1/10/2011. Contributed by J.L. Jamieson
pub: Anarchy Books. E-book. Price: GBP 2.49 (UK), $ 3.50 (US). ISBN: 978-1-908328-12-0.
check out website: http://anarchy-books.com
Punktown pulses with life both above and below its surface. A mix of humans and aliens live, work and co-exist. They eat, sleep, and worship all according to the cultures they originated from. Some are more modernist, flouting the trappings and restrictions of their race and culture. Others have brought with them something far older and darker.
Christopher Ruby has an encounter that changes his life. On a laugh, he and his girlfriend play at creating a doorway for forces only mentioned in superstitious whispers and when seemingly nothing happens, he forgets all about it. Until the day he finds he must kill his girlfriend.
Thomas creates a rich, alien world that mixes many quite prominent elements of H.P. Lovecraft’s Chthulhu mythos with twists of his own, setting the tone for a story that jangles the nerves and pulls on the puppet strings of paranoia and insanity. Ruby is a character that as the story unfolds, we aren't quite sure of his own sanity. A classic theme in itself, Ruby’s own guilt throughout the book over killing his girlfriend looms on his conscience, worsening when he isn't caught. Thoughts of her and what he’s done make us wonder how much of what comes later is real or imagined.
He flees with a digital copy of the infamous Necronomicon and as he falls deeper and deeper into what seems to be a conspiracy to bring another alien culture’s version of the Elder Gods to the world it seems that he might be the only one who sees the danger his city is in.
Ruby encounters everything from a fish-man, mutants and brains in jars. The elements are there for fans of the Cthulhu mythos, all given a fresh spin and a hefty helping of cyberpunk. For any not as familiar with Lovecraftian themes, the book solidly mixes some of the classic elements with new ideas, making an eerie tale enjoyable by any fans of cyberpunk and horror. Thomas builds the tension and sheer oddity well, making the reader follow Ruby’s decent into madness (whether real or imagined) with a sense of fascination and almost morbid curiosity. By the end of the book, we wonder if indeed Mr. Ruby is sane. If he is, it may mean his entire planet is a temple to an old, dark god
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