Clayton Riddell was practically skipping down the street in Boston when the event that would come to be known as the PULSE took place.
As is the norm with horror fiction Clayton starts the novel feeling good, very good in fact. He’s just sold his first graphic novel and was heading back to Maine to reconcile with his estranged wife Sharon.
A lady lifts a cell phone to her ear and suddenly sinks her teeth into her friend’s neck. Blood erupts like a geyser. Further along the street a man bites the head off a dog, a plane comes plummeting from the sky and the streets ran red with freshly spilled blood.
Clay seeks safety in his hotel, here he finds another man, Tom, and a fifteen year old girl who’s being attacked by her own mother. Our hero grabs a metal spike and rams it into the crazed woman’s carotid artery.
Our three heroes head out of the city in the cover of darkness and head north, passing countless unspeakable horrors in their way, all of which Stwphen King is more than happy to describe in vivid detail.
The adventure continues with drastic fatalities along the way and a conclusion left up to the readers mind, suffice to say this is not King at his very best.
If you’ve read a bunch of other King novels you’ll see a lot of recycled ideas as you make your way through Cells small scale quest also makes for a tiring read, though I think that’s King’s intention as he paints us a possible future of two wildly different outcomes.
Cell is about survival but it’s also about a war, a war with two sides that will give no mercy or quarter to the other, a war that will decide the fate of humanity.
I liked the storyline of Cell and its action was visceral and had an emotional punch like few others, but they were few and far between. This is a slow book and one that needed an extra edit to take away the unnecessary fat. It could also have done with a rewrite to make some of the characters less annoying.
Overall it’s a decent introduction into King’s writing, it was after all what first got me into the horror genius, but you must remember he’s written far better than this. Then again he’s written far worse too.