What a bloody wild ride. Sci-fi, thriller, mystery, dystopian and horror all rolled into one, keeping you on the edge of your seat and holding your breath throughout.
It’s 2028 and our world is suffering a climate crisis, there are landslides, dangerous rainfall and the Artic ice will be all gone within a couple of years. Possibly even more terrifying is the new form of dementia striking randomly around the globe. Young or old, Losian’s doesn’t care. It takes their memory, it changes their personality and in the end it takes them.
After losing her husband to the disease Dr Gillian Ryan throws herself into finding a cure and then when her daughter is diagnosed she goes to extreme lengths to help her. Including agreeing to help NASA on their satellite in exchange for more funding. Things turn sour with secrets being kept by everyone involved and it quickly becomes a simple fight for survival.
Hart’s vision for our future is bleak and incredibly realistic. Climate change is choking the planet and life on Earth is not going to be viable for much longer. This is the stuff of MY nightmares guys. I’m convinced that what Hart has put forward in this book is stuff that will be happening sooner rather than later and that’s what makes it so scary. So much of the climate crisis in Obscura is just an exaggeration of what’s already happening. I thought the way Hart used realistic climate issues upped the tension from the very start. It is the same as the way he took dementia, something which affects a large number of people, and made it even worse.
A substantial part of Obscura is an old fashioned “who done it?” tale. We meet a large variety of characters and while weaving all of their tales together Hart manages to keep you guessing. I was accusing everyone throughout this book of one thing or another. As the book progressed the tension rose and I couldn’t put the book down; I had to know how the story played out, how each of the characters fit into the puzzle.
The characters themselves were well developed. Occasionally a character would behave in a way that seemed to only happen to try and trick the reader, which is fine it just felt clumsy. Hart was able to make me emotionally invested in the characters, especially Gillian and her daughter. When Gillian was on high alert and hallucinating, I was turning the light on because I didn’t need shadows in my room, I was creeped out enough. When Gillian was watching her daughter struggle, my heart was breaking with hers.
It was a well rounded book. I liked the pacing, it was a fast read. There were no wasted words bogging you down, no info dumping. The science in the book was fascinating. I have no idea if it’s based on anything or completely made up from scratch, but oh the possibilities. Also it gets an extra “YES” because it didn’t leave me confused. I’m really enjoying picking up extra Sci-Fi’s this year. I mentioned above it was part thriller and it is, which is why I’m finishing my review here. I would hate to spoil anything and take away the fun of experiencing it for yourselves.
One last thing, I’d be remiss not to mention the dedication at the front of this book;
“To all those who have lost their pasts – may we remember for you.”
It is heartbreaking and beautiful.
I received a copy of Obscura from the publisher via NetGalley, this has not affected my review. (Also I’m sorry it took me so long to get to it.)
Title – Obscura
Author – Joe Hart
Released – 8th May 2018
Publisher – Thomas & Mercer