Portent [NOOK Book]


It is the near future and signs of an impending global disaster are multiplying. Earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions sweep the earth. As the storms and tempests rage, a series of ominous events signal the emergence of a new and terrifying force.

While scuba-diving on the Great Barrier Reef a diver watches fascinated as a tiny light floats past him towards the surface. Moments later he is torn to pieces as the reef erupts with colossal ...

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It is the near future and signs of an impending global disaster are multiplying. Earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions sweep the earth. As the storms and tempests rage, a series of ominous events signal the emergence of a new and terrifying force.

While scuba-diving on the Great Barrier Reef a diver watches fascinated as a tiny light floats past him towards the surface. Moments later he is torn to pieces as the reef erupts with colossal power.

On the banks of the Ganges, a young boy pauses from his back-breaking labours, transfixed by the play of a mysterious light amidst the monsoon rains, before a towering geyser of boiling water bursts from beneath the streets, scalding him to death.

In the Chinese city of Kashi travellers bring back reports of a strange light seen shining above the endless dunes of the Taklimakan Desert. And as the city's inhabitants watch for its return, the desert rises up to engulf them in a tidal wave of sand.

All have seen a portent. A sign of unimaginable powers about to be unleashed. A sign that something incredible is about to begin...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fast on the trail of Twister is this drawn-out apocalyptic novel replete with meteorological mayhem. Shimmering lights precede a slew of natural disasters and plunge British climatologist James Rivers into a clichd battle between good and evil. A contrived twist of events brings Rivers to Hazelrod, a deteriorated Georgian estate nestled in the English countryside. There, Rivers meets adopted Romanian twin children who possess not only phenomenal healing powers but also answers to why the planet is destroying itself. Herbert spreads his story to the remotest corners of the earth, bringing in characters of many countries and dialectswhich can make for tough reading whose sole purpose is to observe the shimmering phenomena mentioned above and then die in some disaster or another. The only significant characters beyond Rivers and his Hazelrod companions are a Scottish Highlands hermit and the grotesque high priestess of a New Orleans earth cult. Fortunately, both characters also hold evidence crucial to the novel's outcome. Still, Herbert The Ghosts of Sleath, has a brilliant descriptive sensibility and uses it to create unforgettable disaster scenes. His obvious knowledge of meteorology also lends credence to an otherwise far-fetched premise. July
Library Journal
The world is undergoing an epidemic of earthquakes, wind storms, and other catastrophes, and bright lights have been sighted prior to each new calamity. What does it all mean? Is the world coming to an end? Weather researcher James Rivers isn't sure, but in the course of his investigations he discovers two children who can help save the world. Despite all the terrifying weather, the plot builds slowly. Veteran horror hack Herbert Ghosts of Sleath, Harper Prism, 1995 expertly sketches characters he is about to kill off, and though these vignettes are compellingly written, they compete with the plot and sometimes confuse the reader. For Herbert's fans and large fiction collections.Robert C. Moore, DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals Co., Information Svces.,N. Billerica, Mass.
Kirkus Reviews
Herbert's 18th horror novel works toward another of his familiar apocalyptic climaxes (The Ghosts of Sleath, 1995, etc.) but features perhaps his finest writing.

British climatologist James Rivers flies into the blissfully calm eye of a huge hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico and sees a strange ball of light hanging outside his plane just before he crashes. Recovering back home, Rivers is invited by the eccentric Hugo Poggs to his country estate, where Poggs shares the results of his research into the vast natural disturbances suddenly sweeping the world. Is Mother Earth shrugging man off the planet because of what he's done to her? Rivers falls in with Hugo's widowed daughter-in-law Diane, who has adopted Romanian gypsy twins, Eva and Josh—children who are seemingly telepathic, given to visions and to alarming messages about the near future. Earth tremors shake London, tidal waves wipe out Grenada and Oahu, huge forest fires spring up in Brazil, Australia's Great Barrier Reef is destroyed, cyclones sweep the Great Plains, undersea volcanoes erupt, the San Andreas Fault splits, all heralded by portentous balls of light. Rivers, a troubled skeptic, keeps stumbling across evidence indicating that these lights are neither accidental nor mere by- products of natural phenomena. When the twins tell him that he is part of the Dream Man, a benign figure in their visions, Diane, Rivers, and the twins set off to Scotland's lochs in search of another such Dream Man. Through him, Rivers finds that these horrors portending the Last Days actually express man's inner nature writ large upon Earth, the Great Mother. To survive, man must change.

This may be Herbert's best novel, its prose keen, characters crisp, and pace terrific, though the world-shattering end is disappointly unsurprising and generic.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780330469128
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • Publication date: 5/11/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 365,833
  • File size: 773 KB

Meet the Author

James Herbert is not just Britain's No. 1 bestselling writer of chiller fiction, a position he has held since publication of his first novel, but is one of our greatest popular novelists, whose books are sold in thirty-five other languages, including Russian and Chinese. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his twenty novels have sold more than 50 million copies worldwide.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2014

    A must read

    A must read

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