Phoenix Fantasy will no longer be updated. Please hop over to www.zmarkham.com and make yourself at home 🙂
Author Archives: Phreaked
Corporal “Goose” Maculloch of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police isn’t expecting much from her new posting: one of those back end of nowhere places where nothing ever happens. That’s until a girl who’s been accused of murder disappears from a locked cell on Goose’s watch. On top of that, something’s going funny with the internet connection …
As the world beyond begins to fail, Goose tracks the vanished girl through the wilderness of Vancouver Island.
Meanwhile in Cornwall a desolate child leaves the home that has kept her safe all her life and strikes out into the unknown.
And a mother, half-mad with grief for her lost son, sets off to find him.
There is a place where all their journeys meet.
But someone is watching the roads …
Anarchy is, like its predecessor, an absolutely outstanding read. Treadwell writes so uniquely that I can’t think of anyone to compare him to. The best I can do is to suggest taking a large pinch of Charles de Lint, drizzling liberally with Stephen King and sprinkling with just a hint of Laini Taylor. If you think that sounds tasty, you’ll love him. Promise.
Anarchy follows straight on from the end of Advent. If you’ve not read Advent yet, you definitely need to before picking this one up (and, why haven’t you read it? It’s amazing) as otherwise it’s not going to make an ounce of sense. This was actually a huge plus for me because absolutely no time was wasted in recaps or summaries, which made a nice change. It’s straight in and on with the story. I love that!
Initially, I have to confess, I missed Pendurra. Most of the first half of Anarchy is set in Northern Canada, and it’s beautifully described and a nice contrast. But, I was missing Cornwall. I’m a chronic creature of habit, and much as I did enjoy the new setting and characters, Pendurra is the heart of the series for me. Getting back there at last was like coming home. Although the circumstances in which we return are so, so different to when we left.
Treadwell’s Canadian characters are vividly imagined. I adored Jonas, and ‘Goose’ was fascinatingly complex. My only problem with her was that each time I read the name Goose my brain went ‘Top Gun’ and I could hear ‘Take my breath away’. Every single time. My 80’s obsessions aside, the female characters are written brilliantly. Really, genuinely brilliantly. Forget any of the usual crap by those supposed ‘kick-ass’ heroine devotees that both YA and the fantasy genre are so riddled with, Treadwell writes fully three dimensional heroines bursting with soulful, heartfelt, emotional complexity. It completely blows my mind that this is, technically, fiction for older teens. It’s the perfect antidote to all those YA authors who dumb everything down and write at the lowest common denominator. This, this is YA you can be stupidly proud of your kids reading. And make sure you borrow it after them.
As with Advent, pacing is going to be a bit of a love it or hate it situation here. If you like a slow burn to your fiction, and you enjoy scenes bursting with detail, characters heavy with emotion, and you like the idea of a steady build of cleverly understated menace, you will love Anarchy. And if you don’t, you have no idea what you’re missing. At times it can feel like on the surface little is happening, but there’s always so much going on the hood. Treadwell is a genius when it comes to sinking his hooks into you without you even realising it. The journey is every sbit as fantastic as the destination here.
It’s a massively emotional read. I wasn’t sure how the technological aspects to the novel would be handled, but I needn’t have worried. The effect ancient magic has on current technology is completely chilling, and brings a whole new layer of terror into the mix. It’s genuinely frightening to watch the magic spread and see the effect it has on our world. The Post Apocalyptic aspects to this were a real treat, and so, so well done.
For me, Anarchy was total a win-win situation. I did, eventually, get a dose of all my favourites from Advent, and I got some incredible new characters on incredible new journeys thrown in for good measure. I honestly can’t find a bad word to say about it. It captivated me, terrified me, delighted me, shocked me, and at one point even had me in tears.
James Treadwell should, in my humble opinion, be immediately elevated to the status of National Treasure. If you’ve never read him, go and get yourself a copy of Advent and book a couple of days off work. And if you’ve already enjoyed Advent, you should pre-order Anarchy immediately, and book an extra day off for good measure this time around.
Have a look at http://www.theindiefantastic.com/
And if you like what you see, the first three authors to email in get free reviews across the board.
I wanted to write a post about James Herbert earlier, but is the first chance I’ve had to really sit down and think about it. It’s so sad that he’s gone. He was our very own Stephen King.
Like countless others, I read Herbert’s The Magic Cottage at an inappropriately early age, and scared myself witless. And even to this day I’m hard pressed to think of a horror novel that I enjoyed anywhere near as much. It’s in my top ten favourite novels of all time. And I’ve just realised that I don’t currently have a hard copy in the house. I need to rectify that, because I want it to be sitting there on the bookshelf ready for when my son is older. I want him to sneak it away into his bedroom and scare himself out of a weeks’ worth of sleep with it, just like I did. It teaches you the real magic of books, how they can affect you, what they can do to you. And in a world full of so much television and video game insanity, I want him to learn that a simple bundle of pages can do a finer job than all the processors, projectors and graphics in the world.
As well as being an incredible entertainer, Herbert is also an inspiration to me when it comes to my own writing. How’s this for leading by example? He wrote his first novel, The Rats, at the age of 28, and it took him ten months to complete. He sent it off to six publishers, and received three replies. He got one acceptance and two rejections.When it was published, the first print run of 100,000 copies sold out within three weeks. There’s a lesson for all of us whining, self-pitying wannabe writers right there – Sit down, Write, and if you’re good enough, you’ll succeed.
His back catalogue is astounding, and I’m indulging myself in an Amazon run right now, to make sure he has a visible place of honour within the house. Because sometimes, Kindle copies just don’t compare to the real thing.
The thought of this kept me going at work today when I was about ready to throw in the towel. I absolutely cannot wait to get my paws on this one!!
I can’t embed the snazzy interactive image on here, because WordPress hates iframes. And I can’t blame it, if I’m honest, I see infected ones all day long in the office. But I digress! To go and play with the shiny awesomeness head over to DoctorSleepBook.co.uk and start the countdown!