APOCALYPSE by Kyle West
Hopefully this first review is a sign of interesting things to come for the year. This novella, an original ebook of 40,000+ words, is the start of an interesting sojourn across an apocalyptic world. We seem to have plenty of those types of books out there these days, but this one is special to me because it’s written by one of my students.
Kyle West does a really good job of setting up an open-ended road trip adventure series that he spins with some interesting variations on a theme. I like his character a lot because Alex Keener is an innocent, he’s seeing this savage world close up and personal for the first time, and he’s not sure if he’s match for the things he’s going to find out in it after he’s chased from the secret bunker where he’s lived all of his sixteen years.
The first-person narration really works for this story and delivers a lot of emotional impact. Readers need to see Alex’s outer and inner journeys to get the full scope of the world. Only a small part of that world is shown to us in this book. The purple ooze reminds me of the video game Left 4 Dead with the explosive attackers, and there’s a definite zombie riff going on throughout the pages.
There’s also a bit of X-Files in here too when Alex decides they have to find the mysterious Black Files that might have more information on the xenobiological agent that spreads the purple contagion. Since a meteor struck Earth and killed most life on the planet, I have to wonder if there were any aliens or alien creatures or alien viruses that hopped along for the ride.
See? Kyle has me wondering, and that’s what a good writer does to the reader. Getting a good character is nice, getting an action-filled plot is another bonus, but when I start playing guessing games, matching up against the author, I know I’m hooked.
I can’t wait to see the next volume. Until then, I’m going to be wondering what’s going to happen next.