30 November 2011
City of Hell Chronicles Vol1
The blurb: The Ant-Headed Old One ‘The Great Maurr’ has risen and brought hell to earth. The land is scorched and the human race decimated, eaten or tortured. Only three cities remain, a crumbled, dying version of their former selves: London, Moscow and Hong Kong. The Great Maurr’s own City of Hell dominates most of North America. Its diabolical influence has turned ordinary citizens into torturers, debased slaves, lunatics and zealots.
City of Hell is, as can be gathered from the title, a collection of pretty awesome horror stories. Not my usual cup of tea I must say, but I always like to read new things. Maurr has come to earth to destroy and dominate. Seven writers tell of these trying times.
I must say, it took me a good run to get into the premise of the book. Not reading a lot of horror and not reading a lot of short stories made this quite an interesting read The first story, Genesis by Colin F. Barnes, tells of the coming of Maurr and his minions, with a pretty cool device playing a central role that I would have loved to read some more about.
Medical Report by Victoria Griesdoorn was done awesomely. It's written as a report, and thus most of the emotional reactions is left out, which makes what happens a lot worse. It was a good way to get to know the bugs a bit better and it works well in the short story format, Possibly my favourite.
The Door From Below by Ren Warrom has the best scariest monsters in the book. The Stock Takers sounds bloody awful, and the powerlessness of the characters against them shines through well.
London Calling by Kendall Grey made me feel a bit sick. Since that is a huge part of being a horror story, that's understandable. Rane as a character was written well, and the bugs were sneaky bastards this time.
The Lucky Ones by Anne Michaud Made me feel worse than London Calling. It's a tale of despair and the fruitlessness of struggle. It was gripping to read, and right up there with my favourite in the whole book
Final Passage by Belinda Frisch and The Nursery by Amy L. Overley reads a lot alike. Both handle transformation, loss, blood, more blood, vomit and death well. I started to get quite depressed by this time, since this book is quite a crapload of death and dismemberment to take in quite a few pages.
Sanguine by Victoria Griesdoorn takes a refreshing viewpoint on the whole deal, dealing with human interaction after the invasion. The french terms used felt forced and didn't really add to the story, which in the end is an enjoyable tale about revenge. It was a good point to end on.
Was it a good read? Yes it was. I can't wait for more editions, since there are whole swathes of the globe that wasn't explored in the whole Maurr universe. The blood, guts, death, rapes, disembowelment and horror isn't for everybody. Steer well clear if you do not like bodily fluids.
If you enjoy a good post apocalyptic tale about the futility of life with extra measures of guts, blood and despair. Get your hands on this book. You'll love it.