By Shankari Chandran
Published May 30th 2017
by Macmillan Australia
Paperback, 320 pages
Check out my interview with the lovely Shankari Chandran here.
So I have been attempting and failing to write this review for awhile now…. I really just want to do this book justice, because it really is a great book!
I will admit that this is not a book I would generally read, mostly due to bad experiences with other books based on the same topic. But I am so glad that I got the opportunity to delve into this world.
This near-future thriller is set in a world that has been ravaged by war and disease. This had led to a divided world, the West and the East.
The war between the countries in the East led to an Ebola out break which nearly wiped out mankind. However the West managed to create an effective immunisation, which if taken regulary will prevent another outbreak of Ebola. But at what cost?
What happens when Faith and Religion is removed from the East? The West have created the perfect cure for Ebola…. and Religion. Does removing a countries Faith and in turn Religion really make for a peaceful world? What are the consequences that come with tampering with a humans spirit and brain in such a significant manner? Well you should definitely read this book to find out.
The author has done an amazing job at creating a near-future world that is scarily believable, like these things could actually happen! Especially with the way the world is going at the moment…
Anyway back to the world, it is believable and not over the top. As it is set in the near-future it is nice to see that the author has kept the world realistic. Sorry guys no hover boards or flying cars in 2025. The Eastern world was lost the majority of their population, however they still outnumber the citizens of the Western world. The Western world has gained power, mostly due to the vaccine, this has led to restrictions being put in place and a ‘wall’ created to ensure information from one side cannot be accessed by the other.
I ended up emotionally invested with the characters in this book, some of them anyway. The majority of the characters are borderline psychopaths, with a tendency for torture and murder. This is expected to be able to survive and thrive in their jobs and also the world they now live in. Throughout the book there are flashbacks which creates a depth to the characters as we learn about what has lead them to this point in their lives.
The people in this book apparently have the best intentions for the human race, this of course is as long as they can maintain control of both sides. What happens though when this control is in jeopardy, who will suffer so the new world order can be maintained? This story highlights how power can be used and abused.
This book is kept me wanting more! The author has managed to create an in depth world, with some crazy science in it, yet still managed to keep the story thrilling and captivating. It was an easy read, no crazy science mumbo-jumbo here, that keeps you guessing, I highly recommend it to everyone!
I would like to thank the author and lovely people at Macmillan Australia for providing me with a copy of this book.
About the Book…
War, disease, biotechnology and religion intertwine in a gripping near-future thriller.
Twenty years ago an Ebola epidemic brought the world to the edge of oblivion. The West won the war, the East was isolated behind a wall, and a vaccine against Ebola was developed. Peace prevailed. Now Agent Noah Williams is being sent over the barrier to investigate a rogue scientist who risks releasing another plague. But why would a once-respected academic threaten the enforced vaccination program that ensures humans are no longer an endangered species?
Hunting for answers amid shootouts, espionage and murder, Noah will have to confront a fundamental question: In the fight for survival, can our humanity survive too?
Set in the year 2040, within a complex, volatile political climate that is wholly immersive and unnerving, The Barrier is a blazing, fast-paced thriller in the vein of Michael Crichton and Matthew Reilly; with the subversiveness of John le Carre. But also, one man’s story of overcoming grief in order to recapture his faith.
About the Author…
Shankari Chandran is a dystopic thriller writer and a lawyer.
Shankari worked in the social justice field for a decade in London. She was responsible for projects in over 30 countries ranging from ensuring representation for detainees in Guantanamo Bay to training lawyers in Rwanda to advising UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Her work helped her understand the role and limitations of international humanitarian law in conflicts. It also showed her what happens to society when governments subvert civil liberties. These issues form major themes in her writing.
Shankari wanted to write from childhood but kept her stories and her courage inside her head for a long time. She finally committed to creative writing when faced with the dual upheavals of migrating from London back to her home in Australia, and the birth of her fourth child in 2010.
She started with blogging for Mamamia.com.au where she became a columnist, writing on parenthood and multiculturalism. She quickly realised that 500 words was not enough and she began her first novel in 2012.
In January 2017, she published her first book, Song of the Sun God with Perera-Hussein. Her second book, The Barrier, was published by Pan Macmillan Australia in June 2017.
It asks, what would happen to the world if an Ebola pandemic and religious wars converged?
Shankari is now researching her third book, a thriller also set in Sri Lanka, because she can’t leave the place alone. She has created a character she hopes will have many adventures and books.
Shankari lives in Sydney with her husband, her four children and their cavoodle puppy, Benji.