Apocalyptic Organ Grinder

Author: William Todd Rose
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

I was invited to read an advanced reading copy of this book from NetGalley:

I would have enjoyed this book more without the italicized chapters. They did not add much to the plot besides back story on the separation between the two groups and how the virus came about. Instead of adding to the plot, it gave the story subtle religious undertones and made the whole premise rather far fetched and unrealistic. Then the author added to the mix magicians/wizards and kings and the so called Great Spirit as well? I was not certain which genre this story leaned toward, but it ended up fantasy in my book, which made it harder to empathize with any of the characters because I didn’t believe they would ever exist in real life so it was hard to relate.

From other reviews, I thought this story was going to be more of a zombie tale. I was pretty far off. The people in this tale are humans who have suffered a virus/disease that has infected a great deal of the population. So while I did like how these “zombies” still have their humanity, I was disappointed they were not actually zombies as I had thought from other reviews. Returning to the back story chapters, these people are infected people with this virus. I honestly don’t really care why. That certainly isn’t what this story is about. So let’s get on with the story shall we, instead of discussing a conversation between a rat and a fly.

I do like how the story was told from both sides though, following a person on either side of the infection fight. I don’t think the story would have made a good full length novel but it was a decent novella since it wasn’t a huge time investment. The imagery in this story is great, thanks to the descriptive prose of the author. Not a style I would normally equate with a seemingly fast paced apocalypse novel, but he makes it work rather well. On one hand, the ending was rather predictable, at least in regards to the final outcome. But how it all played out was rather unexpected and surprising.

I’m not sure what I think about the title. I see how it applies, but it doesn’t catch my interest and try to draw me into exploring the book. If I hadn’t been invited to read this story, I doubt it would have caught my attention as I searched for a new read online.

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