MY 100TH REVIEW!
by Suren G. Hakobyan, 2020
Like a plot from The Twilight Zone, the characters in this book find themselves in a city utterly devoid of life. There are no living people, but no corpses either. There are no animals and all the plants are dead. Overhead, the roof of a massive dome can be seen, covering the entire city.
And sometimes, some Thing comes along to remove one of the few survivors.
A great premise. But it would have helped to start the book a little earlier, making us experience these characters, making them come to life. As is, although we see their sufferings, we can't quite bring ourselves to care about them personally.
We have characters named Arthur, Michael, Daniel, and Harris, living in Yerevan. I suspect that the author originally wrote this for an Armenian audience, translated it into English, and changed most of the character's names. Interestingly, he kept the Armenian name Aram for the principle hero. And that's cool. Actually, I'd have liked to see more Armenian details, flavor, and customs in the story. I firmly believe that every nation can bring horror into the world.
As the book progresses, we eventually get more feeling for the characters. Aram is the leader, Michael his best friend, Harris is brainy and religious, Arthur is secretive, and Daniel is timid. Along the way, they meet others who have been pulled into this strange world.
The mystery of what has happened to them becomes a life and death struggle as strange vapor-like creatures begin to appear. But are they the only threat to our small band of survivors?
I could easily compare this book to Richard Matheson's classic “I Am Legend”. The story is a great adventure set in a nightmarish alternate reality. It gets very clever towards the end and it would even make a terrific movie. That said, it could really have used a good final edit.