Monday, 17 June 2013
Book Review: Left Luggage by Geoff Nelder
by Geoff Nelder
ARIA: Alien Retrograde Infectious Amnesia
Today, Jack caught a bug at work. He catches a bus home. By the time he disembarks in the desert town of Rosamond, all the other passengers and the driver have fuzzy heads. Jack had caught an amnesia bug, and it’s infectious.
Imagine the ramifications:
The passengers arrive home, infecting family; some shop en route infecting everyone they meet. The bus driver receives more passengers giving them change for last week’s prices and today’s amnesia. Some passengers work at the power plant, the water treatment works, the hospital, fire station. All shut down in weeks.
One man, Ryder Nape, realizes what’s going on, but can he persuade friends to barricade themselves in a secluded valley, hiding from the amnesia bug?
This is the second book of Mr. Nelder's I've had the pleasure to review. Outside the International Space Station the astronuts discover a metallic suitcase caught in one of the struts. Who put it there? What's inside it?
These questions and more are answered when the suitcase is sent back to Earth and opened. In a matter of weeks, most of the world'd population has suffered amnesia. People can't remember where they live, who their family is, how to drive a car or even in one very terrifying scene - how to fly a plane!
The author delves deep into the big questions, as a lot of sci-fi books do, but here he also delves into the hearts of his characters, espeically Ryder and his companions on the compound in Wales. Those infected with the ARIA virus lose more and more of their memory as time goes on - soon they won't remember how to read, how to walk, how to talk.
Soon, the whole world disentegrates into chaos as ill people forget their medications or doctors can't remember where they work. Looting and violence is rife but there is hope with the group of sruvivors in Wales and Australia.
The book is gripping from the start and the pages seem to turn themselves as you eagerly read on to discover what happens next. We ge to see firsthand what it would be like to lose your memories as some of the chapters are from Manuel, one of Ryder's friends, but one of the first exposed to the virus. You feel for him as he wakes up each day with no memory of how he got there and each awakening he loses just a little bit more of himself.
With a thrilling plot and characters you really care about this book is an excellent read. Another surefire winner from Mr. Nelder.
Reviewed by Annette Gisby