Monday 6 August 2012

Dead Harvest

Chris F Holm, 2012
(July 2012)

God’s war for real this time. There’s a war a-brewing between heaven and hell, and our hero is the only man/soul/spiritual entity that can stop it. But then there’s always a war brewing between heaven and hell, that’s pretty much the point. C’est la vie/mort/I’ll stop it now.

Have a look at that cover. It’s great, isn’t it? And it sets you up very nicely for what’s inside. Unashamedly pulpy and fun, the entire book is essentially one long chase scene around New York, with angels and demons thrown in for good measure.

There are very, very clear, erm, ‘borrowings’ from The Matrix here in the way that entities can posess the living. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; cribbing ideas from other sources is fine as long as it’s done well, and movies and literature have been influencing each other for as long as both have existed.

However, it often feels like this is a book that in its heart really wants to be a movie, and most of its flaws stem from this. Some of the exposition as dialogue is a little clunky and comes at times when you think they should just be running like the very hounds of hell are after them, because the very hounds of hell are after them. But that’s OK, because those hounds all appear to have taken Protagonist Pursuit 101 classes at The Imperial Stormtrooper School of Marksmanship. In some places the suspension of disbelief required is just too much. In a book about angels and demons. The heaven and hell and very lucky cats I can manage, but while flying helicopters with possessed pilots can work in the movies, it really doesn’t on the page.

The first in a series, apparently. Despite the flaws, there’s enough here to warrant giving that second one a look as well, I reckon. And the film of the book should be pretty special too…


  1. That book has aged poorly...physically I mean. It looks like it pre dated the Wachowski bros work...shit it looks like it was written when Kennedy was president....or what I imagine books look like from 1963.

    1. I believe it's called 'charmingly retro'. Still, at least they've put a bit of effort in this time, eh?