My wife bought this Afterblight book from Abaddon Books in a recent apocalyptic-fiction phase of which I wholeheartedly approve. I rattled through it, and it’s definitely one of those addictive stories where you anticipate the next chance to pick it up and dig in.
It’s five years since most of the world’s population has been decimated and we find a new social order in the hands of a sinister cult called the Clergy. Our enigmatic protagonist (and narrator) takes us on a brutal adventure through the shanties and clans of New York. He isn’t an entirely pleasant creature, and deliberately so, and proves to be increasingly fascinating the more we learn.
The characters present all our traits, from the reassuring to the heinous, giving the book an extraordinary sense of humanity; the triumphs and the flaws. This makes the extreme violence all the more shocking, yet at the same time, sometimes understandable.
It’s a very colourful tale that manages to be a homage to the familiar (there’s plenty for fans of Mad Max and Escape from New York here) while also treading fresh, unexplored ground. The pace is relentless and it’s all tied up nicely at the end in a manner that should be irritatingly contrived, but instead just cements a solid story.
This novel has certainly thrust Abaddon books to the forefront of my attention. If you’re not a fan of the tribal, post-apocalyptic futures, you’ll probably think it’s good. If you are, you’ll love it.