Review: Ascendance by John Birmingham

9781742614069The final instalment in the Dave Hooper trilogy brings events to an epic crescendo.

Not for the first time John Birmingham lays waste to the streets of New York. The Dave, who has been struggling to come to terms with his recently acquired hero status, has learnt he may not be the special and unique snowflake he led himself to believe. Meanwhile the monsters, who have been unleashed upon the world, are starting to learn and adapt to human technology and tactics with the aid of a few brains.

The Dave and his new-found companion are almost overwhelmed by the new and numerous attacks in New York. Their task is made more difficult as Dave’s newly acquired powers come up against some unwanted interference from some of the more empathetic demons. As they cut and hammer their way through swathes of orcs and demons Dave soon finds he is making some very tough choices about who will survive each onslaught. Decisions he is not ready or comfortable to make. Being a hero is not the party The Dave had hoped for and as the tide continues to turn in the monsters’ favour the strain is beginning to show leaving him even more vulnerable.

This maybe the conclusion to the Dave Hooper trilogy but John Birmingham is far from finished with this new universe he has created and is in the process of tearing down. I can’t wait for the ebook spin offs he has got planned and the next epic chapter whatever and whenever that will be.

Buy the book here…

Review: Resistance by John Birmingham

9781742614052John Birmingham takes up where he left off at the end of Emergence. Dave is enjoying a well-earned rest after the battle of New Orleans while the rest of the world is coming to terms with the fact that monsters (Orcs, dragons, super-sized bugs, you name it) are now among us and wanting to re-subjugate their old food source. However human technologies are proving more than difficult, if not impossible, for them to overcome. New hordes of monsters soon start popping out all over the world and Dave quickly realizes that superpowers do not mean he is infallible. In fact they can even make him a bigger arsehole that he was previously.

You can tell Birmingham is having a lot of fun with The Dave as he is now known. But he also knows the limits. Dave is not hero material. He’s a pig and his new over-extended ego only expands these notions. While recovering in Las Vegas (of all places) following events in Emergence Dave really goes to town. But just when you think JB has tipped The Dave too far into chauvinistic, a-hole extraordinaire he brings his hero crashing down to earth, literally and figuratively.

JB keeps the action coming thick and fast and choosing to put us inside the heads of some of the monsters is brilliant, both for some wicked laughs and to set up some very nice spanners in the works. But the book is all about The Dave. He may not be the hero we deserve and may not want to be the hero we need but he is slowly learning the hard way how to be both.

I have no idea where book three is heading and cannot wait to find out. The even better news is the way John Birmingham has written this series I won’t have to wait too long.

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Review: Emergence by John Birmingham

9781742614045John Birmingham delivers in spades in the first book of his explosive new trilogy.

Dave Hooper is not your typical hero. In fact he is a bit of an arsehole. He works on the oil rigs and blows most of his pay packet on booze, drugs and women much to the ire of his very-soon-to-be ex-wife and two kids. Dave is nursing a particularly nasty hangover on the way to work when all hell literally breaks loose.

Dave’s oil rig has been drilling deeper than anyone ever has before. And they may have just drilled too far. A barrier sealing off our world from another has been broken and creatures that haven’t been seen in millennia have come through and begun feasting on a long-lost delicacy; human meat. And so begins the adventures of Dave Hooper who is inadvertently thrown into this maelstrom and in the process inherits some kind of superpowers to fight these monsters from below. As Dave, the military and the outside world try to come to grips with what is happening more ‘gaps’ in the barrier appear and two worlds who haven’t been in contact for thousands of years will erupt. And an overweight, barely sober, safety engineer appears to be our only hope of survival.

Birmingham mixes up a combination of Middle Earth orcs with a Marvel universe sensibility but with his own trademark humour and insight firmly stamped all over any comparisons. As with Birmingham’s previous books he creeps in a geo-political undertone to the consequences of what he puts in motion which only makes the reading more fun. The next two installments in the trilogy have already been written and will be released throughout 2015. I can hardly wait to see what happens next (especially after the epilogue!!!)

Buy the book here…