Sunday 9 October 2016

One by Conrad Williams

OneOne by Conrad Williams
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 6 days

Pages - 363

Publisher - Virgin

Blurb from Goodreads

This is no country he knows, and no place he ever wants to see, even in the shuttered madness of his worst dreams. But Richard Jane survived. He walks because he has no choice and at the end of this molten road, running along the spine of a burned, battered country, his son may be alive. The sky crawls with venomous cloud and burning rain while the land is a scorched sprawl of rubble and corpses. Rats have risen from the depths to gorge on the carrion, and a glittering dust coats everything. It hides a terrible secret as new horrors take root. He walks on, with one hope.

My Review

This book started off really strong, Richard Jane is a diver and down in the ocean when it hits. After witnessing horrors and experiencing his own brush with death, Jane makes it to the topside the world as we know it is gone. Death is everywhere, people, animals, the land, the sky is wrong and the rain burns. Jane fits himself with protective gear and heads for home, the idea of getting to his son the only thing that keeps him going. When Jane thinks all is lost and that he is the only survivor, he finally finds others. Together they struggle to come to terms with earth as it is now, surviving, loss, self purpose and trying to stay alive.

This first part of this book I really liked, the main character goes through all of the trials and tribulations, emotions, struggles and a few hairy moments that are so well written at times I felt claustrophobic. However, the books splits off to a decade later about half way through, no explanation of why and the set up in the later part is completely different. I really dislike when books do that, it also took the apocalypse in a whole other direction, we have more survivors, what happens to them is completely different, there is a tiger running around. The later part reminded me of so many other books and movies it seemed like two completely different books merged into one and all apocalypse ideas thrown in.

It is gory, creepy, tackles lots of different areas of apocalyptic stories, had it stuck to the formula in the first part I think I would have really enjoyed it. Instead, for me, by covering so much it rather diluted the story for me, too many plot holes, unanswered questions and I generally don't like that. To be fair, Justin Cronin did that with The Passage, one story broke into two parts, and The Road which I also didn't enjoy. If you liked the format of those books you may well love this, sadly it just wasn't for me, 2/5 this time.

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  1. Based on you commentary, the abrupt change in timeframe seems like it hurt this story.

    I also think that a book of this sort should not leave the reader with unanswered questions.

  2. What a shame - it started out so well.

  3. I think that has been happening to me and I've been finding books that just aren't for me.


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