Verdict: GHOST RAIN sets the stage for an exciting series and Pereira's engaging writing makes the adventures to come worth waiting for.
Characters grapple through two separate time periods, one pre-apocalypse and one post, in this intriguing first part of The End of Reality series.
A sizable cast of characters fight to understand and survive in two time periods. In the former, a mega-corporation called digi-Earth sells people the option to live an entirely digital existence and those that can’t afford to do so are left to deal with famine, lawlessness, and crumbling infrastructure. In the later time period, a mysterious entity called “Library” tries to salvage a new society from the wreckage while battling a predatory nemesis bent on destroying her creation.
The globe-trotting first story is definitely the most compelling. In Paris, a revolutionary named Naomi organizes her troops to rebel against digi-Earth, and in Tokyo an impoverished restaurant owner named Jun wins an opportunity to join the corporation’s digital universe. Meanwhile in New York, digi-Earth CEO Aki must make life or death decisions that test her moral resolve. In the future timeline, Library has created a new civilization out of resurrected versions of these same characters but their safety is threatened by “Y”, a creature that can inhabit the minds of wild animals and force them to do his bidding. The group must choose whether to fight, seek peace, or abandon Earth in favor of a more hospitable planet.
Author Paul Pereira is a talented writer from every angle. His story is interesting, characters well-developed, and his language is poetic without being pretentious. He raises some thought-provoking ethical questions about Artificial Intelligence, God and free will, and the consequences of extreme, unfettered Capitalism. While the first book in any series will involve a lot of world-building, the pacing could have been improved, since GHOST RAIN is heavy on dialogue and explanation while being light on action and plot development. There were also some elements in the story that were derivative. The two central warring factions after the apocalypse invoke comparisons to the television show LOST and digi-Earth’s contest is a HUNGER GAMES rehash.
GHOST RAIN sets the stage for an exciting series and Pereira’s engaging writing makes the adventures to come worth waiting for.