Hello, my lovely peeps🐥!
Happy Thursday! I have a lot of cleaning to do in anticipation of a family gathering next week, so I know what I have to look forward to this weekend.
Yesterday was Pokémon Presents, and I haven’t played the series since [the original] Pokémon Pearl (though I did play the remake version recently). None of the new games have appealed to me except this latest Scarlet & Violet that’s coming out in November. There’s not a single word, or even a string of words, that I can use to show my excitement. I’m practically vibrating!
Today’s post is this week’s book review and today, I’ll be featuring The Noise by James Patterson & J.D. Barker.
Book Title: The Noise
Authors: James Patterson & J.D. Barker
Edition: Kindle & Audiobook (Libby/Library Copies)
Length: 422 Pages / 11 hours and 48 minutes
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Horror
A mysterious explosion kills thousands in the Pacific Northwest—and only two young girls survive. The newest in psychological suspense from the mind of James Patterson.
Two sisters have always stood together. Now, they’re the only ones left.
In the shadow of Mount Hood, sixteen-year-old Tennant is checking rabbit traps with her eight-year-old sister Sophie when the girls are suddenly overcome by a strange vibration rising out of the forest, building in intensity until it sounds like a deafening crescendo of screams. From out of nowhere, their father sweeps them up and drops them through a trapdoor into a storm cellar. But the sound only gets worse…
James Patterson’s astounding imagination has made him “a legendary novelist” (CNN). Now from its darkest corners comes The Noise, a thriller that takes hold of the emotions, defies the senses, and is like nothing you’ve ever read before.
The stink of death in the air came in ebbs and flows, and as they followed Holt across what was once the village center, it grew worse. She couldn’t help but think about what Fravel had said. Was it physically possible for a human body to disintegrate from pressure?
I can picture it all.
I’ve only ever read one or two other of James Patterson’s books, but that’s pretty few in numbers and J.D. Barker is an author that’s new to me, completely! Still, I really enjoyed this book for many things, including the writing. Whenever I see that chapters will reach up to the hundred some-odd mark, I know I’m in for tiny chapters, and man were they TINY chapters. If you toggled the font size and font and read on an iPad, some chapters were small enough to be displayed on a single page! I actually ended up really liking this kind of form splitting because everything’s bite sized and the pacing isn’t affected by it. Sometimes, we leave on some insane cliffhangers that make you want to keep reading on and on and this was how The Noise had me feeling. Trying to eat three slices of chocolate cake can be too much, but have you ever stopped at just a single Reese’s cup? As someone who likes to stop my daily readings at the full chapter mark, it really helps that the chapters are small.
The writing was also vivid and detailed. Every emotion and horror that our characters felt and saw was fully displayed in my mind. The ear-splitting noise, the feeling of running out of time and unease through most of the book, the sit of people whom are not exactly dead, the absolute chaos and madness that happens around you such as what must’ve been the most horrific image of hundreds of thousands of unfeeling human running at breakneck speed, the sights of people running even though they may be missing limbs, the dripping of the blood down ears, eyes, and noses. It’s all so clear and the book makes for some scary nightmarish fuel if nothing else.
I had borrowed both the audiobook and kindle versions of this book and both were fantastic versions of The Noise. The narrator, Amanda Dolan, I thought did a terrific job with reading the passages and the dialogue. Especially whenever a possessed person begins to speak and she dicates this in the form of gritty and demonic speech, the first time I saw her move from a normal person to a “possessed” (I’m calling it possessed, though it’s definitely something else) was bone-chilling and to be a loved one of that “possessed” individual must be so unnerving; those drawn out sentences and that unnatural voice, it’s quite scary to listen to and I did read off the Kindle version more often than the audio version, from the few moments I did listen to Amanda, I felt myself lost even deeper into the already abyssal attraction this book puts out.
Unforgettable cast of characters.
Each of the chapters follows a particular character’s POV. From the start, there are a lot of people that will be getting introduced aside from the two main prospective of Tennant and Dr. Martha Chan. Having gathered a team of specialists and experts, outside of the military (Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Fraser), there’re other scientists such as Sanford Harbin (climatologist), Russel Fravel (astrophysicist), Brennan Hauff (planetary biologist), Brian Tomes (geologist), and Joy Reiber (Dept of Agriculture). There’s also a separate doctor in camp along with Keenen Holt from the State Department.
