Saturday, 26 July 2014

Interlude 006

Yesterday’s Gone (Season 1) – Sean Platt & David W Wright

Published 2011

4 stars

On October 15 at 2:15 a.m. everyone on Earth vanished.

Well, almost everyone. A scattered few woke alone in a world where there are no rules other than survival... at any cost.

And there are a few people who aren't surprised that this happened at all. In fact, they've been dreaming about this day for years.

These survivors aren't alone...

Someone or something is watching them. And waiting...

I love watching television programs at the moment. I’m so hooked on so many that I’m collecting up a nice back log of movies. I don’t know when I’ll get round to watching them.

There’s The Walking Dead, Penny Dreadful, Utopia, Orphan Black and Game of Thrones. Of course these are just my favourites. There’s also Helix, The Following, Continuum and Almost Human (well, not anymore). Television is riding a high at the moment with great story telling, high production values and addictive cliff hanger endings.

Last year my love of television style story telling bled out into my writing. For 2013’s NaNoWriMo I wrote a novel divided into ten episode-like novellas. The overall plot of the main book has a single story arc running through it while each of the ten parts has its own story, its own big bad for the hero to fight against. I planned to edit and then release this story next year in ten monthly instalments before putting it all together at a discount much like a DVD box set of your favourite show.

I thought it was a good idea and, although I didn’t look too hard, I couldn’t see anyone else doing it like that at the time.

And then I discovered Sean Platt and David Wright of the Self-Publishing Podcast and found that not only was someone else doing it but that were doing it a lot and they were doing it well.

Yesterday’s Gone is available to purchase season by season (as of now there are four seasons available with a couple more planned). If you’re not sure then there is a ‘pilot episode’, a first novella you can try for free. But be warned; like a TV show this taster, this trial, ends on a cliff hanger . . . so you’ve just got to go onto episode two.

The book itself (season 1) is a fantastic read. Told from multiple viewpoints, each chapter follows one of the cast characters much like the Song of Ice and Fire books do. Sometimes these individuals even meet up and we get some settings from several viewpoints.

Everyone is experiencing the same catastrophe; they all woke up and most of the world’s population is gone. These no real explanation yet and things start getting stranger by the chapter. Despite the fact that it can ‘thin out’ a review, I really don’t want to talk about the things that happen to the characters because it would spoil - a lot. I don’t want to be like that nob from your office who comes in and blabs on about last night’s Game of Thrones, you know, the one that you TiVo’d because you were out at a party and were planning to watch tonight.

I’ll just say it gets strange and then it gets stranger.

Something that impressed me was that none of the characters can be considered ‘filler’; I never felt bored reading a chapter, desperate to get through it and back to someone I preferred. However it took a while early on to remember each character every time the book returned to them.

Before I even started reading yesterday’s Gone I’d heard about a certain character being a fan favourite and I worried that my expectations would be too high when he finally turned up. Thankfully this didn’t happen and Boricio is one of the best characters written in anything I’ve read. Not just for his own thoughts and development but for how he inflicts chaos on the world around him in almost every scene he’s in. I can see actors chomping at the bits to play him in an adaptation. Dark stuff indeed.

So, like a TV show, each episode ends on a cliff hanger with the final episode of the season (episode 6) landing the biggest so far. I’m going to take a break between each box set but I am really looking forward to starting season two.

If you like to read and you like smashing through a DVD box set in a weekend then put your hands together and try Yesterday’s Gone. Post-apocalyptic done well.

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