Exodus 2022 - Kenneth G Bennett
ISBN - 9781620152126
Publisher - Booktrope Publishing
Release date - May 20th 2014
Joe Stanton is in agony. Out of his mind over the death of his young daughter. Unable to contain his grief, Joe loses control in public, screaming his daughter’s name and causing a huge scene at a hotel on San Juan Island in Washington State. Thing is, Joe Stanton doesn’t have a daughter. Never did. And when the authorities arrive they blame the 28-year-old’s outburst on drugs. What they don’t yet know is that others up and down the Pacific coast - from the Bering Sea to the Puget Sound - are suffering identical, always fatal mental breakdowns. With the help of his girlfriend, Joe struggles to unravel the meaning of the hallucination destroying his mind. As the couple begins to perceive its significance - and Joe’s role in a looming global calamity - they must also outwit a billionaire weapons contractor bent on exploiting Joe’s new-found understanding of the cosmos, and outlast the time bomb ticking in Joe’s brain. Is he losing his mind - or his world?
Every now and then I stumble across books that immediately grab my attention for one reason or another and Exodus 2022 was one of those books. I was contacted about taking part in the blog tour so went to check out the sample the author has on his website before saying yes and after reading the first five chapters I was hooked! I had to say yes so I could carry on reading the book and once I received my review copy I started reading & didn't stop until I was finished.
Exodus 2022 is quite different to a lot of what I read but every now & then I like to read something that's not your typical sci-fi thriller, Exodus definitely fits that bill! It's the story of Joe Stanton, his girlfriend Ella and what happens to them after a romantic weekend away goes horribly wrong. Joe wakes up calling for his daughter, the only problem is he doesn't have a daughter and starts suffering from hallucinations. Labeled a kook by local police they leave the island to head home but never get there thanks to an uploaded video of Joe's breakdown which is seen the world over. Naturally the wrong people see it and Joe & Ella are drawn into something far bigger than they ever could have expected.
Enter what can only be described as a megalomaniac who is after the secret that only the character communicating with Joe - and others before him, knows what and where it is. Exodus 2022 is fascinating in its vast array of different characters, I say this only because of who one of the main characters is. I certainly never saw that coming! The book could be described as a eco-sci-fi-thriller thanks to both the characters and the many twists & turns, it's definitely one of those books you pick up expecting to read a few pages then find yourself watching the sun come up as you read the last few pages! It has something for everyone, even romance between Ella & Joe but the science & technological parts are never overwhelming, I loved reading about the ecological situation going on and because of that it's easy to see how this could quite easily be real life rather than fiction.
If you're looking for a read that's a bit different then you definitely need to try Exodus 2022. Bennett's writing is immaculate, it has to be really to keep people turning the pages like that! I haven't read his YA offerings but they are definitely going on to my wishlist. His characters and world-building are amongst some of the best I've read this year, completely believable and solidly written, the technology was obviously well researched- it made me wish I knew a little bit more about whether things like the thought-capture tech that was used on Joe actually exist. Alas, I don't really have a scientific bone in my body! In fact Exodus 2022 was almost close to perfect and getting my rare five clock rating but for one thing. That ending... The action in Exodus 2022 carries on right up to the last page and then bam, it's over. I wrote a teeny review over on Goodreads as I didn't want to have anything spoiler-like on here and to start with I convinced I had an incomplete copy! I didn't though so I can only assume/hope that at some point there will be a sequel.
If you want to read a taster of Exodus 2022 Kenneth has the first five chapters up on his website, find them here!