All they have to do is nothing: The Descent by Paul E. Hardisty #bookreview #TheDescent #blogtour #RandomThingsTours #ClimateEmergency

A young man and his young family set out on a perilous voyage across a devastated planet to uncover the origin of the events that set the world on its course to disaster … The prescient, deeply shocking prequel to the bestselling, critically acclaimed Climate Emergency thriller, The Forcing.
Kweku Ashworth is a child of the cataclysm, born on a sailboat to parents fleeing the devastation in search for a refuge in the Southern Ocean. Growing up in a world forever changed, his only connection to the events that set the world on its course to disaster were the stories his step-father, now long-dead, recorded in his manuscript, The Forcing.
But there are huge gaps in the story that his mother, still alive but old and frail, steadfastly refuses to speak of, even thirty years later. When he discovers evidence that his mother has tried to cover up the truth, he knows that it is time to find out for himself.
Determined to learn what really happened during his mother’s escape from the concentration camp to which she and Kweku’s father were banished, and their subsequent journey halfway around the world, Kweku and his young family set out on a perilous voyage across a devastated planet. What they find will challenge not only their faith in humanity, but their ability to stay alive.
The Descent is the devastating, nerve-shattering prequel to the critically acclaimed thriller The Forcing, a story of survival, hope, and the power of the human spirit in a world torn apart by climate change.


Hi and welcome to my review of The Descent!

Massive thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the tour invite and to Orenda Books for the digital proof. It goes without saying that all opinions are my own. 

The Descent is simultaneously a prequel and a sequel to Paul E. Hardisty’s The Forcing: part of the story is set in the very near future and shows us how we ended up in the mess described in The Forcing, while alternating chapters are set after The Forcing. You needn’t have read The Forcing to enjoy The Descent, but it’s an utterly brilliant book so I would advise you to read it anyway!

Having read The Forcing, I did expect The Descent to be thought-provoking but I have to admit, I had underestimated just how harrowing it would be. It was just scarily, horrifyingly plausible. The story kicks off in the very near future, starting from the knowledge we already have and the situation in which we already are and have been for quite a while. And then it takes little baby steps. A meeting here, a decision there. Small things. Things that are extremely plausible, things that ring true, things that some people claim have already happened, things you wouldn’t even notice. And it moves on from there. With other baby steps and small decisions. And so on and so forth. 

It takes no effort at all to imagine ending up in the dystopian world Hardisty has created, it seems just a hop, skip and a jump away. It was so terrifying to me, I actually needed little breathers to remind myself we’re not quite there yet, and hopefully we never will be. 

Fortunately, I had Kweku Ashworth to distract me. Kweku is on a double quest: a quest to find his niece who has been kidnapped, and a quest for the truth about his family. This storyline takes the reader halfway around the world. If you’re as fond of bookish travel as I am, The Descent is an absolute goldmine! This part of the narrative is equally nerve-wracking but in an entirely fictional manner, as Kweku and his family come across some rather unsavoury people.

Overall, and despite my rising anxiety, I had a great time with The Descent. A highly topical climate emergency thriller and a suspenseful dystopian thriller, thought-provoking but also entertaining, it had me captivated and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

The Descent is out in paperback and digital formats on 29 February. Pre-order it directly from Orenda Books here.

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