Daimones begins with Dan being fired from his job. Though it’s a fairly ordinary situation and the author emphasises this ordinariness with writing that details the simple perceptions that make up our daily life, for Dan, it’s the beginning of a much greater change. He has barely managed to come to terms with his new situation, hasn’t even told his twelve year old daughter, when his concerns fade into insignificance in light of a complete upheaval to the world order. After a bad storm, his family awake to discover that they are the only ones left alive in their area. Everyone else has died, in their beds, at work, while driving their car, all at the same time, and all from the same unknown cause.
Their attempts to call friends and relatives meet with silence, their Internet searches indicate that the rest of the world has met the same fate. What killed everyone and why was he, his wife and daughter spared? These are questions they cannot answer, so they cope as best they can and plan for survival.
The book details their emotional journey, the way they adapt to their new circumstances and their search for other survivors. Little happens in terms of action for many pages, so if you’re looking for fast paced action this is not the book for you, but the author skilfully embeds the simplicity of their life with enough tension to keep me turning pages to find out if someone would respond to their Facebook add, if the dogs would accept the family as their new masters or if Dan would find anyone alive in his trips around the area. Gradually the mystery is unveiled, but only at the end do we find out the full picture, and the picture is a large one, universal in its scope.
It’s a well written book. Dan is an intelligent, thoughtful character, and the ramifications of their situation for the future of the human race and, in particular, his daughter stimulate deep contemplation which, along with his realistic and sensitive insights into the character’s emotional journeys, gives the story depth.
The pacing is a little slow and more dramatic action would make this more appealing to a wider audience. As it is, it’s more contemporary fiction in style than the usual sci fi or apocolyptic book.
US Kindle store
UK Kindle store