Publisher: Anachron Press
Release Date: December 1st, 2011
Source: I received a copy from one of the authors in exchange for an honest review.
City of Hell Chronicles: Volume 1 by Colin F. Barnes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There is no god, no angels, no redemption; only suffering. The Ant-headed Old One ‘The Great Maurr’ has risen and brought hell to earth. The land is scorched and the human race decimated, eaten or tortured. Only three cities remain, crumbled dying versions of their former selves: London, Moscow and Hong Kong.The Great Maurr’s own City of Hell dominates most of North America. Its diabolical influence has turned ordinary citizens into torturers, debased slaves, lunatics and zealots.
With an eruption at Yellowstone, the likes of which humanity has never seen before, The Old-One tore apart the land, and ascended to rule, aided by its faithful army of acolytes. From the core of the earth it crawled up on to the land, spreading disease and insanity to all corners of the globe.
The City of Hell Chronicles tells tales of survival, death and debauchery.
The first anthology features eight stories from seven international authors.
The book was one of the grossest and goriest pieces of literature that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Not usually my thing, but for some reason I really enjoyed this book. Perhaps it was the fact that it was post-apocalyptic. I'm really into that genre these days. It seems like every other book coming out is of that genre, so it's very difficult for an author to being something new to the table. I thought this novella/group of stories did just that. If you are afraid of bugs, you might want to stay away from this one. The imagery is fabulous and really does a great job of creeping the reader out. I wasn't necessarily scared, but my skin was definitely crawling where it was supposed to. I also found myself saying "ew" a lot.
Technically this is a group of short stories by a bunch of different authors. But it also isn't. Let me explain. Each chapter is from a different character's POV. Once that chapter is over, we never see that character again. But the stories are all set in the same world and they are all dealing with the same issues. Bugs attacking and taking over the planet. It may sound corny, but I promise you it isn't. You do have to suspend disbelief, but wow. This one is scary good.
The writing skills of these authors? Superb. I mean, really. I wasn't sure how I felt about the second author in the book, but after a few pages I changed my mind quickly. It was just such a departure from the writing styles that I normally enjoy. It was short, choppy, and missing a lot of connecting words. It was very bizarre, but once I got used to it, I loved it. That story may actually be my favorite one in the book. If you decide to read it, it is the one set in Hong Kong. The imagery in these stories was fantastic. I felt like I was watching a movie in my mind. I loved it so much!!
If I have one complaint it is the lack of any kind of resolution. Even an unhappy one. I knew right off the bat that this was going to be the kind of story that would not end happily and that's totally fine. I could care less about that. There was just no resolution at all. It just kind of ended. There were no more words and I was left feeling a bit lost. But there is a Volume 2. I'm pretty sure I will be reading that. These are all indie or self-published authors, and I promise you that they are the cream of the crop.
If you love horror and/or post-apocalyptic stories, this is a great (and quick) read for you.
To order a copy of City of Hell Chronicles: Volume 1 from Amazon.com, please click here: City of Hell Chronicles: Volume 1. The Kindle copy is only 2.99.