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Apocalyptic Organ Grinder: A Dystopian Novella

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2014

    Spewers are the New Walkers, (Three and a half stars) The openi

    Spewers are the New Walkers, (Three and a half stars)

    The opening instantly hooked me with the author’s use of voice, a disturbing meld of archaic and modern prose. Once the story starts in earnest, it falls into a classic dystopian narrative style, losing some of its bite and flair to settle into a straightforward account. Periodic interludes resume a more subdued version of the prologue to further add background, the world beneath the story growing with the plot.

    The originality is a welcome change to the typical apoc scenarios of late, and Mr. Rose does a fantastic job of introducing a new and more terrifying horror than zombies. There is no shortage of pus and gore, albeit more of a disease vector flavor, and that works just fine. After all, what is more disturbing? Rotting flesh falling apart… or living, squirting tissue?

    The plot does become somewhat predictable and there is not really enough dialogue to establish solid character growth, though the two main characters’ inner POVs does help some. On that same note and as I mentioned earlier, the incredible opening prose gives over to dystopian narrative, and while this is strictly personal preference, I felt the story lost feeling with the change of voice. Passive phrasing and a lean toward verbosity helps with the sense of hopelessness as part of the setting, but it also slows the momentum a bit.

    Overall, APOCALYPTIC ORGAN GRINDER is a solid look into a realistic if not oozing future. More importantly, it is a very original and uncomfortable strain of post-apocalyptic fiction I hope to see more of from Mr. Rose, earning it three and a half stars.

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  • Posted July 7, 2013

    The biggest thing I liked about this fast-paced story was that i

    The biggest thing I liked about this fast-paced story was that it was told both in Tanner's and Lila's perspectives - and there were arguments to be made for who was right and who was wrong in their motivations and beliefs. Their world was extreme variations of shades of gray and the novella itself was dark and very disturbing at times.

    What I didn't like so much was the "fairy tales" in between some of the chapters that told of the coming of a hero and how the virus began. Parts of it were just laughable and didn't seem to fit in with the dark setting of the novel. However, the action sequences were very vivid made me feel as it I were right there watching in person. The author also did an excellent job in the character development of Tanner and Lila, showing the good, bad, and ugly of both.

    All through the story, I wondered where the organ grinder came in and when it showed up, I thought it somewhat reminiscent of the imagery in some of Stephen King's novels. Although I suspected what the ending might be, it didn't happen like I thought, so there was a little bit of a surprise there. I would definitely recommend this for a quick, thought-provoking read.

    This was a novella I received from Net Galley.

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