraordinary deeds, learn how to defend themselves and their little group from the monsters, and try to hang onto the shreds of their humanity. As the various story arcs begin to converge, we realize that (with the possible exception of the criminally insane Wedge) the group of people at the end of Tipping Point are dramatically different from their beginnings.
I’m delighted to give Tipping Point five stars, and I look forward to reading the rest of this terrific new series.
***I received this book from the publisher or author to facilitate an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***
The pace builds nicely, ratcheting up the tension as Vicky and Lottie quickly find themselves in danger in the early part of the book. The plot is clever and well-structured, weaving in parallels from the past and giving us a suitable amount of backstory. We watch in horror as society breaks down at an alarming speed with anarchy replacing social cohesion and the urbane turning feral.
Tyler gives us chaos and confusion and counter-balances these with concerns over the trivial and mundane. She also manages to throw in a bit of irony and humour to temper the bleakest of situations. In addition, we witness an extensive range of emotions and value judgements; from hope, love, fear and jealousy to sensitive issues such as bigotry, scapegoating and discrimination.
The depth of the characters allows us to share their thoughts and empathise with their anxieties as they try to negotiate their way through each day and somehow survive to live another. The personalities of Vicky and Lottie complement each other well, with each having a strength that the other lacks. The character of Dex is highly intriguing; we feel we know him through Vicky, only for us to have to re-evaluate our perception as we find out more about the individuals who make up the Unicorn group.
The tempo settles a little as practicalities replace panic with a semblance of order coming to the fore among the small band of comrades gathered together in a safe house in the north. We see the restructuring of a microcosmic new order created by people pulling together, each using their own skills and utilising basic materials and possessions. Although we no longer constantly fear for the lives of our main characters, these chapters are no less interesting.
By piecing together all that they know, the friends form their own theory regarding the origins of the deadly virus. The idea of cynical establishment control and manipulation is not new, however this thought-provoking plot gives us a superb twist on the possibility and I found myself wondering if this scenario could actually happen. Many questions were posed; how would our high-tech, media-dominated world cope with this type of catastrophe? The prospect was highly unsettling.
Whilst this novel is 448 pages long, there is no waffle or padding as Tyler doesn’t waste a word. I was absorbed from start to finish and read it in four days. I’m delighted to see that this is the first in a new series and can’t wait to find out what she serves up next. This is an innovative, multi-layered book and I have no hesitation in awarding Terry Tyler and ‘Tipping Point’ five stars.
Reviewed on Whispering Stories Book Blog
*I received a free copy of this book, which I voluntarily reviewed
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