When the coronavirus burst on to the American scene in March 2020, the song If the World Was Ending was cycling through the pop station airways. Its theme of finding comfort with an unlikely person at the end of the world (presumably during an earthquake) felt appropriately melancholy, and perhaps reassuring depending on what your situation was. There’s always someone to love us and we find love in desperate moments.
I don’t know if KC Jones has heard that song or not but this book felt like a novel version of it. A weird species of alien has invaded a beach in Oregon, destroying everything in its path. Two broken people who just hooked up for a one-night stand drive over to check it out. Chaos ensues.
What I loved about this book was that it never lost sight of the central relationship. We don’t know much about the two people in the story but we know that they’re going through a lot…even before the invasion. So they form a bond where they have to survive because the other one needs them. It’s romantic at times but really, it’s a romance born of necessity. Jones does a great job highlighting this to add serious tension when they try to survive alien attacks while in and out of their vehicle.
Jones is also great at never letting these two people steer towards caricature. Yeah they’re messed up individuals but they’re not out-and-out cartoons. They feel like real versions of our selves, perhaps at less than our best. This again kept me invested in the book towards the last page.
One of the best things I’ve read that was published this year, I highly recommend it.