Title: ‘48

Author: James Herbert

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 342

Rating: 3.5/5

The plot of this one is the kind of thing that I’d normally be into, and so I was looking forward to picking this one up, even though I wasn’t super keen on the format that I had because it was part of a bind-up. Weirdly, the book it was presented alongside was in the middle of a series, so I had to track down the earlier books and read those first so that I could finish it off.

Basically, this is an alternate history novel that’s set in London in 1948 after Hitler launched some biological warfare rockets that led to the blood death, in which people die unless they have A/B blood.

Because of that, it’s a post-apocalyptic (or at the very least post-cataclysmic) novel with a grounding in history, following a small group of survivors as they try to hide from neo-Nazi blackshirts. There are rotting corpses everywhere and half of London has been destroyed because of things like leaking gas mains.

It was okay, I guess, but it wasn’t one of Herbert’s best. For whatever reason, I didn’t get too absorbed in the story, and I found myself not really caring about the characters or what happened to them. I think part of it is because of the way that it started, which was with an action sequence. I found it difficult to “fall into” the story with it starting out like that. It’s weird to read about someone running for their life when you don’t know whether they deserve what’s coming to them.

But still, as a general rule, it was a pretty good read, as it always is when you read a James Herbert book. It’s just that by this point, I’m about half way through the guy’s back catalogue and there have been so many better books than this one. It’s funny because I seem to enjoy his books most when the concept doesn’t speak to me.

Learn more about ’48.