Between my spring and summer classes, I got the opportunity to read The Week the World Ended by my friend and college classmate, Thomas A. Farmer. This was a really fun read and the perfect way to relax and escape after an emotionally tough and academically challenging semester of grad school. Tom combines his passion for and knowledge of fencing, science fiction, and a touch of southern charm for his first novel. I had an absolute blast with this book. Here’s my long overdue review of The Week the World Ended.
The Week the World Ended is quite different from any other apocalyptic science fiction that I’ve ever read. For starters, Tom creates an apocalyptic story nestled in the foothills of East Tennessee. Besides my amusement that the setting is my homeland, I was quite ecstatic to read an apocalyptic story that DOESN’T take place in New York City or somewhere on the west coast. Don’t these SF writers realize that if the world is ending, it’s ending in other places too?! The rolling hills and mountains of East Tennessee make for an winding back drop, perfect for hiding out from the Korovega.
Speaking of the Korovega, when they, the alien beings hellbent on destroying the Earth and its inhabitants, attack, all bets are off and doomsday preppers become the most popular people in town. All the planning and prepwork was fun for me to read about. I’m not anywhere near a doomsday prepper, but I am always grateful for a full pantry and I take great pleasure in not letting anything go to waste and planning ahead in any situation. That particular aspect was enjoyable to me, seeing how others might handle an end-of-the-world scenario. Each of the characters handles it differently too. Tom brings to life a large cast of characters that are interesting and invoke a bit of mystery, like we’re not getting the full details on any of them. One of the things that impressed me the most with this novel was Tom’s ability to handle multiple characters. It can be difficult to do that well, and he handled it with finesse. Each character brings something to the planning table; everybody is of use and importance to the survival of the human race and the defeat of the Korovega.
I’ve heard it said before that if you’re a writer, you should write what you know. Writing from your roots is the best way to get a solid story. As I’ve written before, Tom is an assistant coach at The Knoxville Academy of the Blade. His love and knowledge of the sport bleeds through onto the page. I felt like I got a crash course in fencing equipment, moves, armor, and the art behind the sport. This adds a unique element to the story, instead of the usual fare of guns, ammo, and atomic bombs.
The door is open for much more in this series. I can’t wait for Tom to finish the sequel and I look forward to reading his other work in the meantime. This is a solid first offering and based on this book, it holds a promising future for a new science fiction writer. You can support Tom by picking up his book on Amazon. Click the image below to see what it’s all about.
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