Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Review: The Final War

The Final War
Anneke van Ginn
(Nick Armbrister)
Available through Amazon in paperback for $10.48 or through Lulu in paperback for $11.90

In a nutshell: If you like war-torn civilizations, alternate histories, sex, violence, bloodshed, explosions, aliens and witchcraft, then this is the book for you.

From the introduction:

"A time and town so very different from now, several key events have changed European history forever. First the civil war of 2005 – 08 is now over, which led to the break up of United Kingdom. A quarter of a million died achieving what politics never could.
The weeklong conflict with France is over. From what started as a fishing dispute led to
a localised nuclear war in which thirty million British and fifty million French perished.
The madness that irradiated half of Europe stopped.
A third key event saved the remaining innocents from the abyss. The arrival of a girl
with special powers from nowhere, a so-called Goddess of the Earth, she is called
Juniper’s Daughter…"

Thus begins a tale of a call to arms amidst the aftermath of civil and nuclear war, as penned by British author Nick Armbrister, writing as Anneke van Ginn.

The story starts at a clip and doesn't ease up - Armbrister employs prose packed with action and detail.
Our characters, Lee, Sarah, John, Gun Barrel and Red drive the story and tell the tale of their efforts as freedom fighters after the UK has been ravaged by civil war.
Into this comes the rumor of a young woman who may be able to save the war torn land, Juniper's Daughter. Who is she and where does she come from? These questions are answered in the last third of the book (lending things to a sequel quite nicely).
The first two thirds of the book deal with the freedom fighters efforts at repelling English army troops intent on preventing any more fight for freedom.
Explosions, gun fights, strategizing, bloodshed, capture and escape - it's all here.

Armbrister injects his tale with bits of humor - either coming out of the mouths of his characters or as an aside to the reader and it works every time.
The characters are well-drawn and their dialogue is easy and never forced.
All the guns and ammo are lovingly detailed - this writer knows his armaments!
The story barrels headlong, with details snowballing on top of one another, driving the story to it's conclusion.

Armbrister has explored the Cold War and the effect it has on his writing shows through in this effort quite clearly, proving with this entry he deserves a larger audience.

As I read, it struck me that this cries out to be made into a film - I see it along the lines of The Road Warrior or Doomsday.
The mix here of an alternate history, alien intervention, blood and witchcraft firmly seats this in a section any reader of genre fiction can appreciate. I had a good time reading this.

For more information on Nick Armbrister, (aka Anneke van Ginn) please go to:

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