Book Title: Panik
Plot Summary: The epidemic starts in Oxford. New, expensive drugs keep people awake for days, and strict controls are introduced to quarantine affected communities. Yet people are still dying in the night.
In this world, Nick peddles powerful sleep-deprivation drugs, while Rosa is locked up in a government "safe house" because they think she is the key to finding a cure.
Set in an isolated, pre-apocalyptic United Kingdom, PANIK tells a story about mass hysteria, profit-driven drug companies, and corrupt government. It explores how we are becoming less connected to each other, losing a core part of what it is to be human.
What did I think?
While this book ultimately wasn't my cup of tea, I did enjoy quite a few aspects:
The characters feel real, three-dimensional and are well developed. The pacing is on point; the story moves quickly and never feels slow.
Compassion, what does it mean to be human, and kindness are themes that I always enjoy reading about. Especially now that we see far too many negative headlines.
I must admit that I didn't quite click with the author's voice, and his tendency to switch from one character's point of view to another's just as their story filled with tension kept me from becoming fully immersed.
The plot itself is an interesting thought-experiment, but the ending left too many questions unanswered and didn't feel satisfying.
However, Chris Selwyn James took quite a few circumstances from our world and proceeded to explore an intriguing what if set in a pre-apocalyptic United Kingdom. From mass hysteria to profit-driven drug companies and corrupt governments, the author presents a chilling world, and it's a fitting read during this coronavirus lockdown.