Title: Tipping Point
Author: Terry Tyler
Publication Date: 2017
Comment: I bought a copy on Kindle after it was recommended by the author herself. However, all opinions in this review are mine.
‘I didn’t know danger was floating behind us on the breeze as we walked along the beach, seeping in through the windows of our picture postcard life.’
Year 2024. New social networking site Private Life bursts onto the scene. Across the world, a record number of users sign up.
A deadly virus is discovered in a little known African province, and it’s spreading—fast. The UK announces a countrywide vaccination programme. Members of underground group Unicorn believe the disease to be man-made – and that Private Life might not be as private as it claims.
Vicky Keating’s boyfriend, Dex, is working for Unicorn over two hundred miles away when the first UK outbreak is detected in her home town of Shipden, on the Norfolk coast. The town is placed under military controlled quarantine and, despite official assurances that there is no need for panic, within days the virus is unstoppable.
As the country descends into chaos, there are scores to be settled further north….
Vicky Keating is a regular mum with a teenage daughter just going about her business. She enjoys posting on social media, having lunch with her friends and trying to ignore her boyfriend- Dex’s- conspiracy theories and anti-establishment ramblings.
He claims the new social media site is gathering data to identify potential threats. He insists the latest disease epidemic is man-made and specifically targeted to cull the population. He’s paranoid and obsessed.
The problem is he’s right.
When the Bat-flu storms across the world, eradicating millions, suddenly survival at all costs is the aim as civilisation starts to shut down.
Unlike many post-apocalyptic novels, our main protagonist, Vicky, isn’t a survivalist, she isn’t a prepper or a secret ninja. She can’t believe what’s happening to the world around her as chaos starts to descend.
We see the whole downfall of civilisation from the eye-view of someone who never thought it could happen and wasn’t prepared for it; which is fascinating and a very unique take.
While I appreciated that the author didn’t make the teenagers whiny and selfish, but independent and pro-active, I was a little sceptical at how well adjusted they were until I read this passage:
“Before, you know, when I was at school, everyone knew about everything,” she said. “Like, when Alfie finished with me I’d go online and I’d see Jess in Year Ten who fancied him, dead excited because I was history, and, a couple of mates I’d fallen out with, saying he dumped me ‘cause I was a bitch, all sorts. Your whole life was totally public. So you get used to acting like you don’t care, ‘cause if you look weak you’re over, and that makes you put up a front, and then you act it for so long that it starts being real.”Terry Tyler. Tipping Point p386/7636 5% in
And I completely agree. I think that this generation is so used to governmental coverups and wild online conspiracy theories that the end of the world won’t be a surprise at all. In fact, with the constant threat of school shootings, terrorist attacks and the like, this generation would probably be much better equipped to handle it.
No spoilers but later on we see more of the effects of the virus and how it actually started, and we get an inkling of the vast conspiracy that Project Renova is. This was carefully doled out in insider experiences and those were great chapters that added a nice change of pace to the overall story.
So, a few weeks ago I wrote a blog post on post-apocalyptic fiction, and Terry Tyler sent me a DM on Twitter informing me that her book was post-apocalyptic if I was interested. Although she offered to send me a free copy, I try to support indie-published authors wherever I can and so bought the first one on Kindle.
A few pages in and I knew that I had made the right choice.
Tipping Point is a brilliant post-apocalyptic novel in a very unique way. Essentially character-driven, it ignores the usual tropes and clichés and concentrates on good storytelling.
Although there are several characters telling their own narrative it doesn’t get confusing. I often forget to look at the chapter heading and it’s sometimes a page or two before I realise that this is a different character speaking. Not so here. Every single voice was unique and I enjoyed getting to know and grow with the characters.
Also Bat-flu, the downfall of social media, and the collection and distribution of our data? Is Terry Tyler clairvoyant? Seriously at times, I felt like I was reading a book from our future.
About half-way through I realised that I wanted to keep going and I ordered the second book in the series, Lindisfarne, and I’ve completed that too.
Mini Review for Lindisfarne: We get alternate points of view in this book. Rather than Vicky, we now get Lottie, Heath, Aria and Doyle- all new voices who carry the story into its newest location. It felt just like a continuation of the first book, without the odd jarring effect that you sometimes get when you move into a sequel. The only point that grated was that Vicky seemed to regress back once she’d forgiven Dex. In fact her character just kind of sucked for a while, which is a shame as we’d come to love her in book one. But there was plenty of action, character growth and we got to read even more about the Project was uncovered. A solid story.
There are no zombies or epic battle scenes here. No desperate searches for the cure, or defeating the government, or even people suddenly becoming Bear Grylls. Its just average people getting on with living life in the best way they know how under wildly different circumstances and I loved it.
I’d highly recommend this series (at least the first two books that I have read), especially if you are a lover of post-apocalyptic, or just character-driven stories.