Wednesday, July 14, 2010

'Without Warning' by John Birmingham

Without Warning is a post-apocalyptic novel of the alternative-future variety.  Birmingham, who reminds me of Andrew Klavan, realistically projects current trends and geo-politics into the near future.  So many action novels try the sprawling thriller thing, but the overly large casts weakens the sense of connection between reader and hero.  Birmingham gets around this by focusing on a few chosen narrators.  The other trap of this genre is plausibility, which Birmingham deals with by interspacing his narrative with focused chucks of description of how the disaster is changing the world.  In Without Warning it's the appearance of a strange humanoid consuming energy wave across North America, that immediately changes the balance of world power in 2003 on the eve of America's invasion of Iraq.