Monday, 15 February 2021

Void Fate by Suren G Hakobyan + #FreeBook

Void Fate by Suren G Hakobyan
Self published in May 2020.

Amazon UK (Free) / (Free)

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An extraordinary psychological fantasy thriller about five friends who wake up to a deserted, sunless Earth.

Empty streets are littered with stalled-out cars, buses, and motorcycles. A sunless and moonless sky is covered with an enormous barrier that prevents any view of the heavens.
Nothing stirs. The air is oppressive and there is no wind, not even the softest breeze.

It was supposed to be a typical day for the five friends, but they wake up to discover that they are left alone on earth. The world that they knew is gone. All that is left is silence, pervasive, absolute silence.

What happened while they slept? Are they the only ones left? As the theories start to fly, and their imaginations run wild, they wonder if they are still on Earth at all, possibly abducted by aliens, trapped in a simulation, or claimed by the afterlife.

Aram is the only one who can see deep into the silent world. That's why, from the very beginning, he starts to look for a way out of this new reality. If he can convince his friends to stay focused, as the whispers begin, and fight against the evil of the silent world, the fog-shaped beings that wander the empty streets, they may stand a chance.

If not, the only thing that lies ahead is the fate of the void.

I snapped up Void Fate as soon as I saw review copies on NetGalley because of its Armenian authorship and setting - perfect for my WorldReads project. However, despite the synopsis stating this novel is a fantasy thriller, its creepy cover art suggested a horror story to me, so it took a while for me to pluck up the courage to actually open the book. I should have trusted words over images. Void Fate is definitely not a horror book. That said, Hakobyan manages to create and maintain a horribly unsettling atmosphere which permeates every page. I started to imagine fog clouds beginning to form in my peripheral vision as I read, and I certainly wouldn't recommend this as a book for bedtime - unless you need to stay awake feverishly reading all night.

Void Fate tells the story of a splintering group of male friends, losing their trust in each other as they fight to survive in a surreal, silent world. The five are nicely defined as characters and I could believe in their reactions and interactions. My main problem with the story is its disappointing female representation. The two women only seemed to be included to provide sexual relief for one male character. There's no attempt at diversity either. Where Void Fate succeeded for me however is in Hakobyan's presentation of Yerevan city, cleansed of practically every living thing. He doesn't dwell on lengthy descriptions, yet I could clearly envisage every aspect of this eerie setting and that made Void Fate an impactful read.

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Suren G Hakobyan / Thrillers / Books from Armenia

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