The President of the United States, members of the Secret Service, and a few civilian visitors to the White House are able to escape the devastation being sent to destroy Earth in specially designed capsules that are thrust into space just as the warheads (both American and Russian) begin their descent. Amazingly, the fallout clears very quickly and the group is able to return to Earth. When they arrive back to Earth, they find a very different world full of peril, danger, and relentless pursuit by the new frightening new citizens of the planet.
Torment by Jeremy Bishop is a post-apocalyptic thriller set after a nuclear holocaust. It kept me engaged throughout the first 50-75%, started to lose me in the latter part, but then the end picked up and I was enthralled again. I would have liked the characters to have some more development. Mia, one of the main characters, was very interesting, but there were certain scenes when I wanted to be inside her head to see what she was thinking. I will add that while I love a female heroine in this genre, I found it a bit difficult to believe that the President of what was the United States of America and a couple of secret serviceman would follow a reporter rather than one of them take charge. However with there being virtually non-stop action throughout, a huge plus in Bishop’s favor, I can understand slightly how characterization can fall through the cracks. I found myself on the edge of my seat a couple of times waiting to see what would happen and was hardly if ever disappointed in how things turned out at the end of these sort of scenes.
The plot could use some fleshing out however, I believe that, this is the authors first attempts in the horror genre, so, again, I can be forgiving. The zombies of this world are interesting. They have a conscious about what they are doing, even going so far as to yell to their prey to “Run, I don’t want to hurt you”. Some zombie enthusiasts may question whether these were true zombies, for this reader they were zombie enough. There is, definitely a religious tone to Torment, but I did not find it to be overly religious. At no point did I feel that I was being preached at by the characters/author. One of my bigger irritations was some of the truly unbelievable things that happened. I’ve said before that in many works of fiction you have to suspend disbelief, and I can do that, but there is a line that can be crossed that makes it a bit more difficult for me.
Overall, while I had a few issues with Torment, I enjoyed it, especially the action scenes. I look forward to seeing what Jeremy Bishop brings to the horror table next.
Espresso rating: Double with a splash of milk