eBook, 572 pages
In the newest book from award winning author, SJ Parkinson, The richest man in the world wants to celebrate the July 4th holiday as never before. In a bid to get into the record books, a global fireworks show is staged from orbit. Satellites drop pyrotechnics into the atmosphere, thrilling everyone from the Arctic to the Antarctic with their rich colors and massive explosions in every time zone.My Thoughts:
The next day, people around the globe begin to lose their sight. Governments crumble, society degenerates, and infrastructure falls into chaos. Humanity finds itself stumbling in the dark and losing all hope.
A few fortunate individuals retain their vision. Attempting to deal with the growing despair around them, they come together to discover the true purpose and origin of the affliction. They race to find a cure before the world is subjugated under an invading power.
Twinkle by S. J. Parkinson is a very highly recommended thriller which incorporates a military novel with science fiction.
Sir Marcus Brandon is a multi-billionaire and acknowledged as the richest man in the world, so when he decides to spend a large chunk of his fortune to promote his new Global News Network, GNI. "Global News International will speak the languages of more than half of the globe’s population of seven billion. GNI will also broadcast through the Internet with subtitles and text feeds in several other languages. This will truly be the first global news service, and broadcasts will premiere tomorrow, July fourth.”
The show Brandon promises to celebrate the launch of GNI is truly something spectacular and worthy of his hubris. He announces to the world that starting over Shanghai at ten p.m. their time, "pre-positioned satellites will drop fireworks from orbit. As the Earth rotates, each time zone will see the same show, beginning at ten p.m. I’m assured that the light show will be unlike anything ever seen before. We’ll be setting three world records in the process. It’ll be the largest and most expensive pyrotechnic show ever staged—and the first firework display staged from orbit.”
As promised, every hour a different time zone experiences a fireworks display that fills the whole sky with a never-before seen display. People across the globe are out watching the display. At the same time a more nefarious plan is being put into action. See, Brandon took bids for his one-of-a-kind display and the Chinese won the bid to put the show into orbit. Unknown to Brandon it was also the perfect opportunity for them to put into action a planned invasion.
In a meeting of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist party, a member declares, “Sun Tzu once said, ‘To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence.’ As we execute this endeavor, we should keep this in mind. I find it amusing that this ignorant Englishman is not only providing us with a perfect cover for delivering our warheads, but also paying for the operation in its entirety.” But he goes on to make it clear that they, the Chinese, will be essentially launching an attack against the whole world, although they will publicly be complaining about North Korea.
So, while national defenses around the world become less attentive as they continually detect the heat signature of a missile taking off somewhere every hour the fireworks display goes on, forces in the USA notice "a twentyfold increase in chatter from several Chinese military units along the North Korean border. At the same time, we have activity at several large airports in the Hubei, Henan, and Jiangxi provinces." It seems easy to believe the aggression will be between China and North Korea - until the real problem becomes clear.
The next day, after the fireworks show (where the #twinkle crashes twitter) everyone who watched the show loses their sight. And the Chinese launch a massive invasion of the USA. It is now up to a few people to try and stop the Chinese and find a cure for the mysterious blindness.
At the beginning, with everyone who was watching the nighttime show being blinded, Twinkle really reminded me of The Day of the Triffids. This isn't a bad thing because I love all movie/tv versions of the novel. Don't allow yourself to stop there and stereotype Twinkle as a sci-fi novel based on a well-known previous work. From that point, Twinkle takes off on its own direction. There are a large number of characters and stories that eventually dwindle down and converge into telling what is happening with a few characters.
I found Twinkle to be a perfect thrill-ride of escapism that should especially appeal to those who like military fiction. On a personal note I appreciated the fact that S. J. Parkinson doesn't "incorporate overt sex, profanity, or extreme violence in any of my writing. I prefer the story to be the main focus..." Bravo and well done! The actions of the characters and the story certainly were the focus and it made for a gripping novel. This is a stay-up-all-night-at-the-airport book!
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of the author for review purposes.
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