Sunday, 27 September 2015

Anna Reviews: GodBomb! by Kit Power



***The author, Kit Power, has kindly offered a copy to gift to one lucky winner! Please see below for details about the giveaway to be drawn on the 5th October!***




Some people know how to write disturbing texts…Like a pebble in your shoe, Mr Power’s prose gnaws and gnaws, until it is quite unbearable, but at the same time so addictive there is no way in hell one can put the book down. Hell is actually quite a good word to use when thinking about this book. But then, so is God and love. Strange? Bear with me.
  It is 1995, and a group of people have assembled in the community centre of a small town somewhere in the English backwater. All of the people present are there because of God. Well, that is not quite true. Some, like Deborah, have been carted there by her parents who hope their daughter can be miraculously cured if she finds her faith. Others, like Alex, are there to protest homophobic tendencies in the upcoming sermon. Some are just bored, had nothing else to do, really. Emma and Peter are there because their baby is due any day and they love God, believe in Him, need Him. Mike is there to play the sax – but also because this is where he wants to be, close to God who speaks regularly to him. The preacher is there to convert, bring one more sinner to the light. And Isaac…No, let’s leave Isaac alone.
  Seventy odd people assembled and the preacher begins to speak. A young man in the audience shifts restlessly on his seat, is clearly anxious, and the preacher, well-acquainted with the signs, zeroes in on him. This young man may be the one closest to redemption, the one most desperate for grace. Just what the preacher needs, a person with that hungry look in his eyes, all of him begging to be saved. The preacher smiles encouragingly, coaxing the lad to speak. He knows what the question will be – it is always the same question, more or less. At long last, the lad whispers an anguished “do you believe God is real?” People around him titter, are quelled by the preacher’s look – this is a potential convert, for Christ’s sake!
  The preacher assures the boy he believes God to be real – no, he goes one step further and says he knows God exists. When he asks the lad’s opinion, he gets an “I don’t know” in reply. “I came here to find out,” the young man adds. The preacher almost cartwheels – this is going to be easy, like taking candy from a kid. He invites the young man to join him on the stage, saying God will give him the answers he needs.
  “You promise?” The kid is bolt upright now, almost rigid, face rippling with emotions. “I can talk to God? He’ll come talk to me?”
  And that, dear people, is when the preacher makes his second mistake. The first was to zero in on the young man. Now he nods, assuring the young man God is already here, and yes, of course this young seeker will hear his voice.
  “I hope you’re right, preacher, I surely do.” As he talks, his hands pop up from his pockets. The left is just a closed fist, but the right contains a lump of black plastic, with a wire running up his sleeve.
And so begins a nightmare for the people who came to hear the word of God, and instead stand face to face with Armageddon, as represented by a young man with a bomb vest and enough explosives to blow them all sky-high.  Unless God speaks directly to him, the young man says, he will release the switch and condemn them all to death. So, he adds, it is up to the congregation before him to pray to God and ask Him to contact the bomber directly.
  All of this happens within the first few pages of the book. What follows next is an excruciating drama, told through various POVs as the people trapped with the bomber try to work out what to do. Pray and hope for the best? Turns out very few have that kind of faith – in fact, with the exception of Emma and Peter, very few seem to believe in God. Well, Deborah does, she discovers, but she hates God. It’s His fault she ended up in a wheelchair seven years ago, when she was only thirteen. And Mike does, of course. Oh yes, Mike believes in God, puts his life in God’s hands, and whether that helps him or not is something I leave for the readers to discover for themselves.
  The bomber is genuine in his need to find out. Mr Power has avoided the pitfall of making the bomber a caricatured evil maniac. No, this bomber desperately wants to hear God’s voice, hopes that God will speak to him so as to save all these innocent lives. He vacillates between compassion and anger, one moment he is leaning over a man suffering a major fit, the next he casually eviscerates someone who annoys him. Yup. Eviscerates – more or less.

