________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 29. . . .March 28, 2014

cover

The War of the Apocalyptics.

Jim McPherson.
Vancouver, BC: Phantacea Publications, 2009.
282 pp., trade pbk., $24.00.
ISBN 978-0-9781342-4-2.

Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up.

Review by Ronald Hore.

** /4

   

excerpt:

Not only had the Cosmic Express exploded, it had seemingly been blown up deliberately. Even more disturbingly, early evidence indicated it hadnít so much exploded as been intercepted and, thereby, expertly deflected betweenspace into the Sedon Sphere, aka Cathonia, the Cathonic Zone or Dome.

Just as remarkably, best guess suggested, some of Vayuís previously illstarred, catasterized or cathonitized siblings in Byron and many more of his cousins in either Thrygragos Lazareme or Thrygragos Varuna Mithras Ė Lazaremists and Mithradites being the other two devazur tribes who shared the same three Great Goddess mothers the Byronics did Ė had been forewarned of its intentional insertion above the Hidden Headworld.

Insertion attained, they had to have seized more than just the opportunity thus presented. They had to have taken physical possession of its 66 occupants, the Expressís so-called cosmiccompanions, male and female humans in nearly equal proportions. At that moment its Gypsium fuel must have activated because the Express separated into its constituent vessels: its hub craft, central control vehicle and six Cosmicars, all or which instantly teleported beyond the Dome, hither and yon.

 

The War of the Apocalyptics is a novel partially based on a 1977-1980 series of comic books written around a Phantacea Mythos. The book consists of a six-page opening section, including a list of other novels by the same author, a table of contents and an opening preamble by the author. The next page is a black and white illustration followed by the story over 265 pages broken into 17 chapters. Then there is a four page authorís afterword, and a 12 page sample chapter from another novel that opens with a B&W cover illustration. Four pages of additional B&W cover illustrations follow.

     The tale is told around a conflict between superhumans, (supras), known as the Damnation Brigade, who possess various powers and who can often take different forms, and the Apocalyptics, immortal and powerful devils. Partially set in Vancouver, the story is full of shape-changing, heroic battles to the death or not, and gory dismemberment. Some of the characters relate to those from familiar ancient mythologies; some leap right out of the authorís vivid imagination.

     The main difficulties I found were that, while the author is quite familiar with his detailed mythology, the story appears to take for granted some knowledge of what has gone on before. There are an almost bewildering number of characters who pop into the story without any background and constant references to past occurrences. There are also several named events or words used that form part of the narrative but do not immediately bring to mind what is being talked about. Much of the tale is told in the form of streams of dialogue between the characters. It might have helped somewhat to have a detailed character reference bio provided at the end along with a glossary of the more uncommon words and phrases.

     More suitable for a reader already familiar with the mythos of the comic books on which the novel is based or someone who enjoys untangling a very complex web to get at the core of the story.

Recommended.

Ronald Hore, a member of several writing groups, writes medieval-style fantasy and fantasy detective stories in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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