Twinkle - SJ Parkinson

*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.


Sir Marcus Brandon is the richest man in the world. To coincide with the launch of his newest venture, Global News International, he wants to do something spectacular. So, paying out of his own pocket, he sends fireworks into space in satellites and on July 4th he has them detonated every hour so that each time zone can appreciate them. The show is beyond anything anyone has ever seen. And will soon be the last they’ve ever seen as the next day people around the world start going blind. The blindness is marching across the globe in the order of who witnessed the fireworks display and those countries hours ahead of the blindness try to figure out how the fireworks could have possibly caused this phenomenon and how to stop it. As catastrophes and accidents worldwide pile up, the US has a bit of warning and takes steps to prevent transportation wrecks and nuclear meltdowns. What they didn’t anticipate was a threat far greater than the blindness. Now, it’s up to the few people not afflicted to save the world. No pressure or anything.


All I can say is, “Holy Shit!” I have really come to love post-apocalyptic and dystopian stories because while the premise is basically the same (something catastrophic happens and changes the world forever) the story that evolves after has a bazillion different ways to play out. In this case, a dazzling fireworks show has somehow, inexplicably, caused worldwide blindness. How the hell do countries, governments and the populace in general deal with and recover from that?! But is the blindness bad enough? Oh, no. There’s more. So much more going on, but I’m not going to say what.


As with any good post-apocalyptic tale, it centers around the build up and aftermath and those few individuals who carry the fate of the world on their shoulders. Told from multiple POVs, the story builds with each person. Some of the people are dropped after their bit is told and thus the story narrows the focus on the four people who have the most impact on what’s going on, but the ending brings a few more people in to tell it from their POV. Never is it confusing or head scratching. This tale is told with precision and focus. Everyone contributes to the big picture. And what a picture it is. I could NOT turn the pages fast enough. I had to find out what would happen next. The tension was killing me! But, you know, in a good way. I absolutely love the reasons why some of the people missed the fireworks and being upset that they missed them only to realize they had dodged a massive bullet. No, not a bullet…an RPG. Because…damn! The science behind the blindness requires a suspension of belief, but hey, it’s sci-fi, so go with it. I did.


My only complaint with this book is how it was edited. I have learned that the Chicago Manual of Style (CMoS) is the standard used by professional editors and according to that lofty tome a United States Marine does NOT have to be capitalized. Oh, really? Before I start ranting about that, let me first say that the capitalization of Marine was not consistent in the book. Sometimes it was capitalized and sometimes it was not. Pick one and use it. Don’t waffle.


Now, for those who are not in the know, a United States Marine takes being called a Marine extremely seriously. It is a title. It is earned. It is proudly declared and displayed. And every Marine that I know or have ever met gets pissed when it is not capitalized. It is an insult, a slap in the face and akin to spitting on them. The only thing worse you could do is call a Marine a soldier, but that’s another rant. I literally gritted my teeth each time I came across ‘marine’ instead of Marine (35 times to be exact). It pissed me off and knocked me out of the story. As a wife and mother to Marines, I intend to write a letter of complaint to the CMoS and tell them in no uncertain terms what I think of their view of how Marine is to be written. This is by no means the first book where I’ve come across this problem and I know it will not be the last, but I will do my best to adapt and overcome that ridiculous editing rule even if I have to go all the way to the Commandant himself, asking him to write a letter of complaint to the CmoS! Because that’s what Marines and their families do.


All-in-all this book is a fantastic fast-action thriller that will take you on a tension-filled ride from beginning to end.