  He taunts Deborah, stuck in her wheelchair, wondering what good it’s done her to pray to God, to hope for healing. Nothing, Deborah replies – which is when she realises just how much she hates God, so much in fact, that the anger coursing through her causes her toes to twitch for the first time in seven years – a miracle?
  Emma goes into labour, and the bomber doesn’t want things to be like this, apologises for doing this to her, but what can he do? He needs answers, and he needs them now. Mr Power does a masterful job of depicting the bomber’s anguish: on the one hand, he is determined to blow them all up with him, but on the other, he is fully aware that these people have done him no wrong, and now there’s going to be a baby as well?
  Six hours in hell. Six hours of sitting in a claustrophobic room, some trying to pray, others just waiting.  Of course, someone in the congregation decides to act. Death is staring them straight in the face, and unless someone does something they’ll all go up in a bang. Alex doesn’t want to go up in a bang – but she has no faith in God, so she isn’t exactly expecting Him to come to their rescue. As a reader, I can’t but smile crookedly, remembering that old adage “God helps those who help themselves.”
  I will not reveal what happens. I will just share with you that rarely have I been so engrossed in a book. I read and read and read, I hoped and prayed, I sighed and cursed. The various characters are brought to vivid life by Mr Power, their distinctive voices blending into something that very quickly begins to sound as a Requiem. Whether it is or not, is not for me to tell. I urge you instead to pick up GodBomb! and read it for yourself, and while you’re at it you may have to confront your own beliefs, your own fears.


  Does God exist? Well some events in this book definitely point to the answer being yes. Others indicate the reverse. And if God does exist, is he benign? The bomber wants to know – by the end of the book, you will also want to know, while mulling over the unexpected ending.
  I have read Mr Power before, have been swept away by his mastery of language, his way of wiggling into the brain of his characters until you’re quite sure you’re sitting in their head, privy to their every thought. In this book, his obvious writing skills come together with a magnificently constructed plot. The result is dark and explosive. I can but congratulate Mr Power on this little masterpiece, an emotional rollercoaster that left me quite incapable of even drinking my tea – I just couldn’t tear my eyes away from the text.


About the author

Kit Power lives in Milton Keynes, England, and insists he’s fine with that. His short fiction has been widely submitted, and occasionally published, including in Splatterpunk magazine, The 'At Hells Gate' anthology series, and most recently by The Sinister Horror Company as part of 'The Black Room Manuscripts' anthology. His short story collection 'A Warning About Your Future Enslavement That You Will Dismiss As A Collection Of Short Ficton: Not A Novel: A Novel' will be released by Double Life Press in October 2015. Those of you who enjoy near-professional levels of prevarication are invited to check out his blog at:
http://www.kitpowerwriter.blogspot.co.uk/

He is also the lead singer and chief lyricist for legendary rock band The Disciples Of Gonzo, who have thus far managed to avoid world-conquering fame and fortune, though it’s clearly only a matter of time. They lurk online at:
http://www.disciplesofgonzo.com/
GodBomb! is available on Amazon UK and Amazon.com

To win a copy of this gripping tale, please leave a comment or if you prefer , leave a comment on our Facebook page
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Anna Belfrage is the author of eight published books, all part of the acclaimed The Graham Saga. Set in the 17th century, the books tell the story of Matthew Graham and his time-travelling wife, Alex Lind. Anna can be found on amazon, twitter, facebook and on her website. 

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7 comments:

  1. Great review - and it sounds like a challenging read.

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  2. Sharon Bennett Connolly28 September 2015 at 11:14

    Great review - the book sounds amazing.

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  3. I am happy to hear about this one.

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  4. Phew !!!!!
    Great Review, sounds like a book you don't want to put down, had shivers running up and down my spine just reading the review.

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  5. Sounds like an absolute corker of a novel, me want!

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  6. It's already been said but a great review, thanks. I would love to read this.

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