Okay so you are all caught up now with Books of 2017, the idea was to make sure I was reading more books this year, with the challenge being to read one book a month. Then for 2018 I will make it two books a month. So let us get on with October's entry:
Fiefdom: A Kingdom Novel
Book: Fiefdom: A Kingdom Novel
Author: Dan Abnett & Nik Vincent
Publisher: Abaddon Books
Commercial Fluff: "In a not-too-distant future, amongst ruins in the the ancient city of Berlin the Aux's live in clans, fighting amongst themselves. Their ancient enemy, Them - giant marauding insects, are a folk memory. Young Evelyn War however will be the first to realise that this quiet is not what it seems, that the Auxs themselves, having been bred for hand-to-hand combat in a war long-thought to be over, and now idling violently in peace in the subways and collapsing buildings Europe, must set aside their petty hostilities if they are to face the battle to come. Evelyn is the only one to see the oncoming storm, but the clan leaders and her elders do not believe her warnings, and time is running short."
First up this book is set in the 2000AD universe of Kingdom, though it is set centuries later and the actions from the comic have become nothing more than folklore. Here is a very basic quick run down of the comic- Earth has been invaded by 'THEM' an insect, possibly alien race (I like to imagine Them looking like house centipedes). The Humans (now known as the Masters) couldn't combat the threat so responded by breeding the Aux, a dog/human hybrid. The most famous of the Aux's in the comics was Gene the Hackman who is now the main focus of the Folktales. Jumping forward to the book setting the Masters are in hibernation in the poles, and it would seem like an ice age has hit. This has two effects; One- Them have fled underground seeking warmth and have disappeared for generations of Aux and Two- the Aux have forgotten their purpose, having lost the ability to communicate with the Masters. But with the ice melting this will all change!
The story itself had high points and low points which we will go over shortly. It read like an opening tale to a series of books but as far as I know there has been no more. It is about the reawakening of an enemy and the forging of new heroes. It has a lot of depth and space to grow so hopefully they go back to them and write more books.
- The Aux. Living in packs based on Wild Dogs or Hyenas, with the packs being lead by an Alpha Male.
- Their mythology and folklore is not written but instead passed down by the 'Tale Tellers', usually an older wiser dog. A position of much respect and some times more powerful than that of an Alpha.
- Their names. This is something I have noticed with other Abnett comics/books he enjoys making pun names. Most of the main characters had names linked to Poets and writers. Not sure behind the reasoning for this but it was fun.
- The setting. Everything happens in Berlin's metro lines and the areas surrounding them. This was fun for me as I have visited a lot of the locations mentioned. It is also funny to see how legend and lore has progressed for example one Aux pack believes the masters still speak to them, when in fact it is the train stations automated speaker system telling train times on repeat.
- The Aux's way of speech. Was written in a broken English format that was hard to pick up in the beginning and could be a bit annoying to be honest.
- The over using of some of the language there is only so many times you can hear the words "Get Whet" or "Get Wet" or "Strength in Numbers".
- The fact that there is only one book, what happens next?