Disclaimer: I cannot talk about one of these novels without talking about all of them (although in the image I have left out two of the stand alone books attached to the series) so this review will cover the entire Project Renova Series written by Terry Tyler.
Before pandemonium set her sights on our very real world, Terry Tyler published Tipping Point, the first of her Project Renova books, back in 2017. In the following years she published the sequels Lindisfarne, UK2 and Legacy (with a stand alone anthology of short stories, Patient Zero, between the last two novels).
The resulting series is nothing short of an apocalyptic masterpiece.
It begins in the year 2024, when a virulent and deadly strain of flu, initially transmitted by bats, finds its way into the population. Within a very short time, a pandemic is declared and no containment strategy is capable of stopping the virus from killing everyone who wasn’t able to get the vaccine in time. The premise is a simple one. Throw a deadly virus into a large population with limited immunity and watch disaster unfold.
As we watch the story being revealed from the different character perspectives, we come to learn more about the people behind the outbreak, and also how uncontrollable ‘controlled population thinning’ actually is. As any experiment shows, the margin for human error is always greater than you plan for.
I have read a large number of apocalyptic series before and am a huge fan of this genre, so I must admit I was not expecting anything too surprising when I started reading the series on the advice of a friend who had been raving about it for a while. But I have to say that this series blew me away.
It isn’t the premise that suprised me. There have been a number of ‘deadly illness wipes out most of the planet’ stories before in Stephen King’s The Stand, Max Brook’s World War Z and Michael Crichton’s Andromeda Strain, to name a few of the household favourites. What suprised me, and sucked me into a vortex that wouldn’t let go, was the meticulous and elaborate web of criss-crossing relationships. Each character in the series, and these families span generations, is so exquisitely drawn and so clearly defined by both lineage and independence that the mind reels at the sheer amount of planning and detail that must have gone into crafting these story lines.
Added to that, the world is built with such clear and realistic detail that it seems the author thought of absolutely everything that could or would happen to someone in this near future world.
Needless to say, it is one of the best apocalyptic series I have read and I thoroughly recommend anyone to read the entire series, preferably having enough time to read it all in one go.