Review - One by Conrad Williams

One - Conrad Williams

I'm not sure what to make of this.

I'm no stranger to apocalyptic fiction, and this one was a new path to venture down. It's gritty, unforgiving and brutal. What a nightmare.

But it isn't complete, I don't think. I understand that our 'hero' doesn't know what happened to cause the apocalypse, therefore we the reader don't know either, but there's more to it than that. We find out who the biggest threats are, and we're told how they came into being and what they're about. We're told what a struggle it is for humans to function and what makes things difficult to survive. We're even told how the rats have somehow thrived and taken on a new mantle of bold and fearless hive mentality. But there is a bit of cloak and dagger going on with the mysterious people with white scarfs and tattoo's and six fingers that seem to be lurking in the background. Who are they? Where did they come from? Are they good or bad? Why? What is their story? Should I pay them more attention. It's just doesn't add up.

At the end I'm left wondering what actually happened. I sometimes like a bit of ambiguity at the end of a story, where you wonder if it will all come right in the end, beyond the final page - but with this tale I'm actually wondering what happened DURING the final pages. Was it the human survivors that ran to the rescue? Or the mysterious white scarfs? Or a combination? Seriously, if you know, please let me in on it because it's annoying the hell out of me.

So, in summary......I liked it enough to keep turning pages but I'd have liked it more if I wasn't asked to guess at certain elements significance and role in the story.

Read it, it's quite good. But then come back and fill me in on all the missing bits. Please.