Sunday, April 2, 2017

A review of Cthulhu Armageddon, written by CT Phipps.

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Author: C.T. Phipps

Publisher: Crossroad Press

Release Date: August 22nd, 2016 (Print)/ October 10th, 2016 (Audible)

Length: 267 pages/ 8 hrs and 30 min. Audible

Audio narrated by Jeffrey Kafer

Cthulhu Armageddon deals with the remnants of humanity struggling to survive in small walled enclaves 100 years or so after the rise of the Old Ones, the primordial gods of the universe. Being so vast they barely notice the life forms on earth except as nuisances under their tentacles. This coming has also created mutated humans and brought monstrous servants with it. Into the wasteland created by this invasion go the Rangers, the city's scavengers and warriors against the encroaching darkness.

John Henry Booth is just such a Ranger. When he and his team discover a tower deep in the Wasteland, they discover a man they thought dead is working with the power of the Old Ones to bring about the end of Humanity as it was, and shape it to his twisted desires. When his team is lost on the mission, Booth is found wandering near his city, and is brought in and tried as a traitor. With the help of his ex wife, he escapes with another prisoner, a woman who killed her husband, and they escape into the wasteland. Out there, they discover what the madman's real plan is, and gain allies and new enemies while trying to stay alive. Booth also discovers he is not what he seems, and has an even wider destiny than he could have imagined. The climactic ending is well suited to the book, and leaves you wanting more, especially as you discover just how Booth plays into the grand scheme of things.

Like all CT Phipps books, this is a very character driven story, even given the large and appalling setting of a world almost destroyed by the Old Ones. The relationships between Booth and his companions and enemies sets the tone for the whole book. Booth almost seems a man out of time, a warrior with honor in a time when that commodity is becoming increasingly scarce, even as his world slowly comes apart and his secret is revealed, even to himself. The world building (destroying?) is excellent, giving you a feeling of living in this desolate and dying world, where you live on the knifes edge of survival. This has to be one of the best realized dystopias I've ever heard of in books. Plot and pacing are also top notch, with a great story line and fast paced action keeping the listener engaged. Unlike most of the author's books, there is not a lot of snark in this one. An occasional funny line, sure. Outright snark, not as much, seeing as the giant tentacled horrors from the Outer Reaches have basically destroyed civilization.

Narration-wise, Jeffrey Kafer does an outstanding job, which is something I've come to expect from him. He brings each character to life, and keeps the narration flowing steadily, never letting his narration lag or become monotone. Just another excellent performance.

This book is a must listen to anyone into the Cthulhu mythos or dystopian worlds. It keeps the listener/reader engaged and wanting to see where the story will take them. In this case, it will be in directions you never expected. All told, a five star effort from the Author.

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