Apocalypse Now Now by Charlie Human
This book is one of those rare books that I come across sometimes, a bit like Mortal Instruments, where I'm not really sure if I really enjoyed it or not. The story was pretty good, it was well written… but something about it stops me from making my mind up.
Apocalypse Now Now follows Baxter Zevcenko as he unearths the supernatural side of Cape Town following his girlfriend’s disappearance in the midst of the mysterious murders of young girls. After he becomes the number one suspect enlists the help of Jackson Ronin.
To be honest, at first I didn't really like Baxter as the hero. He's a troubled young man who is selfish, stubborn yet gifted with a fantastic business mind, which is spent creating a school-yard porn distribution empire. Baxter and his little group of friends, known as the Spiders, are stuck in the middle of a gang warfare at their school. He is the guy that I would love to hate but throughout the first half of the book he shows odd bits of humanity, or niceness, that makes it difficult to dislike him completely.
Human has managed something that not many people have been able to do for me, he has created a main character that I hate yet begrudgingly like. I hate that I like Baxter. Baxter's support characters are also well written and often have a hidden layer that you don't expect to be there. This just adds to the theme throughout the book - that nothing is as it seems.
Human has also done a good job at explaining South African slang and terminology without making you feel like an idiot for not knowing it. I have read many books from around the world where there are unusual words that I have had to look up on Google but Human explains these in the books not long after they are first introduced and makes the South African teen lifestyle feel perfectly normal.
When I first got the book and read the blurb on the back “Neil Gaiman meets Tarantino” I was worried that this book would be a mess of action sequences and plot twists that didn't make sense. When I started reading the book I was a bit confused about why certain things were mentioned. Why was this article mentioned? Why was there a flashback here? It didn't seem to make much sense but I was pleasantly surprised to find that everything made sense and tied up well at the end.
The action was well paced and, while descriptive, didn't make me cringe or want to skip ahead. The only part where the action got a little bit difficult to follow was the climax of the book, but I have yet to find many books who can pull off an ending on such a big scale. There were some points where I felt like I was reading a Michael Bay movie but these were few and far between.
Despite the great, if somewhat clichéd characters, I think that my main issue with the book is that the book starts so normally. This means that when Baxter dives into the supernatural world it is difficult to slot the fantastical creatures of South African mythology into the mundane normal world that we are used to.
The transition between Baxter rejecting the supernatural to accepting it is a bit odd. It seems like such a clichéd plot device - and one that is normally used in supernatural TV shows - that it takes a little while to let your mind adjust to the sudden change. There are a few chapters where it feels like your brain is trying to adjust itself to the sudden appearance of these mystical creatures and by this point the action is so constant that your brain gives up on trying to understand and just accepts what you are reading.
On the whole I enjoyed the book, it had many aspects that I like in a book. But I think how mundane the book started off jarred so heavily with the insanity by the end of the book that it prevented me from enjoying it completely. For others this may not be a problem but for me it treads that fine line between enjoyment and just plain confusion. As I said in the opening paragraph, I'm not sure if I like it but I would still recommend it to my friends, if only to see if they feel the same as me.
This Apocalypse Now Now book review was written by Anna Sheldrick
Have you read Apocalypse Now Now?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Apocalypse Now Now reader reviews
6.9/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The 10,000 Doors of January
Alix E Harrow
In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut....
The Unspoken Name
A K Larkwood
A. K. Larkwood's The Unspoken Name is a stunning debut fantasy about an orc priestess turned wizard's assassin.What if you knew how and when you wi...
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
When Colin and Susan are pursued by eerie creatures across Alderley Edge, they are saved by the Wizard. He takes them into the caves of Fundindelve, where he watches over t...
Unites Arthur, a little boy abandoned many years ago in a grim hospital in northern England, with Esther, a radiantly intelligent young girl who is suffering from cerebral ...
The Dark is Rising Sequence
On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is ...
Three Hearts and Three Lions
The gathering forces of the Dark Powers threaten the world of man. The legions of Faery, aided by trolls, demons and the Wild Hunt itself, are poised to overthrow the Realm...
His name is West. Her name is Cally. They speak different languages and come from different countries thousands of miles apart, but they do not know that. What they do know...
The Abhorsen Chronicles
Who will guard the living when the dead arise? Sabriel is sent as a child across the Wall to the safety of a school in Ancelstierre. Away from magic; away from the Dead. Af...
The Chrestomanci Series
Diana Wynne Jones
Orphans Eric Chant (nicknamed Cat) and his sister Gwendolen, a gifted witch, are whisked away to live in a castle with Chrestromanci, a much-revered man of magic, wealth an...
Great fantasy books published in 2013
The Aylesford Skull
James P Blaylock
It is the summer of 1883 and Professor Langdon St. Ives – brilliant but eccentric scientist and explorer – is at home in Aylesford with his family. However, a f...
Emperor of Thorns
The path to the throne is broken – only the broken can walk it. The world is cracked and time has run through, leaving us clutching at the end days. These are the day...
Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier
The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Across the country and in every nation, people began to develop terrifying powers - summoning storms, raising the dead, and sett...
Beyond The Veil
Frank's woman kidnapped, a frantic chase across worlds, an inter-dimensional uprising, and all with the surly father-in-law to be in tow. What could be worse? How about...
The Shining Girls
The girl who wouldn't die, hunting a killer who shouldn't exist. Chicago 1931. Harper Curtis, a violent drifter, stumbles on a house with a secret as shocking as hi...
In the winter of his eleventh year, Little Hawk goes deep into the forest, where he must endure a three-month test of solitude and survival which will turn him into a man. ...
The Republic of Thieves
After their adventures on the high seas, Locke and Jean are brought back to earth with a thump. Jean is mourning the loss of his lover and Locke must live with the fallout ...
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatur...
Storms rage as the worst winter in living memory ravages the human and Hydden worlds. The prophesied End of Days is here and the universe is dying, yet only a few are even ...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: