Jennifer R. Povey is in her early forties, and lives in Northern Virginia with her husband. She writes a variety of speculative fiction, whilst following current affairs and occasionally indulging in horse riding and role playing games. Her short fiction sales include Analog, Cosmos, and Digital Science Fiction, and her first novel was published by Musa Publishing in April of 2013.
The Silent Years: Motherby Jennifer R. Povey
Dorothy Mayling thought her worst problem was the long-standing family feud over her sister's choice of husband. Or her sons' grades. Then the rumors started - bird flu in Seattle, SARS in Washington State? The truth is a hideous, terrible disease, one that slowly steals away the ability to speak and reason, turning people into nothing more than zombies. Worst of
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Dorothy Mayling thought her worst problem was the long-standing family feud over her sister's choice of husband. Or her sons' grades. Then the rumors started - bird flu in Seattle, SARS in Washington State? The truth is a hideous, terrible disease, one that slowly steals away the ability to speak and reason, turning people into nothing more than zombies. Worst of all, it was meant to be a weapon. Can Dorothy hold her family together as the world ends around them and people fall, one by one, to the silent plague?
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INITIAL THOUGHTS I wasn't sure what this novella was going to be like. It sound post apocalyptic, but will I enjoy this novella, I mean can you do a post apocalyptic novella. I like questions and loose ends to be answered. MY REVIEW I received an e-copy of this directly from the author in exchange for my honest review. The cover features what could be described as a metal door or cover, the way it is aged makes you think it is a worn and perhaps battle hardened door with rusted parts on it. The "door" looks weathered and worn rather like the main female character in the novella becomes due to her surroundings and the life she is forced to live. Would the cover make me pick up the book in a book store? I would pick it up to read the blurb to learn more about the novella, I'd say the cover definitely has a post apocalyptic look about it. The main female character is an older no nonsense mother of two, a hard working, traditional woman called Dorothy. Dorothy is married to her husband, and has two sons, who attend the local school. Then there's a rumour that a virus of some sort has been released. The virus turns people into zombies. The initial signs of the virus is that people stumble over their words, then they speak but it makes no sense and next they cannot speak and the end stage is when the "zombies" turn violent. There is also a reference to part of the title, but I won't say how or why as I want you to discover the book and meaning of it's title for yourself. There is no treatment for this virus, the only thing that can be done is for someone to shoot/kill those infected. To begin with Dorothy thinks the news is just exaggerating but curiosity gets the better of her and she decides to check out whats going on via the internet. Sadly her worst fears are realised. The first action she takes is to remove her treasured sons from school, she suggests her husband not go into work and that they go to her brother farm. They pack up the car with as many necessities they can fit in it to take what ends up being a harrowing journey. They pass many infected on their way to the farm but do not stop in fact they speed up to escape those zombie-like people. Once at the farm they all pull together to feed the animals and work the ground to be as self sufficient as possible. They also take turns on watch with their shotguns. Having the farm may improve their chances of survival but there are always the infected wandering near and then there's the other survivors who wish to have what they have. Sadly we witness some of Dorothy's family succumbing to the virus. Dorothy feels like she is counting down to her own death but there is just something that makes her push on. The story also tells of her hazardous journey when she finally leaves the farm. We learn others have survived, and how they are being forced to live. You see the "good" and the "bad" in people. You do really go on a roller coaster ride of emotions through the incidents that happen to Dorothy. I like how Dorothy meets back up with a character who was in the novella beofre the "virus" spread. I like this other character too. Dorothy and this other character (I am determined not to give too many spoilers) who in the "before the virus" were unlikely friend, end up banding together to survive a situation neither thought they would ever be placed in. I am really looking forward to reading about more of their journey. So did I enjoy the novella? Yes, I really did. There is a lot of angst, action and drama packed into this novella. Would I recommend the novella? Yes! I'd compare it to the novella's that make up Volume 1 of After The Silence Series by Jacqueline Paige, I really loved those. Would I want to read more of this series? I'd love to read more of the series of novella's as soon as I can. Would I want to read more books by this author? I will certainly be checking Jennifer Povey out of Goodreads and Amazon UK.