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Publisher's Summary

John F.D. Taff's highly-anticipated epic supernatural thriller, The Fearing, begins with Book One: Fire & Rain where humanity faces a series of catastrophes spawned by a worldwide event that unleashes all of mankind's greatest fears. 

In the American high desert, vacationers returning from a road trip are thrust into a heart-stopping flight from death as they try to avoid a cataclysmic end. In rural Missouri, the lives of a group of high school students are destroyed after their small town is devastated and they're forced to confront the end of everything they've ever known. 

And on the Eastern Seaboard, there's someone else. An enigmatic man who thrives on despair and embraces all fear. A man with his own dark and sinister goals. Someone who wants to ensure humanity goes out with the biggest bang possible.

©2019 John F.D. Taff (P)2019 John F.D. Taff

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  • Andrew Chapman
  • 05-01-2020

Fire and Rain

This is one of the very (VERY) rare books that I would read again.

Fire and Rain is book one of a tetralogy. (Yep, that's the word for four books in a series. Who else thought it was quadrilogy? Just me? Okay.)

I have been raving about this book. Taff understands story. He knows how to create characters that you love, and is equally good at making characters that you hate. The pace is great. The set pieces of fear are imaginative and vividly realised.

It starts with a troubled guy named Adam. He is afraid of everything. On the day that we meet Adam something unusual happens. People who come into contact with him are killed by their own fears. It starts small, but escalates quickly. By the time Book One is over, North America is on the brink of a fear induced apocalypse.

I was going to start this review by saying it contains spoilers, but I’ve decided I don’t want to ruin the fun. All I will say is that I was enjoying the book right up until it got to a scene involving a group of people on a bus and a fear that involved The Wizard of Oz… That was when I started loving the book.

The story centres around three different groups of people and we shift between each group as the events escalate. Adam and Jelnik, the people on the bus, and three teens.

There was a moment when the third group was introduced; a jock (Kyle), a popular girl (Carli), and a nerdy girl (Sarah), and I thought, “Here we go. Bring on the cliché.” But Taff deftly steers it away from what you’re expecting and you are brought into the dynamic of the group as they struggle with all the things Taff throws at them.

Book One ends in a big way. From this point on the world will never be the same. The more afraid the characters get, the more danger they are in.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the narrator. Linda Jones is a superb reader. You don’t even realise she’s there (which is a compliment, even though it might not sound like it). I listen to an awful lot of audiobooks and Linda is a real talent.

Obligatory reviewer disclaimer - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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