who knew joseph d’lacey had chops??
see, i have come across his name before. in fact, i own both
because they looked like such good/bad horror novels: cannibalism and creepiness, and i figured when i needed a dose of splatter-horror, they would be there waiting for me.
but i may have misjudged.
because this book is actually good-good, not some campy b-movie book that is junk food for the brain. and looking more closely at his other books, seeing them labeled as “eco-horror,” this book begins to make more sense in the parade of his ouevre.
because this one is eco-pocalypse.
it is darkly entertaining, and there is story and style and substance. this is the real thing.
there are two narratives woven together: the story of gordon black, which takes place just as the earth is beginning to lash out at humanity’s transgressions and return the abuse it has suffered for so long. and the story of megan maurice, who lives generations after gordon, in a tech-free, agrarian environment, where the skeletons of cities can still be seen in the far-off distance, like a less-touristy acropolis.
gordon is either the boy who is going to save the world, to hasten its destruction, or both.
megan is the one chosen to tell his story for posterity.
their narratives are linked by the shadowy and ambiguous figure of the crowman. like gordon, his purpose is shrouded in mystery. he appears in visions, in dreams, in lore, but no one can truly define his significance.
and this book isn’t going to give you the answers, either. not yet.
but it is going to dish out two equally engaging coming-of-age, fulfilling-of-prophecy narratives that are gripping and bleak and just crackling good prose.
there is also a fair amount of ocular damage. seriously, as someone who cannot even watch someone use eyedrops or put in/take out contact lenses, this one was a shiveringly squeamish good time.
(GIS was a bad idea. i am using this gentle one, and for that, you should just say “thank you.”)
this is the first in what i understand is going to be a two-part cycle, so there are going to be a lot of unanswered questions at the end. but it doesn’t feel unsatisfying, because the story that it does contain is great, and page-turning and action-packed, and only occasionally does it get a little finger-wagging preachy.
i am definitely going to be all over the sequel to this one.