Review: Morningside Fall (Legends of the Dustwalker, #2) by Jay Posey

Morningside Fall (Legends of the Duskwalker #2)

At the end of Jay Posey’s debut Three, the first book in ‘The Legends Of The Dustwalker’, I got the impression the titular character, Three, couldn’t possibly be the dustwalker of legend, which both surprised and saddened. He was a compelling figure and the entire plot hinged upon his actions. Three embodied the role of the brooding loner who repelled all comers with one of a variety of weapons, mental and physical. Cass and her son, Wren, got under his shell, however, and together, they completed a journey across the post-apocalyptic wasteland of Posey’s imagination. The interwoven plot threads led to an exciting conclusion that simultaneously unravelled and deepened every character involved.

Then something unexpected happened. I’m not going to elaborate here, as that would spoil the book for new readers. Suffice to say, Three does not head the cast of ‘Morningside Fall’ and that is pretty much the major problem with the book.

Once again, Cass and Wren are compelled to journey across the wasteland between sanctuaries. Tension is running high in Morningside. The residents are not happy about the influx of people from beyond the wall and the reawakened Weir returned from a zombie-like state to almost human. There is also a plot afoot in Morningside to wrest power from the new young governor. After attempts on his life, Wren gathers those still loyal to him and sets off to find a safe place to hide. His mother, Cass, meets them on the road.

This time, the Weir are smarter and weirder. They’re coordinated and more vicious than before. They have also acquired chant, the meaning of which saves this book from mediocrity. In the last quarter, we finally ‘meet’, properly, the blindfolded figure from the front cover, and learn who is organising the Weir. From that point, the battle is on.

Not that there isn’t enough hack and slash in ‘Morningside Fall’. There is. It’s the stuff in between that is lacking. A lot of Cass and Wren reassuring one another, which, I’m sorry, got old after the first fifty pages, and I’m a mother. I think what their relationship highlights is the fact Wren is young. Too young to be governor of Morningside, regardless of what power he holds. He’s a kid and while post-apocalyptic settings are great for robbing childhoods, Wren still felt too much like a lost child to really lead the book.

I wanted Three or his replacement. I wanted the guy in the blindfold from the front cover. Until the last quarter, the book lacks the leadership of a compelling character, one that I could probably empathise with.

Still, the concluding pages of ‘Morningside Fall’ are pretty epic and set up the next chapter very well. It’s just a pity it took so long to get there. Despite my disappointment in this book, I will be reading on. Posey has constructed a really unique world, one that steps to the side of the usual zombie tropes and provides an apocalypse that’s at once unfathomable, but also believable. That’s no mean feat.

Written for SFcrowsnest.

 

Interview: Jay Posey, author of Three

17162150After reading Three (Legends of the Dustwalker, #1), I was given the opportunity to interview the author, Jay Posey. I was fascinated by the world he created, which differs greatly from the usual zombie apocalypse. (The fact we have a usual is frightening, right?) So, I put together some questions. I knew some of Jay’s answers would be necessarily vague. Three is the beginning of a journey, the introduction to a new world. Still, he was able to offer some fascinating insights to how the story and the world came about.

Kelly Jensen: What can you tell us about the world of Three? It’s so obviously different to our own. Is it a future you envisage, or an alternate reality?

Jay Posey: The world of Three is really more a result of a long series of “What if … and then what if … and then what if …?” type questions.  I don’t really think of it as any kind of prediction, but I also think that everything in it is at least possible somewhere down the road.  If you look at where technology is today, and some of the crazy and amazing (and terrifying) things people are doing with it, and you add it to the weight of human history, I think you can end up with some very interesting and maybe potentially disturbing scenarios.

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Review & Giveaway: Three

Three Blog Tour BannerQuestion & chance to win below!

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Three by Jay Posey

Three is a bounty hunter. He is well equipped for his chosen career—dark hood and attitude. He’s the typical loner, bristling with enough weaponry and broodery to discourage casual approach. A woman and boy approach him anyway and ask for his help. Even as he offers a substantial stack of local currency, Three seems to know money won’t solve the woman’s problems. So, against better judgment, he follows her and becomes immediately entangled in a plot that involves more than one woman and boy.

Dodging chemically enhanced predators, brain hackers and the zombie-like Weir, Three and the woman, Cass, and her son, Wren, cross a post-apocalyptic wasteland in search of shelter and answers. In order to protect her son, Cass is running from her old crew. Three questions his motives at every turn. The chase begins to wear away his edge and gruffness and the world he has trained himself to navigate is changing.

Three is more than just another novel of the apocalypse. It’s a tale of adventure and intrigue. It is unclear how long ago the collapse occurred, but it is very clear the world is not ours. Not our present, anyway. The remnant population is confined to armoured cities which are separated by Weir-infested wasteland. The Weir might be zombies; they’re mindless, hunt at night and have terrible claws, but they emit electronic screams and their eyes glow in the dark. The people of this world are permanently wired. They can ping satellites, read data flashed across their retinas and communicate with one another using only their minds. Many have genetic enhancements and chemical processors.

The story is fast-paced. I found it hard to put the novel aside. Still, the central characters are fully formed. Three is particularly compelling. He is obviously different. Questions surround his past and his actual purpose, a few of which are answered as events begin to dull those sharp edges. Cass is heart-breakingly human, in her faults and her need to protect her son. The villains vary. Some are just nasty, some have a secret heart.

Three is an impressive debut. The plot and setting are different enough to stand out from the post-apocalyptic and dystopian crowd, while still appealing to the same readers. I look forward to reading the more ‘Legends of the Dustwalker’.

Read a sample chapter here and then enter the giveaway. (continue reading for instructions)

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