Finally, there is harmony in the Middle East, but whilst young Samuel Srour is tending to the animals on his small family farm, influential forces set out to demolish the peace. A rocket attack is launched, resulting in the the destruction of the Srour family farm, and a mysterious electrical storm shoots through the skies, travelling the world and originating at the destroyed farm.
“The lightning which comes from the east, shines as far as the west, turning night into day.”
Whilst Samuel should have been annihilated in the explosion, he instead finds himself with an incredible gift – the power to heal the sick and injured of the world with a single touch. As he uses his new ability and word spreads of this magnificent gift, Samuel unknowingly starts a revolution. On the other side of the world, Victor Chaput is also gifted a power by the storm, but will it change him for the better like it did for Samuel? As their paths begin to cross, they both find themselves facing enemies, and the countdown to the Pestilence has begun…
“The little girl cupped her hands and whispered almost inaudibly into her father’s ear. “The Pestilence is coming. Everybody here is going to die.””
The book is set in Israel, which is definitely a first for me, and so political and religious aspects arise through the story, but not overpoweringly so. These are areas which, in all honesty, do not appeal to me, but I can safely say that the religious references used in the story were minimal and added to the storyline. So if religious stories don’t appeal to you, don’t be put off this book!
“I think it’s a profound human need to feel that you belong. Whether it’s to a family, a group of friends or a church, the need for belonging is powerful, we all feel it.”
Faisal Ansari clearly has a way with words, and makes an effort to describe things in great detail to really transport the reader into the story. His descriptions of locations throughout the journey along with his illustrations of the people’s actions and personalities were particularly pleasing, and each character was distinct and consistent. Despite this, I personally thought some aspects had a tad too much information – the guns, for example. Though the description of them was informative, I don’t think it was necessary and the story wouldn’t have lost it’s intrigue without it.
The story itself is told from various people’s perspectives and so we get to witness the events of the world through different eyes. Faisal Ansari also incorporates the use of media in the form of TV broadcasts and proposals, along with intercepted phone calls and emails, and so as a reader we witness bits and pieces of the story fall into place with each part of the story. With each section, we are given a countdown to The Pestilence. What better way to keep reader in suspense than to give them a countdown to a looming event?!
A fast-paced and exciting tale packed with interesting characters, The Pestilence is a thought-provoking debut novel which leaves you with a tense cliffhanger ready for what looks set to be an explosive second part of the The Jerusalem Chronicles.
This review was posted as part of the Neverland Blog Tour, and my copy of The Pestilence was provided by the author in exchange of an honest review. You can win your very own copy too along with an Amazon giftcard! Simply enter using the widget below. Have you read or plan on reading The Pestilence? Let me know in the comments below. ツ