You get to know certain people quickly, their personalities and presence are strong, but some of the scientists more so than the others and even then, the smaller side characters may occasionally get their own chapters as well and from their few minutes worth of cameo, there’s a lot to learn behind the scenes of what goes on.
I liked the split between everyone’s personal and professional investment into the strange and bizarre case/”infection” that affects the population. For example, the book begins from Tennant’s perspective and through her eyes, we watch the annihilation of her entire village. Her home, neighbors, maybe even family, trampled and gone. There’s so much emotion in the beginning because all is lost and for Tennant, the only thing left is her sister, who is no longer herself and very ill.
From the scientists and military’s perspective, with the exception of a handful of people that are very sympathetic to the sisters and their case, much of the base treats this anomaly in a cold, scientific, and professional way. While a couple of the “kidnapped” scientists have some emotional connection to the two sisters (they have kids of their own, etc.) there are some really unsettling moments where “It’s two girls vs the death of hundreds of thousands” and treat the two like guinea pigs.
The three main prospective in this book are Fraser, Martha, and Tennant. Martha is the medical doctor of the team and she, having kids of her own, is immediately protective of Tennant and her sister, Sophie, making sure that no harm would come their way while trying to help stave off the “infection” from both herself and those around her as the team attempts to wrap their mind around this anomaly. Fraser commands the ground team and his side of the story has my adrenaline pumping most of the time, especially anytime he needs to go front line in order to deal with the “infected” people or gather data that the scientists themselves cannot do. Tennant is the first character we really meet, and she’s here for her sister (but also, being a survivor of an anomaly that nobody can understand) she’s not exactly free to leave either. All three sides are fantastic to follow, and no matter where I turn, there’s adrenaline and fear. Of the three main prospective though, I think Fraser and Martha’s would be my favorite, though this may be due to them having more screen time than Tennant and Sophie.
Wild story gets wilder and the ending was insane.
A mysterious anomaly happens in the mountainside that decimates an entire town of villagers, survivalists that have lived off the grids just fine until this event essentially wipes the citizens off the map. Having torn the village apart, people, animal, houses and even water wells crumbled to ruin, leaving only a straight path, much like a tornado, in its wake, the story begins with two young girls, the only survivors. When help and the military finally arrive, there’s nothing left of the place. Even the people are gone! The team of scientists and the soldiers that go to survey and learn about the damage are completely stumped.
As the story progresses, things become more desperate and time is ticking. Things go by so fast with not a single soul knowing what exactly is happening. Martha and her team, and the readers, are kept guessing at what this anomaly really is the entire way through, up until near the end when everything comes crashing down and boy does that truck hit hard. Before that, we never know what it is that causes all the strange events. Is it a secret and devastating new weapon created by enemies of the US? Is it an actual infection with zombies and all? What about alien life finally comes to Earth and this is part of it? This plot is one of the best I’ve read in a while and I really enjoyed it. If you know me, I enjoy my guess work through mystery books, and this anomaly really hits the mark.
The ending though, was so far out and insane that I took a breather after finishing the book, my mind tingling in trying to process that actual cause behind the infections and events. It left me with quite a bit of questions, and wasn’t particularly satisfying when you understand what it implies.
All in all, this was a great read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the pacing, loved the short chapters, loved the writing and narrator. I enjoyed the characters in this book (there are a few people I loathed) both the major and minor characters and the story was pretty interesting and intriguing. When it comes down to things that can be affected by infections (mind, organs, etc.), noise and the auditory scenes was not what I expected. There’s no great big monster out there, just humans (not even zombies) that run forever like a mindless army of ants or cattle in a stampede. It kept me reading and going, that’s for sure. The book was equally as amusing and exciting as it was disturbing, especially towards the end when everyone felt so powerless against the deadline.
Fantastic read, I’d say, it might even be one that I may pick up once more and reread in the future, and that’s from someone who generally doesn’t reread books.