Book Review 144 // Judges Volume Two edited by Michael Carroll

Look at this!  A non Aliens book, what on earth. After finishing up the Bug Hunt series I felt it was time to get back into the world of Judge Dredd. I've got a few titles in need of reading but this one had waited for the longest and was destined to be read. So here are the details:

Title: JUDGES Volume Two
Writers: Michael Carroll, Joseph Elliott-Coleman and Maura McHugh

The second volume of the hit new series exploring the early history of 2000 AD’s all-powerful “Judges.”


Eustace Fargo’s new justice system has been in effect for eight years. The old days of waiting times and backlogs are over: quick judgment and instantaneous sentencing. The old police academies have all shut down, and the new order is triumphant.

But are things any better? Unrest is worse than ever. Criminals are more likely to kill rather than be caught.

There’s a war coming for the streets…

This omnibus collects three novellas by Michael Carroll, Joseph Elliott-Coleman and Maura McHugh.

Book type: Paperback, 
Page Count: 432 pages
Published: May 26th, 2020 by Abaddon

This series continues on from the stories begun by volume one. It contains three stories so get some tea and enjoy the read.

Golgotha' by Michael Carroll


“The last police academy in the country has just passed out its last officer. That’s you.”
All Errol Quon ever wanted was to be a cop. Friends, family—even the instructors at the academy—urged her to quit, but she stuck to it, becoming the last cop ever to graduate.
Quon’s assigned to Golgotha, Alabama, and partnered up with Judge Unity Kurzweil, hunting a lead on an old case. And there are still a few things the last cop can teach one of the first Judges...?

Great opening short story for this collection. It follows the last ever police recruit Errol Quon, and her challenges to complete the Police Academies before the Judges shut them all down. We read as the Judges become an active force throughout states, overriding the local police forces, and only some small towns are even accepting a new police officer. The town of Golgotha is one of the last bastions and even here the police force is in its twilight years. It is a rather depressing but world-building tale, showcasing how the Judges are tearing out the old for the new and that they aren't all-powerful. Could their biggest weakness will be their lack of humanity?

I enjoyed the story and Carroll's writing style. Perfectly written, that left me wanting more of this character. I really hope Carroll has more stories to tell.

Psyche by Maura McHugh


2044: Phoebe Wise has always known she was different; she joined the Judge programme to get away from all that. But the Department has other ideas. Radical, outrageous ideas.

2141: Pam Reed is the best pre-cog Psi-Div has rushed to a crumbling block in one of the oldest sectors of the Meg to dig through files thought long-lost.

And something has reached across the decades to bring the two Judges together, and protect a future that almost never was.

Great exploration of the creation of Psi Divison of Megacity One. Future PSI Judge Reed is exploring the ruins of the past when she is suddenly linked to Judge Wise, one of the leading "Talents" in a radical new program. The story jumps between the two timelines with the focus being in 2040, the storytelling is engaging and absorbing and held me all the way to the end. Great story.

The Patriots by Joseph Elliott-Coleman


There’s a new threat on the streets of America. Driven by radical dogma and fired by their hatred of the Judges, they’re somehow able to turn ordinary citizens into enraged killers. And they have the gall to call themselves ‘The Patriots.’
Judges Charlotte Clarkson and Niamh Douglas are assigned to the case: track the radicals to their source and uproot them...

The final book of the volume. The Judges are in control of law and order, but humanity doesn't like a dictatorship and soon terrorist/freedom fighter groups are rising up and pushing back. We know they fail ultimately, but the dark story arc and bleakness in the idea of knowing they fail, adds to the story nicely.
The way the terrorist group acts is devasting and without giving away too much, actually aids in the rise of the Judges. It is a good stop for the story arc, as we start seeing the creation of Sector Houses and even the Sov's get a mention. We also get tie-ins to the Psyche novel and another mention of Thurgood the arms manufacturer. And of course, the general population finally gets to see the true might and power they handed over to the Judges and the general population seems to finally realize that life has changed forever.

A very solid ending tale to the series. We now get to start seeing the force that will become the Justice Department and some of the stories gave me the shivers, how quickly freedom can be lost is a scary thought.

I hope you enjoyed the review and will grab a copy yourself. As always, I thank you for reading. I hope you will take a moment to use one of the links, and help support the blog. Thank you.

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Buy the kindle edition. Judges Volume Two. Paperback.

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