In my experience, people are creatures of habit and generally stick to what they know; and I’m no exception. I love horror and reading fiction from outwith the genre is really a rarity for me. There is quite often a degree of cross-over with the science-fiction and horror genres which led me to reading Trust by David Moody: the British writer behind the massively popular Autumn series and Hater, the film rights to which were snapped up by Guillermo del Toro.
The book sleeve offers the following by way of introduction:
“Stephen Hawking said “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”
A world brought up on stories of invasions and wars with other planets is asked to open its arms to three hundred aliens who are stranded in their crippled mining ship. The eyes of the entire world are focused on the village of Thatcham: the site of the first confirmed contact with an alien species.
Their arrival affects everyone. Barriers are broken down, perspectives are altered, and the life of every single person on the planet is changed forever as science-fiction becomes science-fact.
But not everyone is convinced. Some people are more cautious. Tom Winter knows that if he’s right about the aliens, more than seven billion others are wrong.”
There is little in the way of preamble, with the book effectively opening minutes before the alien vessel enters the Earth’s atmosphere. From this powerful opening, Moody then turns his focus around on to the human characters of Trust and embarks on an exploration of the human condition relating to paranoia, racism, and of course, trust. While reading Trust, the reader cannot help but empathise with Moody’s protagonist and be drawn into the story, questioning whether Tom Winter’s suspicions are based on xenophobia or actually have some foundation.
It’s now been two weeks since I finished reading Trust and I still can’t quite put my finger on what makes it, in my humble opinion, an instant classic. Moody has, as with the Autumn series, taken a group of very ordinary people and thrust them into a very extraordinary set of circumstances, yet makes it all so believable. The characters going about their daily business, jobs, relationships, dealing with financial woes contrasts sharply with and enhances the closing chapters of the book.
Trust has been described as “anti sci-fi” by some critics and perhaps rightly so. Trust is an atypical sci-fi story, setting aside many genre cliches while directly referencing the film and TV shows that have shaped contemporary audiences notions of alien lifeforms coming to earth such as V, Alien Nation, War of the Worlds, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Independence Day. However, I can guarantee that you will never have read anything like Trust before…
Being objective, Trust will not be for everyone. Moody has a talent for taking his time with telling a story, developing it fully, before building to climactic and even shocking finales in his work and Trust continues this form. Those who don’t have the patience for such efforts and are seeking a less cerebral, more action-driven plot would do well to look elsewhere. For those looking for something a little different, infinitely more satisfying and thought-provoking, get yourself a copy of Trust at your earliest convenience.