Tuesday, August 04, 2009

World's End by Chadbourn review at SFFWorld

Some writers take longer to get to the US than others, even when their books are critically acclaimed and sell well. The latest author who fits this mold is Mark Chadbourn, whose Age of Misrule trilogy was unleashed to US readers over a three month period by the fine folks at Pyr. With a beautifully designed thematic cover scheme for all three books, they can now sit on your shelves like they are sitting in my house.

Which leads me to the review I just posted of World’s End:
Mark Chadbourn brings back the gods and myths of Celtic lore in World’s End, the first novel in his Age of Misrule trilogy. The novel takes place primarily in England as strangers are drawn together against the dark returning gods. Jack “Church” Churchill is a tormented man, unable to let go of the grief he holds over his girlfriend’s suicide two years prior to the beginning of the novel. When he’s on a late night walk, he witnesses a strange encounter – one man is being attacked by something that can only be described as a monster. Jack isn’t the only witness; disillusioned lawyer Ruth Gallagher also witnesses the attack, but due to its grisly and shocking nature both pass out.

Chadbourn is doing a lot of things well in this opening volume – he keeps a nice amount of tension and manages to tow a good line in terms of revealing things in slow doses. With Church and Ruth as our protagonists, Chadbourn allows the reader to discover and awe at the great transformation in which the world is undergoing. In one sense, Chadbourn is playing with archetypical characters – Church as the hero, Ruth as the witchy-woman, Veitch as rouge, Tom as the advisor who ‘reveals-the-world-of-magic-slowly’.

Over the next two weeks, I'll be posting reviews of the second (Darkest Hour) and third book (Always Forever) in the series.

Cover artist and designer John Picacio created some of his best artwork for these books, (check out this awesome collaborative overview on Tor.com by Picacio, Lou Anders of Pyr and Mark Chadbourn) I just love the image of Cernunnos on the cover of book one.

No comments: