In Light of the Blood Giant

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In Light of the Blood Giant

Last Free Dates: 16th Oct 15 to 18th Oct 15
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...It's horrific, in places touching, and a fascinating read if only for the unique world-building...I may not re-read it but it was certainly worth the first read....

On a dying world, Dusk wakes up to find his bedmate dead, and one new-born survivor of her litter to look after. With all the escape ships gone and his species resigned to death by starvation, the youngling has no future. And even with everything dying slowly around him he will not accept that.

This is a tricky book to review. On my first try, I got halfway through this book and put it down, telling the group that it definitely fell into a “What on earth did I just read? Sentient rat cannibalism on a post apocalyptic sci-fi on a world?” Then I went back to it a week later, and I am glad I did. The ending is fantastic, pulling together all the plot threads and tying up the characters’ fates.

It’s also very close to a downer, and I will be blunt this probably isn’t a book I will read again. On the other hand I am glad I read it, and it was worth reading. It’s that rarest of things: original. While post-apocalyptic fiction is nothing knew, the rats, their culture and the shreds of the world that they are clinging to, makes for fascinating reading. Its just close enough to the real world to struggle to work out whether this is earth at the end long after people have left, or an entirely new world.

It’s also a grim, dark, and depressing world, starting early with a character left to wait for death due to a machine malfunction, and travelling through rape, murder, abuse, cannibalism, and an entire species resigned to death and simply passing time. In some ways this reminds me of Jack Vance’s Dying Earth, but there is less hope in this.

It’s horrific, in places touching, and a fascinating read if only for the unique world-building going on. The presentation? No issues – no spelling errors or grammar errors spotted or cared about. The cover I first thought was a children’s book, then realised it harked back to the 40’s illustrated sci-fi covers I have on my shelf. The characters are all complex, with understandable motivations. The author’s writing gets a special note: it’s beautifully, compellingly, written and the contrast between the prose and the gritty actions it describes is memorable.

I may not re-read it but it was certainly worth the first read. Speculative fiction readers, either sci-fi or fantasy, may enjoy this for the creative and compelling world. Readers of post-apocalyptic fiction should look past the sci-fi elements and pick this up, as it will appeal to them as well.

Rating: 4
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Discussion

rz3300 (28 September 2016)
Horrific and touching, you say? Well it does sound like a fascinating read, and I am always on board for things like that. I like the world-building aspect, and it makes me think that I would enjoy it, so thank you for this one.

clair02 (28 September 2016)
I have always been a big fan of all kinds of post-apocalyptic movies and books. This one sounds a little dark and depressing for my taste, but if it has a great ending, then I'm in. It sounds like a really well written piece of fiction and I can't wait to get into it.

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