Author: Mike Kuykendall Release Date: 1st September 2014 Series: Stand alone Genre: Dystopian | Post-Apocalyptic Edition: Kindle Pages: 384 (4523 Kindle pages) Publisher: Createspace Source: Author Buy it here: Amazon
A gamma ray burst starts civilization crumbling, and a suicidal little girl must embrace her inner darkness to survive. Through death and fire, Rebecca Wilder has been reborn. Will her destructive revenge take the world with it, or can a twelve-year old girl salvage her humanity and stop nuclear annihilation? Kali – Destroyer of Worlds follows Becky’s journey as she confronts the horrors that are left behind after the world ends.
With an opening scene of Becca running and bleeding after slitting her wrist in a suicide attempt, the story begins at a fast pace. As she transforms from Becca to her Kali persona, there was a definite energy that I felt as a reader in understanding what this metamorphosis means for her survival.
“Kali has awakened a deep supernatural fear”
As the story comes together, all my questions were answered. I think the author is very imaginative because the plot is outrageously wild, but it all seemed to make sense in a way. Gamma rays causing destruction, mutation, acid rain, and death? Seems plausible.
While reading, I sympathized somewhat with the survivors of the gamma rays because I knew they did not know what was happening. All they knew was that the majority of the people died and for whatever reason they were left to endure the aftereffects.
In the book, I felt that there was adequate character development. The focus was on Becca/Kali, of course. In the beginning, she found a way to cope with self-inflicted trauma. Inside her mind the strong (Kali) and the weak (Becca) had to learn how to live together to survive the end of the world. Some of the things that she does as Kali caused such a visceral reaction in me that I had to put the book down to process all what happened.
The gamma rays affect people in very different ways and it is interesting to see how those who survived interact with one another. My favorite character was Ernest because he makes the most improvement in my opinion. He was known as the town drunk, but he did not dwell on what he had been. He stepped up to become a leader and authority figure when everyone else was confused about what to do.
The people on the International Space Station were the heroes that saved the day in my opinion. They were the only ones who understood what happened and took measures to ensure the earth was not further damaged than it already was after the gamma rays.
“If humanity was going through half of what he imagined down there, then they were gods now.”
The story was gory but I would not categorize it as gratuitous. Kali killed when she felt threatened.
“It displayed a deep cunning, a raw brilliance for slaughter and things that needed doing in this world since the Apocalypse.”
Nevertheless, I had a strong reaction to the violence because it was so descriptive. Kali killed a lot of people with her long blade from a paper cutter. The scenes were so graphic; I could see the bloody goriness unfolding as if I was watching it.
Considering this was a post-apocalyptic thriller focusing on the loss of humanity, it understandable that some people were senselessly killed because fear overrode common sense in a few scenarios.
The author wrote the story in a way that was not overly complex but still conveyed the message of bleakness. I felt that the writing describing the thoughts of Becca/Kali was appropriate for her age.
Some of the explanations from the scientists about what was happening were a little confusing but that was because I do not know much about the International Space Station or global nuclear programs. However, after re-reading some of the passages, I had a better idea of what was happening and what the scientists were trying to accomplish.
The beginning was fast paced, like an adrenaline rush. I liked that because it got right into the action and Becca’s transformation. The momentum continued for most of the book. That is what made the book interesting to read despite the violence.
The ending was unexpected and somewhat unsatisfying. After everything that happened I felt like we (Becca/Kali and I) needed a more eventful ending. The book has so much energy but it ended in an anticlimactic way. It was fitting, ironic, and totally unexpected.
The cover of the book does not give much indication of how gruesome Kali becomes but I could tell that the book would have an ominous feel to it.
While the blurb accurately provides some insight as to what the book was about, I would not say that Becca/Kali does anything to “stop nuclear annihilation”. When Becca/Kali does embrace her inner darkness, it was beyond what I imagined could have happened. In any case, it is definitely a “bloody, satisfying, non-stop thriller”.
Opening Line: Oh shit oh shit oh shit.
Highlights: Good story with an inventive plot
Lowlights: The gruesome descriptions
Final Thoughts: If you like post-apocalyptic thrillers, you will enjoy this book.
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