Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Barry Hutchison - The 13th Horseman - Book Review

The road to scaring children is definitely not the easiest of paths to take when writing a story. However, in the past, Barry has done a great job with his first five books in the Invisible Fiends series. These have already been published and are doing really well, but now it's time to seek pasture new and green. Welcome to Barry's new sequence of books entitled AFTERWORLDS - I'm not sure how many will be in the series, but I hope it's lots.

The first thing that you will notice about this story is the brilliant book cover - it is absolutely 100% bonkers. This book comes with a warning,it will put a massive grin on your face. In fact my jaw is still hurting now that I come to think of it. This book is essentially a trip back into Barry's mind - plucking out everything that he has enjoyed reading and then crammed it into this book with equal measure. The result is a fight between Pratchett, Gaiman and his childhood memories - which comes out on top I have no idea.

This book is brilliant. However, if Barry's reading this review then we will tell him, for his own sake, that it's a bag of bilge water and not to be read unless supervised by a moral understanding of life coming to end as we know it. It's the funniest book that I've read for a long time. The plot and the characters are both highly imaginative and very awe inspiring. I actually have no idea as to what they story is really about - although it features a flying shed and three horsemen of the apocalypse playing snakes and ladders, drinking tea and eating chocolate! It also includes Drake (not you average heroic young boy) who has no cares in the world. That is until he's told that he's a good candidate for Death and therefore he's the man for the job.

There are a number of fantastic visionary instruments of torture and a transformer-like epic monster who battles it out in the park. This action scene involves a great deal of madness and the characters are very engaging. It has great comedic moments that will leave you chuckling to yourself. 

I hope that this review is grabbing you as potential readers as I think that this is Barry's best work. However, it has me written all over it - a fantasy world that is well written but with a touch of darkness to give it light. In fact I think it is up there with the best of them; just about anyone and everyone will love to read it. It has everything going it for it so don't wait for the world to end, read it now. 

You can follow more of the madness by reading the Diary of the Apocalypse here:

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