Narrator: Eric A. Shelman
Published by Self Published / Indie on 02 October 2015
Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction
Source: Author, Submitted
A strange phenomenon occurs out of nowhere: an omnipresent light that engulfs the entire planet. Humanity is forever changed by the light. NOAA and NASA are mystified.
People soon face a new threat; even the smallest, most insignificant injury will no longer heal. Doctors cannot stop it. The sick do not die. They change.
They are Scabs.
As the survivors flee, it becomes clear there's no place to run, and time is short. The topography of the planet begins to change. Devastation and destruction ensue on a massive scale.
Scott and Warren Walsh are brothers. Over 1,000 miles separate them from one another. Something about them is special, and places them in a category with only 0.2 percent of the world's population.
Only one thing gives Scott, Warren, and others like them hope against the Scabs...The Gemini Exception.
©2015 Eric A. Shelman (P)2015 Eric A. Shelman
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Author, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.Buy from Audible Buy from Amazon.comAdd to Goodreads
Scabs: The Gemini Exception is something lacking in the apocalyptic fiction world; it’s intense, small scale, and very personal.
The two protagonists in Eric A. Shelman’s novel are twin brothers Scott and Warren Walsh. After being separated by a divorce they’ve grown up and started their own adult lives, and are well adjusted, reasonably happy men when the book starts. They share a hobby for messenger pigeons (it helps them stay in touch over long distances), which becomes a crucial part of the story’s plot.
The book begins with a bizarre period of intense, smothering white light that permeates the world. Everything for no discernible reason becomes illuminated by an indirect, otherworldly light. It kills shadows, mutes the night and causes tremendous disruption to the world. At the same time people who are injured stop healing.
Like, any injury will no longer heal. You’re stuck with it for life, which as we find out for most, won’t be much time at all.
When the light suddenly disappears those who are hurt begin to have their wounds scab over. But the scabs quickly get out of hand, covering their entire bodies like a terrible growth, encasing them in a chrysalis that they emerge from as monsters. Mutations of the highest degree become the rule of the day, and when they are set free from their prisons, they seek out anything still human to feed, and to destroy. The only people spared this fate are twins, leaving Warren and Scott to protect their families, and seek out answers and safety.
First off, Eric’s narration of his own novel is fantastic. His production values are on par with the finest studio productions, and his voice (voices really, as he bounces around with different accents and cadences) is easy to listen to. I can easily say this is a top three audiobook that was read by the author. Kudos to him for a wonderful job.
Story-wise Scab’s greatest strength lies in the intense, slow burn reveal of the apocalypse. It’s a simmering story that unfolds one tiny revelation at a time, building and building the impending terror until it’s unleashed in its full horror in the third act. Oddly for me, I thought the huge reveal of the full terror would be the highlight of the story but I was wrong. The build up turned out to be the most satisfying part of the story, and one I think others will enjoy in the same way.
Scabs features a reasonable cast of characters that isn’t overwhelmingly large, but also well varied, as well as a good amount of action, and a bucketload of proper apocalyptic tension. Scabs: The Gemini Exception is a very welcome addition to the science fiction genre, and a must read for fans of Robert McCammon or the like.