Sentinel by Robin Crumby – Book Review
Sentinel by Robin Crumby – Book Review
The Hurst Chronicles Book Two
Author – Robin Crumby
Publisher – CreateSpace
Pages – 472
Released – 13th May 2017
ISBN-13 – 978-1546942696
Format – ebook, paperback
Review by – Clive
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
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An unstoppable virus. Everything we took for granted is gone. Only the strong will survive.
In the aftermath of a devastating flu pandemic, hope returns for the survivors of the Millennial Virus.
Under the watchful protection of the Allies, Hurst Castle has resumed its centuries-old role as an outpost guarding the western entrance to the Solent. The Isle of Wight is designated a quarantine zone free of the virus. The tide of refugees surging towards the island has placed impossible pressure on already scarce resources.
When the desperate search for a vaccine leads the Hurst team to a classified government research facility beyond the New Forest, will an inactive bio-weapons program accelerate their understanding of the Millennial Virus? Could one man hold the key to discovering the origin and causes of the outbreak?
Not everyone shares the Allies’ aspirations for reconstruction. Dark forces seek to prolong the lawlessness, pursuing their own ambitions. There’s a war coming that threatens to return the whole region to chaos. Hurst finds itself in the path of the coming storm.
I very much enjoyed Hurst, the first book in this series and despite a three year gap, I picked the story up again instantly.
Robin Crumby has a very easy to read style which will keep most readers interested. In Sentinel he follows four or five different sets of characters to build up the plot. Although told in the third person the author tends to view things from one person’s perspective and that is often not the principal participant in the action. We have some long spells when nothing is heard from some characters but we get back to them all eventually.
The timeline of Sentinel is shortly after the events in Hurst and the action is again centred around Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight; all familiar areas that I have visited on various occasions.
With any book set in the future the author has license to determine how his world has moved on and much of Cundy’s interpretation meets the usual expectations. However, I couldn’t help wondering at how much fuel, manufactured material and pre-virus food was still accessible. This may be attributed to the presence of the American Navy who would have access to some of these things, facilitating action that otherwise would be very different.
There are moments of violence but that is to be expected, given the relative lawlessness of the times. It is very much a situation where only the strong will survive.
Sentinel has some sinister background themes which are not fully explored. The likelihood is that these are trailblazers for the third book in the series which I already possess and hope to read and review shortly.
I have awarded four stars to Sentinel by Robin Crumby.
Book Reviewer – Clive
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About the Author
Robin Crumby is the author of The Hurst Chronicles, a post-apocalyptic series set on the south coast of England in the aftermath of a flu pandemic. Since reading John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids as a child, Robin became fascinated by end of the world dystopian literature and was inspired to start writing by Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’ and Emily St. John Mandel’s ‘Station Eleven’. Why? Because post-apocalyptic fiction fires the imagination like nothing else. Pondering what comes next, who would survive, what would life look like?
Much of the best fiction in this popular genre focuses on brain-eating zombies or events unfolding in the USA so Robin determined to write a story set in the UK. His Eureka moment came wandering the shingle beach at Milford-on-sea, inspired by the beauty and rich history of the Solent. Where better to survive the end of the world than a medieval castle surrounded by water?
Robin spent much of his childhood messing about in boats, exploring the many waterways, ports and military forts of the Isle of Wight, where The Hurst Chronicles are set.