Afterblight Chronicles: America — book review

Afterblight Chronicles: America by Simon Spurrier, Rebecca Levene & Al Ewing. Abaddon Books ‘10.99

Reviewed by Carl Barker

Abaddon has published titles in a variety of shared worlds for five years and now seems ideal to begin releasing some omnibus collections. America is taken from the Afterblight Chronicles ‘ one of Abaddon’s first shared worlds to hit the shelves. Here, the world has been devastated by an incurable epidemic, targeting all non-O negative blood types, leaving humanity spread out into a few miserable pockets of existence.

Simon Spurrier’s The Culled was the first of these stories to be written, setting up the back story via a continent-hopping road-trip into the shattered shell of post-epidemic New York ‘ an urban wasteland populated by rival gangs, child-hunters and a megalomaniacal religious sect known as the Church of the New Dawn. Spurrier’s previous background with 2000AD is put to good use here; his nameless hero dealing out death and wanton destruction to all who oppose him as he sets about his hidden agenda, despatching zealots and gang-members with little regard.

Rebecca Levene’s Kill or Cure centres on the female partner of Spurrier’s protagonist and takes a different slant as our heroine is abducted and put to work, researching a new plague which turns survivors into ravenous zombies. The action is more expansive but no less gory as she sets about escaping from her captors, guided by the schizophrenic and psychopathic voice in her head ‘ a consequence of her previous attempts at a cure.

Al Ewing’s Death Got No Mercy brings up the rear of this blood-spattered triumvirate and any cover featuring a man punching a bear in the face will give you some idea of the tone to be found inside. Here, the humour lurches from abyssal black to downright insane as strong and silent muscleman Cade sets about destroying San Francisco from the inside out via a plan which comes across like Fistful of Dollars on acid.

All three of these stories have bolted headlong out of the Mad Max stable of narrative and trampled any deep and meaningful conclusions mercilessly under-hoof. However, if you like your fiction on the far side of bloody with a side-order of death and lashings of ultra-violence then this one’s for you, and at only ‘10.99 a pop, this is definitely value for money.

Afterblight Chronicles: America by Simon Spurrier, Rebecca Levene & Al Ewing. Abaddon Books ‘10.99

Reviewed by Carl Barker

Abaddon has published titles in a variety of shared worlds for five years and now seems ideal to begin releasing some omnibus collections. America is taken from the Afterblight Chronicles ‘ one of Abaddon’s first shared worlds to hit the shelves. Here, the world has been devastated by an incurable epidemic, targeting all non-O negative blood types, leaving humanity spread out into a few miserable pockets of existence.

Simon Spurrier’s The Culled was the first of these stories to be written, setting up the back story via a continent-hopping road-trip into the shattered shell of post-epidemic New York ‘ an urban wasteland populated by rival gangs, child-hunters and a megalomaniacal religious sect known as the Church of the New Dawn. Spurrier’s previous background with 2000AD is put to good use here; his nameless hero dealing out death and wanton destruction to all who oppose him as he sets about his hidden agenda, despatching zealots and gang-members with little regard.

Rebecca Levene’s Kill or Cure centres on the female partner of Spurrier’s protagonist and takes a different slant as our heroine is abducted and put to work, researching a new plague which turns survivors into ravenous zombies. The action is more expansive but no less gory as she sets about escaping from her captors, guided by the schizophrenic and psychopathic voice in her head ‘ a consequence of her previous attempts at a cure.

Al Ewing’s Death Got No Mercy brings up the rear of this blood-spattered triumvirate and any cover featuring a man punching a bear in the face will give you some idea of the tone to be found inside. Here, the humour lurches from abyssal black to downright insane as strong and silent muscleman Cade sets about destroying San Francisco from the inside out via a plan which comes across like Fistful of Dollars on acid.

All three of these stories have bolted headlong out of the Mad Max stable of narrative and trampled any deep and meaningful conclusions mercilessly under-hoof. However, if you like your fiction on the far side of bloody with a side-order of death and lashings of ultra-violence then this one’s for you, and at only ‘10.99 a pop, this is definitely value for money.