The horror in the pages of this apocalypse book creeps up on you gradually. The action alternates between ‘then and now.’ ‘Then’ is before the disaster and ‘now’ is after, a world where taxes are no longer certain, only death.
Zoe is a cleaning person at Pope Pharmaceuticals, but she’s highly educated. When her love was killed, she sort of gave up on life and is working at a job that gives her time to think and piece herself back together. Until the day a jar appears in her highly secure apartment.
In the Then times, fearing for her own sanity, she reluctantly goes into therapy with the attractive Dr. Rose, later known to her as Nick. She lies about the jar, though, telling him she’s dreaming about it and the terror it instills in her. The terror is true, but it’s no dream. Gradually, the world falls apart, and the Pandora’s Box in her apartment may hold the key for the disfiguring disease ravaging most of the world’s population.
In the Now times, Zoe is desperately trying to make her way to
carrying a letter from Nick. She takes Lisa, a young, blind English woman, with
her to get Lisa away from the abuse she’s suffering at the hands of her
remaining family, a father and an uncle. Zoe stubbornly clings to what makes
her human, compassion and humanity, and refuses to stoop to the level of the
feral survivors roaming the world. Greece
It really does look hopeless! The reader is drawn toward the intersection of the two sections through revelation upon revelation (one of them reveals the meaning of the title), that kept me up way too late at night, avidly racing to the thrilling end.
Reviewed by Kaye George, Author of “Choke”, for Suspense Magazine