18 July 2012

Review: Ping by Susan Lowry

Ping by Susan Lowry

Published: 29 June 2011

Pages: 158 (Kindle)

Genre/s: Post-Apocalyptic, Virus

Source: Own library

Check It Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK

Synopsis (Amazon)

Kate is a young artist who fears she may be the only survivor of a terrible plague. Snowed in and alone for months, her belief that a young boy is contacting her telepathically gives her a reason to hang on until the snow melts. No longer certain of her sanity, she nevertheless decides she must somehow locate and rescue the small child. Instead she finds Jack, a handsome doctor with a secret past who wants her to have his baby and repopulate the earth. Kate’s life gets ever more complicated as she is torn between Jack and the voices in her head.

My Thoughts

Ping begins with one of those great fears of humanity - a super virus runs rampantly through the population in a short period of time and 99.99% of people die a horrible, painful death. Kate, who lives a normal life with her husband, also contracts the virus but manages to pull through, finding herself utterly alone in a world devoid of people and animals.

As she struggles to survive, alone but surrounded by the ghosts of her husband and neighbours, she starts to hear voices - a young boy, a nameless woman, in her head, and after months of isolation, sets off to the south in search of her telepathically connected friends.

The idea behind the story of Ping is a good one, but it needs some work. There are huge jumps in time, which are OK, but they aren't noted with headers like 'three months later', it's a sudden and disconcerting shift that only reveals itself a few paragraphs into a new chapter.

When it comes to characters, they are pretty standard - Kate is not exactly outgoing or brave, and tends to fade into the background, particularly after she meets up with the woman she has been telepathically connecting with - although that particular character says 'sweetie' so many times it becomes grating.

I understand that this is Ms. Lowry's first book, and it is a good attempt - with some polishing it could have been an excellent story.


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