Sixteen-year-old Bethany Krall is a patient at Oxsmith Adolescent Secure Psychiatric Hospital. She was committed two years ago after brutally murdering her mother. Bethany’s last psychologist was forced to take a mysterious health-related leave of absence. She has been reassigned to Gabrielle Fox, a wheelchair-bound art therapist.
Bethany claims to have the ability to predict natural disasters. These visions occur immediately following electo-convulsive therapy. Bethany’s claims have been ignored up until now. Gabrielle begins to make note of some of the predictions and when a few come true, she feels the need to report it to someone. When Bethany begins seeing visions of “the end”, Gabrielle knows she has little time to act.
Gabrielle meets Frazer Melville, renowned physicist, and mentions Bethany’s “gift” to him. She is desperate to understand the likelihood of such natural disasters occuring. At first, like the others, Frazer is skeptical. But a devastating disaster occurs and he can’t help but be convinced. In a strange turn of events, Gabrielle and Frazer start a romantic relationship.
Gabrielle and Frazer are eventually able to convince experts of Bethany’s ability. They form a team and quickly determine the impending cause of the end, a natural disaster so catastrophic it will have world-wide repercussions. But will they be able to stop it? And if they can’t, how can they save themselves?
Jensen does an outstanding job with this apocalyptic thriller. Bethany’s character is so brute and abusive, yet I felt sympathy for her. She is obviously unable to control her “power” and is forced to be a victim to her “disease.” Gabrielle certainly has her own demons to contend with. She’s still healing, physically and mentally, from the car-accident that took away her mobility. As the first person narrator, Gabrielle’s character is the one with the most depth.
My only complaint would be the tempo of the book. There was a bit of a lull in the middle of the book and I’m afraid this may dissuade some readers from completing it. The middle segment of the book isn’t fluff, though. It provides the reader with information that adds definition to each of the characters and delves a bit more into Bethany’s history. The ending does not dissappoint and definitely suggests a sequel.
I should also note that while the title refers to a Christian/Biblical theme, I would not label this as Christian fiction. Religion is definitely an underlying theme but is not at all pervasive.
Also be warned that this book will haunt you for some time. It is a cautionary tale about what could happen to civilization if we are not careful about how we treat our planet. I literally could not get this book out of my mind after completing it. I dreamed about it, I think of it several times throughout the day. So, I do suggest that you pick up and read it, but be prepared for a lasting relationship!
Tags: Doubleday, Literary Fiction, Review, Thriller