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Reviewed by Scott Cahan for Readers' Favorite
Skyquakers by A.J. Conway is a very imaginative science fiction end-of-the-world thriller. It begins with 99% of the human population vanishing into thin air. Strange beams of light come from storm clouds above and suck up any living thing that they touch. The story follows one of the survivors, Ned, as he goes from surviving on his own to eventually venturing out to find others. His journey starts off very simply with finding food and water as his only goal. However, the farther he goes from home the more complex his simple existence becomes. He soon encounters other survivors, strange animals, and the aliens who perpetrated the whole takeover of Earth in the first place.
I enjoy books about the end of humanity as we know it and, as a result, I’ve read just about every explanation imaginable for how it all ends. Everything from plagues to bombs and zombies to aliens. However, I found Skyquakers by A.J. Conway to be one of the most original and creative stories in this genre. Our hero Ned starts his journey on a rather predictable course but the strange way the apocalypse begins provides an air of supernatural mystery that never allows Skyquakers to become run-of-the-mill. Everything changes for Ned at about a third of the way through the book and any normalcy that is established in Ned's story of survival is thrown out the window.
The story goes in some really wild directions from then on and it kept me guessing all the way to the end. One of the marks of a great book, in my mind, is an unpredictable plot. Skyquakers is definitely that. Not only is it an exciting story, but it includes lots of interesting and well-rounded characters. Author A.J. Conway has a straightforward yet endearing style of writing that kept me engaged from start to finish. If you’re looking for a fresh new angle on the end-of-the-world scenario that will keep you on the edge of your seat, I highly recommend Skyquakers.