“Nothing prepared us for the last day.”

Death has swept away the lives of billions of people, but Dan and his family were spared. By whom, and why?
Surviving, to give meaning to their lives, and looking for other survivors lead Dan to discover the truth about the extermination of the human race.
The encounter with Laura, a young and sexy girl of Italian origin, raises ethical and moral questions that had never touched the Amentas family before.
Other survivors force Dan to confront his past to find answers to the many questions.
The past and the present come together and upset the fragile balance, physical and mental, which allowed the Amentas to find a new meaning to their existence.
Dan discovers his final role in a plan with a million years of roots, and survivors have to choose a future that has no past, or remain in a past with no future.

Many thanks to the author for gifting me this book in exchange for a review.

DAIMONES is unusual because it’s a thinking man’s science fiction story. The plot is familiar; aliens annhilating the population of Earth, save a few chosen ones. The difference here is that the main characters realize the implications of why it occurred and understand that they need to adapt.

Marino’s writing style is descriptive and puts you directly into the deserted world. Familiar landmarks such as the CERN building fall silent as they are devoid of human life. Nature slowly takes over, as weeds and animal life proliferate, even as Dan and his family despair of ever coming in contact with another human.

This strength is also his weakness. In Book One, most of the first half is taken up by more of the same: empty malls, stores, roads without traffic, and many conversations between the survivors about “why did this happen” and “what can we do”. I grew weary of the minimal action and navel gazing. Yes, it is an apocalyptic event, but the pace was quite slow until Laura was discovered and welcomed into the family. Perhaps Marino spent so much detail on the abandoned Earth because he really wanted to drive the point home of how it would be if everyone vanished. He firmly establishes the POV of the novel as a lonely, eerie, and hushed place to be. The world struck dumb is not an easy thing to imagine, especially if you live in a crowded area. As I read, I certainly felt the sense of alone-ness growing around me, as I simultaneously felt cut off from the planet yet annoyed that the book wasn’t moving forward fast enough for me.

When things do start happening, everything speeds up all at once. Dan and his wife encounter a moral dilemma, daughter Annah is going through her young adult years realizing she may never have someone to love, and Dan starts to experience vague “feelings” that they are not alone anymore. Annah’s plight resonated deeply with me; I can’t even imagine being a teen, cut off from friends and Facebook, wondering if the future holds anything promising. Excellent touch by the author!

The final section of the book is where Marino uses his alien characters to wax poetic about the future of the Earth and its population. One speech in particular is a kind of soapbox that will resonate with those who care about the prevalence of man’s hubris and over-reaching grasp. The cause of the mass kill off is explained, with the caveat that it can be prevented again with the proper actions. I liked how history was tied in with the narrative; it made it believeable  and relevant.

DAIMONES is not a book to quickly read and put aside. The author wants to call attention to man’s actions and reactions, and the effects they have upon our life. Those readers who like a little brain stimulation with their sci-fi will have something to ponder as they get through this book.

Want your own copy? You can pick it up [easyazon_link identifier=”B0134E5Q0M” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″]here[/easyazon_link].