This is the first in a new series by Kirwan, who previously wrote the ‘Eden Paradox’ quartet.
Being set on contemporary Earth, I shan’t mention the world-building, but the characterisation is strong and the writing solid. It’s not really suitable for younger or middle grade readers due to some of the content, including some horror and language, but young adults and older will appreciate the suspense and mystery – and awe – that Kirwan has brought to bear.
There were a couple of moments where points were over-egged, and Kirwan needs to trust that his audience will understand the tech references he uses (or will find out, if not), rather than spelling them out; however, these factors in no way diminished my enjoyment of what is, essentially, a good story well told, and a fresh take on what can sometimes feel a tired trope.
His influences are clear in both his style and the subject matter: touches of Peter F. Hamilton’s and Arthur C. Clarke’s Hard SF tech and science; Iain M Banks’ and Orson Scott Card’s focus on human nature and behaviour – especially in a military setting; Frank Herbert’s breadth of vision in terms of continuity through both time and space.
A compelling blend of psychology, action, technology and science, it took only a short while before properly getting going, and I read it in a single sitting.
I’m very interested in reading more of Kirwan’s work and shall be searching some out – and so should you.
When the Children Come
Nathan, emotionally scarred after three tours in Afghanistan, lives alone in Manhattan until New Year’s Eve, when he meets Lara. The next morning, he notices something strange is going on – a terrified kid is being pursued by his father, and a girl, Sally, pleads with Nathan to hide her from her parents. There is no internet, no television, no phone coverage.
Nathan, Lara and Sally flee along the East Coast, encountering madmen, terrorists, the armed forces, and other children frightened for their lives. The only thing Nathan knows for sure is that he must not fall asleep…
I do not get paid for blog tours or reviews, and this is my honest opinion.