CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 29. . . .March 28, 2014
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.
Ronald Hore, a member of several writing groups, writes medieval-style fantasy and fantasy detective stories in Winnipeg, MB.
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