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 will be the first to admit that I don’t read a lot of books in this genre so I wasn’t expecting to like it.
When The Children Come is also my first introduction to Barry Kirwan. My first thought when I finished this novel was WOW!
Right from page one, this had me drawn in, asking questions and wanting to turn the page to find out what was going on. Why can’t Nathan fall asleep? How has a man who doesn’t want children end up being responsible for over two hundred? I just had to find out.
The author is good at threading doubt and fear for both the situation and the people in it. Who can Nathan, Lara and Sally trust? Can we even rely on them?
All of this helps build on the tension and suspense throughout the novel. The enemy isn’t just the alien ship, it’s the adults around the children they are trying to protect. You are never sure where the dangers will appear. He is also good at showing all aspects of the story. It isn’t just black and white.
As usual, I am not going to say much more as I don’t want to spoil it. What I will say is that this compelling, action driven novel had me reading well past my bedtime. I couldn’t put it down. It’s also made me want to explore more in this genre too and for that, thank you, Barry Kirwan.
When The Children Come is a a fast paced, unrelenting tale of human survival and how far you would go to protect a child.
About Barry Kirwan…
I was born in Farnborough and grew up watching the Red Arrow jet fighters paint the sky at airshows. I didn’t get into writing until years later when I arrived in Paris, where I penned The Eden Paradox series (four books) over a period of ten years. My SF influences were Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Frank Herbert, and Orson Scott Card, but also David Brin who writes about smart aliens. Iain Banks and Alistair Reynolds remain major influences, as well as Neal Asher, Peter F Hamilton and Jack McDevitt.
My main SF premise is that if we do ever meet aliens, they’ll probably be far more intelligent than we are, and with very different values and ideas of how the galaxy works. As a psychologist by training, that interests me in terms of how to think outside our own (human) frame of reference.
When I’m not writing, I’m either working (my day job), which is preventing mid-air collisions, reading, or doing yoga or tai chi. When I’m on holiday I’m usually diving, looking for sharks. Most times I find them, or rather, they find me.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.
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