Back in October, I was able to personally meet author David Dubrow (one of the nicest guys I've ever met!). We met for lunch, and while we were eating we discussed some of our favorite horror authors... When Dubrow mentioned James Herbert I had to admit that while the name sounded familiar I had never read anything by him.
Being that Dubrow is the one who recommended both Adam Howe and R. M. Huffman to me (two of my newest favorite authors), I figured that it would only benefit me to check out Herbert.
Funny thing is, every single time I go into my local used bookstore, they have a different Herbert book! So, I started collecting his books without having even yet read him. [Trust!]
I, so far, now own Once, Nobody True, '48, Haunted, The Magic Cottage, The Survivor, and of course Portent.
I, obviously, decided to start with Portent, so let me get on with my review.
Something incredible is about to happen...
First there are the lights: strange, alluring, eerily beautiful, floating up as if from the heart of the planet itself.
Then, moments later, the disasters: coral reefs exploding into shrapnel, cloud banks bursting with torrential floods, killer hailstorms, tsunamis, vicious flash fires.
From San Francisco to the Indian city of Varanasi, from the gentle Dorset hills to the Great Barrier Reef, the earth is spewing destruction and humans are dying hideous, excruciating deaths.
For climatologist James Rivers, it seems almost as if the planet is angry. Then he meets the children and learns that the horrifying truth exceeds even his most unthinkable private terrors. . .
Generally, when purchasing a used book, I check for markings within. I must have forgotten to do so when I bought Portent. Upon opening the book, the very first page had SKIP scrawled across the top. Hmmmmm. Was Skip the prior owner's name or was the prior owner telling me to skip this book? I decided to forge ahead...
The first thing that struck me about Herbert's writing is his solid characters! He builds them up, quickly, only to kill them off!! Never have I gotten so rapidly attached to a character, only to have them not survive - crazy!
As for the book itself - it was a heavier read than I originally expected (it has a slow burn, behind the story itself), but I definitely enjoyed it and will be looking forward to my next Herbert book. (*If you have read any of the above mentioned, be sure to tell me which you liked best!)
Also, my wife loves apocalyptic movies - with the right director, this book would make for a phenomenal end-times film!