I think this is the hardest review I have ever written. Nine times out of ten I haven’t even spoken to, let alone met the author of a book I am reviewing, so it is easy to be objective and write my review based on what I have felt just from reading the words on the page. This time is very different. H J Daly is a personal friend, and Pulse is a story I have read MANY times, through various stages of writing, from the first, very rough draft, to the finished product. So I have to admit, I have such a connection to the characters that my views are not based solely on the words on the page, but also on the things I have learned on the very long journey I have taken with them.
The story follows Esa a young girl struggling to survive on the streets of a post apocalyptic England. With the discovery of a ‘magical’ realm made visible by the ‘pulse’, an electrical surge that destroyed all technology, Esa has to be cunning in order to survive. One night while seeking a safe place to sleep, Esa meets a young ‘spinner’, the two become friends, and for the first time in her life she realises how valuable companionship can be in these dangerous times.
Helen does a great job at drawing you in, creating a world easily visualised with her expressive writing. This fast moving story is filled with action, moving swiftly from one event to the next building up to a dramatic conclusion. The characters are well-rounded and individual with strong characteristics, especially Esa our MC. Her years on the street have hardened her, and her inability to trust makes it virtually impossible for her to form relationships. The scenes of her interactions with others are dynamic and sometimes very touching.
Overall I find Pulse to be a great debut novel. Helens story telling ability is plain to see and I find her writing to be exciting with a good flow and varied vocabulary. I would recommend this book to all YA and adult fantasy lovers.
ARC supplied for review