Sunday 26 February 2012

Book Review - POD

Title: POD
Author: Stephen Wallenfels 
Publisher: Templar
Release Date: 1 Aug 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1848773899

POD's - strange alien spheres hover menacingly in the sky, zapping anyone who ventures outside. Will is 15 and stuck in his house with his OCD dad. They're running out of food...Megs is 12, alone and trapped in a multi-storey carpark. The hotel next door is under the control of dangerous security staff, but Megs has something they want, and they'll do anything to get it...When the aliens invade, the real enemy becomes humanity itself. What would you do to survive? 

My Review
I saw this in the bookshop a couple of months ago, the cover, although quite plain and simple drew me in. The synopsis on the back doesn't tell you much but I was intrigued. I decided to request it from the library and it came in a couple of weeks ago. 
From the little I knew about this book I expected a Sci-Fi sort of thriller, but when I started reading it I realised that it was actually more of a Dystopian novel with a sci-fi twist.
This book is told in first person from two different characters. (each character has a chapter each). Josh is 16 and is stuck at home with his Dad who is slightly obsessive. They are running out of food and water and driving each other up the wall. Megs is 12 and was left in the back of her mums car in the carpark of a hotel. She has very little with her, a couple of bottles of water and some beer. She must scavage round the car park to find resources to survive.
Alien 'POD's are hovering in the skies above. They have absorbed all cars, motorbikes, planes and trains in strobes of blue light and if anyone steps outside they too are taken, or 'deleted' as Josh refers to it. This creates a world where everyone is trapped in their own little bubble, doing what they can to survive.
Josh and Megs story is very different, Josh has resources for a while and doesn't really see the seriousness of the situation, he has his dad to rein him in and keep him in order, whereas Megs has nothing and has to fight for herself, not only does she have to avoid the aliens outside, she must search for food and water whilst avoiding a group of 'security guards' turned thugs from finding her. The hotel has turned into a prisoner camp run by these thugs and Megs wants to avoid it at all costs.
I really enjoyed this book, I started reading just before lunch and got about 40 pages in when I had to put it down. I ended up going out with my parents in the afternoon and round my grandad's house etc so I didn't get back til about 5. The whole time I couldn't stop thinking about the book, it was running through my mind, it was almost like Josh and Megs were calling me to come back and help them and I had to get back to it. 
I then sat and read until I had finished, I couldn't put it down. 
I liked Megs as a character more, it's almost like she had more to prove, and even though she had it so hard she was still very compassionate towards others and did her best to help. I thought Josh was a bit self-centered at times and I felt sorry for his dad, but I suppose in that situation it pushes you to the limit and I can see why he acted like he did.
Overall I was totally absorbed by the book, to be honest the aliens were more of a side-line to the book, apart from teh fact that they are there which stops the characters from going out, the aliens really don't actually do that much, but it didn't take anything from the book in my opinion. The plot idea was well thought out and the pacing is fantastic, each chapter is quite short which helps it move well.
The only thing I felt that let this book down a bit was the ending, to be honest, for me it was a bit of a deflation, it's almost like the author didn't know how to finish it and so just stopped. There were quite a few things that weren't tied up and events that still hung in the air. I was expecting some great big revelation or attack or wipeout but none of that happened. I mean the ending was OK, but I felt it could have offered so much more, however I have looked up his website and he says he is working on book 2 which makes me feel a little better about the ending, clearly more to come so I will look out for that.  
A quick easy read that will keep you hooked. Definitely worth a read.

My Rating

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