When the four child survivors of unrelated plane crashes begin to exhibit increasingly disturbing behavior, the claim by a religious cult leader that they are the harbingers of the apocalypse is taken a bit more seriously. 80,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)
When the three child survivors of unrelated plane crashes on different continents begin to exhibit increasingly disturbing behavior, a religious cult leader claims that they are harbingers of the apocalypse. - (Baker & Taylor)
Around the world, at almost the same time, four passenger airplanes plummet to the earth. There are no survivors, apart from three children (on three separate planes) and a woman who soon dies but not before leaving a recorded message that warns listeners to "watch the dead people." The young survivors, soon dubbed The Three by the press, become worldwide sensations, even as some begin to suspect something is not quite right about them. Theories about The Three start to spread: they're harbingers of doom, says one theory, the embodiments of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; no, says another, they were chosen for survival by our reptilian alien overlords. As it turns out, no one has any real notion of just how important and dangerous these children really are. The author's use of the oral-history format, with its shifting voices and points of view, is a stroke of genius: the reader is in a state of near-constant confusion at the beginning, which is slowly replaced by unease and then dread as the various commentators start to see the bigger picture. A very creepy, very effective novel. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Library Journal Reviews
Lotz, a South African screenwriter and novelist, unspools a creepy thriller about four simultaneous plane crashes that stun the world. At three of the crash sites, a lone child survivor is found. And at one site, a fatally wounded passenger records an ominous message on her cell phone just before she dies. Told through a series of interviews conducted by a journalist investigating "Black Thursday," as the crash date comes to be known, we quickly discover that the three survivors are different children from who they were before the accidents. Are they merely traumatized? Are their families and caretakers imagining things? Or, as some fervently believe, are they harbingers of death and a sign that the apocalypse is near? VERDICT Lotz is an excellent storyteller, and she favors subtle innuendo over big shocks. Her unsettling tale builds to a crescendo that will have readers leaving the lights on long after they finish the book. Recommended for fans of sf and apocalyptic thrillers by authors such as Justin Cronin and Stephen King. [See Prepub Alert, 11/10/14.]—Amy Hoseth, Colorado State Univ. Lib., Fort Collins
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