Sunday, May 16, 2010
Streams of Babel by Carol Plum-Ucci
Release Date: Available Now from Graphia
Source: Personal Collection
Bioterrorism has come to a small town in New Jersey. Two residents die of brain aneurysms within twenty-four hours and several teens become ill with a mysterious flu, leading the government to suspect that a terrorist cell has unleashed a deadly biochemical agent. With each glass of water they drink, the people of Trinity Falls are poisoning themselves.
A world away in Pakistan, a sixteen year old computer genius working as a spy for the U.S. sees an influx of chatter from extremists about a substance they call Red Vinegar that will lead to many deaths. Can he warn the victims before it’s too late?
I picked this one up because I saw the synopsis for the sequel Fire Will Fall, which was recently released. I figured I needed some major back story before delving into that one, so I hunted down a copy of Streams of Babel. I'm so glad I took the time to read this book first. It's a real page-turner that made me want to keep reading and reading to find out what happened next.
It's a pretty terrifying concept really and one that is not completely outside the realm of possibility in the world today. This is something that could totally happen and we'd be pretty powerless to stop it. I think that's what made this story so intriguing. It was a scary read, but an important one at the same time. A few times I told myself "you probably shouldn't be reading this," but I kept turning the pages anyway, ready for whatever new horror awaited me.
The points of view change with each chapter as they rotate through the characters, which helped to make this a quick read and it kept the story new and interesting. I've always like books with varying points of view, so I'm hoping the sequel uses the same style. I really recommend this one. It's a wonderful thriller and gives the reader a new look at the post 9/11 world and the dangers we face. It's not all about the fear though, we also get to see characters overcoming obstacles to help one another and finding inner strength to fight unseen enemies. There's a lot of hope in Streams of Babel, which made this a ride worth taking.
Now I am definitely looking forward to finding time for Fire Will Fall.