Tuesday, February 3, 2015

{Review} THE GERTRUDE THRESHOLD: A NOVELLA by Christopher Brooks

File Size: 543 KB
Page Count: 126
Copyright: October 29, 2014
Publisher: Ragged Right Media

Novella Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Brandon knows today will be his last. He has been dreading this moment his entire life. Scientists had long ago predicted the year and the day when all living things, everything Brandon has come to know, would go up in flames – the day Earth hit the Gertrude Threshold.

For seventy years, Brandon had aged with the sun. He’d watched it grow bigger and the Warming fry the planet. Science was powerless to stop it. Plants withered. Oceans dried up. Humanity went mad. People sought safety underground. Radiation poisoned the world they left behind above.

Now, Brandon languishes on his deathbed. He looks after his grandson, Ky, and again wonders what survival left him with. Ky’s parents, John and Ellen, wander throughout the underground tunnels. Ellen mourns the loss of everything she and her child will never experience. Desperate to spend his final hours with the man he has grown to love, John abandons his wife and child.

Brandon, his family, and the underground survivors have no future, only the past, and less than 24 hours to reclaim the years the Warming stole while Earth begins to fall apart around them.

Mandy's Review:

If you're a religious person, then I'm sure you've heard that there will come a day when God will send His Son, Jesus, to claim the saints and then the people left behind will have 1,000 years to rule the Earth until it'll be destroyed and a new Jerusalem implemented. I may have gotten parts of that wrong, but I believe that to be the gist. The thing about what I just said is that nobody knows the time when this will happen. Christopher Brooks has written a story in which the entire planet knows the day and time the Earth will be destroyed and all living things will cease to exist. As a way to prolong their life, the survivors of the Warming have gone underground to live out their final days in tunnels and compartments made to look like homes.

When the novella began, I was a little confused. It's set a little ways into the future so there's some technology and AI equipment being used that made me wonder what was happening. It took about a chapter for me to get with the program and realize how things work.

Brandon's decided to live his final hours remembering his wife and their life together. Unfortunately for him, his grandson, Ky, has been left in his care while Ky's mother goes to church and Ky's father sees one last patient. Ky tends to disrupt Brandon's thoughts and causes Brandon to focus and interact with his grandson.

Ellen, Ky's mother, has decided to take some comfort from tradition and go to church for one final Mass. Going to church doesn't provide Ellen with the comfort she was seeking, so she wanders the tunnels in search of peace. The peace she finds wasn't exactly what she had in mind.

John, Ky's father, has decided to see one last patient. Over the years, John has fallen in love with Darryl. He knows Darryl had a wife and probably isn't interested in men. However, knowing you're living the very last day of your life can cause people to do strange things that they'd never normally do.

Overall, the thought process behind this novella is sound, but I don't know that it's my style. The way it ended wasn't very conclusive. You're left to draw your own conclusions as to whether or not there are actually survivors or if the characters at the end of the last chapter die as well. I do enjoy the ambiguity of the ending. I just think it's the whole concept that's not really up my alley ... or tunnel, as it were. If you're a fan of apocalyptic writing and the end of the world, then I'd recommend this novella to you.

*An ecopy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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