White Horse - Alex Adams

19 June 2012 Books

White Horse - Alex Adams

New Zealand-born author Alex Adams drops us straight into a post-apocalyptic nightmare with her debut novel, the first part of a trilogy. In a neat nod to the double jeopardy of John Wyndham’s 1951 sci-fi classic The Day of the Triffids, Adams wipes out most of humanity with a virulent disease known as White Horse, which may have also altered the genes of the wretched survivors. We’ve been messing with the weather, too, and now the world is a grim, rain-soaked place that’s no fun at all. This is all bad news for Zoe, who is unexpectedly pregnant and wandering Italy and Greece in search of her missing boyfriend. She is shadowed by the mysterious Swiss, a mean-spirited doctor working to his own shady agenda. Flashbacks explain how Zoe ended up in this predicament, which is linked to the lab she once worked in and a strange jar that turned up in her apartment prior to society going down the gurgler. There are echoes of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2006) and a satisfyingly wicked reversal of the traditional southern European travelogue. But one can’t help but feel that the real guts of the narrative have been withheld for the trilogy’s next two instalments.

CHRIS FLYNN

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