By: Terry Tyler
Have you ever truly considered how you would react to an apocalypse? How would you really respond to widespread destruction or disaster? Most human beings pride themselves on their inherent kind and benevolent nature. A unique human ability to live according to a strong sense of morality which has us look out for the welfare and well being of others. However, what if these human beings we once sought to help and protect are now pitted against us in a struggle for survival? Would you still follow that lofty moral standard? Or would you sink to a new depth as you clash and skirmish for your very life? Neighbor versus neighbor! How do you think you would fare if faced with such a predicament? If such a potential phenomenon intrigues you, then Tipping Point by Terry Tyler is absolutely a must read!
The story begins by introducing us to our main protagonist, Vicky. She is living an idyllic life with her daughter Lottie and boyfriend Dex in the beautiful coastal community of Shipden. Life is quite perfect in Shipden and Vicky describes herself as “the happiest woman in the world,” living in a perfectly “grand” community. Unfortunately for Vicky and crew, it is also the ideal setting for impending doom and horror.
From early on in the tale we are able to see that things are not quite right. As an alternative to the popular social media platforms which have continually violated the privacy of their users, a new popular social networking site by the name of Private Life arrives. Promising to protect the privacy of their users, Private Life becomes incredibly popular. However, everything may not be as it seems and this possibility takes Dex away to work for an underground group named Unicorn.
A deadly virus has been discovered and is quickly spreading. The members of the Unicorn Group believe this to be a carefully planned conspiracy. Could this truly be the case? If so…what does Private Life have to do with it? When the virus hits the peaceful community of shipden, we begin to find out. With Dex gone to work for Unicorn, Vicky and Lottie must escape Shipden and fight for their very existence. What they see beyond the coastal community is more horrific than anyone could have ever imagined. Will they find Dex and be able to exist in this new world? Or will they become two more casualties in an operation gone wrong?
I found this novel to be quite brilliant in a variety of ways. While it can be categorized as a dystopian novel, it is far too complex and sagacious to be pigeonholed in such a fashion. The author shows how quickly society breaks down after it arrives at the “tipping point.” Anarchy, barbarity and sorrow quickly follow. However, while it would have been easy to simply focus upon the chaos and terror which this societal breakdown brings forth, that is not the case with this novel. The plot clearly concentrates upon the good versus evil theme. It reveals how even in the worst and most horrific of times, good remains rooted in the core of many individuals and cannot be extinguished. As a reader it makes you wonder which camp you would fall into. That is true engagement!
Terry Tyler’s writing is beautiful and has a wonderful flow to it. She weaves this craft throughout the novel, providing an excellent pace and explanation to the plot which keeps the reader enthralled and glued to the pages. She also provides a host of characters who are developed in great depth. Presented in the First Person, we are able to gain access to many of their innermost thoughts and fears. We see their bravery and their flaws as they negotiate this new world. Also, many of the characters actually complement one another very well and feed off each other’s strengths and needs. The reader will certainly identify with certain characters as they picture themselves in this new world.
Speaking of new worlds, Terry Tyler does an excellent job of depicting the setting. For the reader to be engaged and involved in the tale, it has to be authentic and believable. We have to be able to visualize ourselves in this place. Tyler is able to present the setting in such a way that this is thoroughly accomplished with details that are paced in such a way that they do not risk losing the attention of the reader. In fact, the story has so many parallels with current society that it is entirely conceivable, convincing and chilling. For this to happen in a novel requires a lot of forethought and research. Ms. Tyler has obviously done her homework and has managed to capture and expose many of our own innermost fears and use them to create this world. Well done!
I would recommend this story for a Young Adult and up audience. There is little doubt all ages will enjoy it as it is written so well. There is obviously violence in the novel and some of it sexual in nature so be forewarned.
If you are looking for an exceptionally well written and intelligent story which will engage you from start to finish, then I suggest you consider Tipping Point!
5 out of 5 Convincing and Chilling stars for this one! *****