Has it really been been eighteen years since David Moody first published his debut novel Straight To You? How time flies. It feels like just the other day that I was introduced to a new thrilling author, whose brilliant take on the apocalypse made me sit up and take notice.
So here were are 18 years later, hell that's almost as long as I have been with partner, David Moody still remains one of my must read authors, so when he announced that he was going to release a totally new and rewritten version of this story I was intrigued to say the least.
Straight to You, despite the trappings of first novel syndrome was a very good book, it was clear that David was going to be an author to look out for, a strong confident style that balanced the horror of a dying world with a much more personal narrative. Straight To You hinted at just how good David would become.
So how does this new addition hold up.....
In Straight to You the sun is dying causing the temperature of the world to dramatically heat up, no one knows how long we have left t could be months it could only be a matter of hours. Steven is desperate to reunite with his wife, determined to see the end of the world with the love of his life, he must traverse a country that is crumbling in savagery to be reunited with her.
In the original version, the main emotional hook of the novel came from the relationship between Steven and his partner, this is still the case her but David Moody has shifted the relationship from being a newly fledged romance to one where Stephen and Samantha are married and coming to terms with the miscarriage of their child. This is an inspired move by Moody, in the original novel it was kind of hard to believe that our protagonist would be so emotionally invested in a woman who he has just met. By moving their relationship on and introducing added emotional weight of a miscarriage, lifts the readers emotion investment in the narrative and more importantly the characters to a much higher level. This is one of those rare books where the apocalyptic horrors and terrors are balanced out by an extremely heart wrenching story that keeps the reader grounded in the feelings of two people while all round them the world collapses.
Moody has also beefed up the number of supporting characters, chief of these is Steven's partner in his race across the country Roy. Roy's main role in this story is to add a small level of humour to this bleakest of stories. I loved the way in which Steven and Roy interacted with each other. Just as the narrative appears to be getting to dark and oppressive Mody injects just the right amount of comic relief.
Straight To You, was already an accomplished novel, and this rewrite lifts it to a masterful addition to apocalyptic fiction, a deeply disturbing look at the collapse of society and one man's struggle to spend the end of days with the love of his life. At it's heart this is a love story, and it is this angle that separates it from the the majority of end of the world novels. Even if you have read the original version this updated version brings more than enough to the table to warrant you reading it. Straight To You deserves to be ranked alongside such classics as The Stand and Swan Song.
The sun is dying. The temperature around the world is rising by the hour with no sign of any respite. At this rate the planet will soon become uninhabitable; all life extinguished. It might be weeks away, it might be days… we may only have hours remaining. Society is crumbling. The burning world is descending into chaos.
Steven Johnson’s wife is hundreds of miles away and all that matters is reaching her before the end. He has to act now, no time to stop and think. Every second is precious. Tomorrow is too late.
‘An engaging and heart-breaking read – Moody is the go-to-guy for extraordinary stories starring ordinary people’ —Wayne Simmons, author of Plastic Jesus and Flu
‘He brings to mind old Brit horror writer James Herbert. And that is some recommendation’ —London Lite
‘David Moody spins paranoia into a deliciously dark new direction’ —Jonathan Maberry, author of Patient Zero and Rot and Ruin
David Moody grew up on a diet of trashy horror and pulp science fiction. He worked as a bank manager before giving up the day job to write about the end of the world for a living. He has written a number of horror novels, including AUTUMN, which has been downloaded more than half a million times since publication in 2001 and spawned a series of sequels and a movie starring Dexter Fletcher and David Carradine. Film rights to HATER were snapped up by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, Pacific Rim) and Mark Johnson (Breaking Bad). Moody lives with his wife and a houseful of daughters and stepdaughters, which may explain his pre-occupation with Armageddon.
Visit Moody at www.davidmoody.net