I received a free digital copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
When an unprecedented global scale attack plunges the world into chaos and threatens to eradicate the human race from existence, former scientist Richard Draven is tasked with finding a way to restore order. With governments in chaos and violence rampant in the streets, a grueling tale of survival and the strength of humanity in all corners of the globe is about to unfold as a man known only as Joshua strengthens his grip on a world close to ruin.
Project Apex is the first in the thriller series written by Michael Bray that follows the world as events now out of our control spiral exponentially. When Richard Draven comes across a previously unknown species of monkey and realises the truth, he attempts to research and publish his finding. Little does he know what the outcome of his findings will bring as, later down the line, the world is faced with a threat far worse than has ever been seen before. Draven is the only one with the knowledge needed to curb this new reality, but will it be enough?
I am a big fan of post-apocalyptic style novels, even though the thought of such events taking place brings me a lot of fear and terror. From the offset of this novel, I was immediately drawing similarities to Justin Cronin’s Passage trilogy – though of course there are some slight differences. However, I couldn’t help comparing them; with both novels I found myself physically fearing for mine, and everyone’e else’s lives, and felt like I was truly immersed within the world. Both Cronin and Bray really know how to write vivid descriptions without overloading on words that make you feel like you are in the thick of the action. There were also similarities in the way in which the virus was discovered and how it was implemented into the world with the symptoms also holding slight but different similarities. It was hard not to enjoy my time reading this book – the proof is in my inability to put the book down for long!
That being said, Project Apex is definitely an entirely different novel and I loved the issues that Bray sort to highlight in his narrative. We find ourselves frequently jumping between various parts of the world: America, Iraq/Middle East, and India. Bray, through the use of the virus and the events that occur because of it, highlights the American presence within the Middle East and how instead of fighting against each other, the people of both countries must now work together as a war is waged against the whole world as opposed to one individual country or area. Differences must be set aside and people must work together regardless of their prejudices and how they feel about the other with Bray putting an American soldier and an Iraqi militant within a situation that leaves them with little choice but to work together in order to save those around them.
I felt that Bray had clearly set aside time to thoroughly research the different aspects of his virus such as the ways in which it can be passed on, how contagious it is, the affects it creates in humans and so on. Draven, as our researcher, provides us with all of this information in a way that isn’t force fed or piled into one area of the book. It is clear that this information needs to be imparted in large chunks as part of the narrative but doesn’t make the pacing of the narrative slow down or appear clunky providing the right amount of information alongside narrative and action. As I said, Bray clearly did his research with all the important facts, figures, and information providing a plausible explanation that seems all to real adding to the sense of realism within this novel.
Bray provides us with a mixture of characters who react to this event in varying ways and bring different personalities and traits to the narrative. In such a short space of time, we see some of the characters develop quite quickly due to the circumstances around them – something that, yet again, doesn’t seem out of place within this novel and adds to the threat that is currently in place and to come.
I am really glad that I accepted the opportunity to read this novel and I seriously cannot wait for the next in the series. It’s similarities to the Passage trilogy have made me invested in this series, but also the differences which is provides as well.