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  • Louise Ellis-Barrett

The Machines are Coming as The Earth Swarm Blog Tour launches ...


Is it all over for London?

It would seem so when Hal Strider and his sister Jess witness the skies of London turn silent. Not a business jet, helicopter or passenger plane in sight. It is eerie but no-one knows what has prompted it and why. Whilst Jess swipes through the news channels on her phone for any updates Ha begins to realise that even the streets (a long way below their penthouse rooftop apartment) have gone eerily silent too. When their dad calls through on broadcast only they strain to hear him warn them but warn them of what? Their anger at him for once again not coming home to them when planned soon dissolves into shock and fear as they notice something fill the sky. The something they see is a colossal aircraft, a Lockheed Super Galaxy, a military airlifter, giant of the sky and a giant that is about to crash - aside from the fact that is should never have been in London's airspace.

That, the opening chapter is in the now. Tim Hall then turns the cock back, just 10 days, to a time when Hal and his dad were together, dad making up for his many absences by taking Hal to a flying lesson, they are to go up into the sky, Hal's favourite place to be and he can't wait despite the fact that he wants to mad with his dad for so many broken promises.

And so we get some back story, we begin to learn how Hal has become a hotshot pilot revealing to us gradually how he (and Jess) become more deeply involved in the unfolding events than either would wish. When your father is a genius scientist and helped to create the machines, drones which are now threatening London, and he has disappeared, it would seem options are limited.

The story is a thrilling rollercoaster of action and emotion. This is sci-fi at its very best, readable, believable, gripping. Characters we can relate to - on many levels they are just like their readers - young kids - but these are young kids who have a remorseless foe to battle, who find themselves thrust into a city-saving adventure, who must prove their father innocent and get him back. these are kids who must believe in the impossible, fight it and save all they know and love.

Fantastic writing, a story to draw you in, even if like me you didn't know you were a sci-fi fan, I highly recommend getting out to a local bookshop now - watching the skies along the way - and getting yourself a copy to settle down with, get stuck into and enjoy. Just be prepared to be on the edge of your seat for the ride of your life!


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