Review by Jodie Haggerty
Contains mild spoilers
A book entitled ‘It’s the Apocalypse Dave try to have fun’ is bound to be a cracking and funny read right? Wrong.
I have a little soft spot for A R Wise, his series Deadlocked was my first ever zombie read and it was nothing short of fantastic and got me hooked on the genre. So it pains me to write this review.
This book is weird. Is it even about Zombies? I’m not entirely sure. It’s certainly about an apocalypse, where a scientific experiment in Germany sends some sort of signal through electrical devices that turns good and honest citizens in to what can essentially be described as killer Octopus. Yep you did read that correctly. Only midway through the book, the author seems to change his mind and the octopus get described as jellyfish. Then later as squid. It’s very confusing and I struggled to visualise what these monsters looked like.
Fish related monsters aside, there are attempts at humour throughout the book that frankly fall flat. The storyline is ok, if a little too far fetched even for a zompoc fan as the evolution of the monsters happens way to quickly, particularly of the Octopus nicknamed Cum Dumpster by Dave. Who apparently is out to get Dave for injuring him in a fight.
In his Authors note, A R Wise does at least acknowledge that he wanted to step away from the seriousness of his other books and write something ‘bawdy, ridiculous and at times offensive’. He certainly achieved that.
I would never tell someone not to read a book and this is free on Amazon at the moment. There will be plenty of people that would enjoy it, I didn’t and I won’t be reading the sequel when it comes out.
Review by Simon Philip
It’s the Apocalypse Dave, Try to have Fun by A R Wise
This book is the first in a series and currently available on Amazon.
OK, I love apocalypse novels, I love eldritch squid monsters from the furthest corners of space-time (I’m looking at you Cthulhu and the Elder Gods) and I love humour so clearly I must have loved this book as it ticks all the right boxes.
The story revolves around the lead character going from zero to hero in the space of a few heady seconds; he’s paying for fuel when suddenly there is an outbreak of squid / octopus type things bursting out of people and killing. A little quick and he certainly doesn’t hang around with the fighting back but so far, so…um…OK. He then goes to his ex-work of a few minutes to rescue his kind-of friends before embarking on a journey to rescue their families and his ex-girlfriend…lot of exes there huh? That’s pretty much where I left it I’m sorry to say. The humour is very hit and miss, including a racism discussion / joke that just did not work for me. The monsters were very 50’s in style, including the name given to them and the characterisation felt a little flat.
There was nothing wrong with the actual writing; in fact, it was very good – the author is clearly skilled at prose and descriptions of events, however there was some confusion evident in what exactly he was going for and the story inexplicably left me cold to the extent that I found myself actively looking for excuses not to read it. I have never not finished a book; I usually find something that I can enjoy. I am sad to report that I was unable to finish this; I managed to get over half way and had to give up.
So, in a way, it has the dubious honour of being my first!
I can neither recommend it nor advise you to run for the hills screaming in fear and terror at the thought of reading this book as I couldn’t finish it.
I can only advise one of those courses of action is definitely appropriate but, ultimately, you can make your own minds up as it is currently free on Amazon.
Review by Lyndsey McDermott
I have a bad habit of judging a book by its cover. Very naughty yes but I’ve found some great reads using this tried and tested method. Unfortunately it didn’t work in the case of this book. There were early indications of this being a fresh and interesting take on the post-apocalyptic genre. Some kind of electromagnetic pulse disaster with visions of the electricity disappearing from the world forever but it wasn’t to be. Goodness knows what Darwin would have made of the sudden and rapid evolution, or devolution, of the human race into weird octopus monsters. It just wasn’t credible. One minute we have humans and the next we have weird tentacle monsters with barely a paragraph to describe the change. I persevered for longer than I should have to give it a fair chance, far longer than any editor or agent would before tossing it but the line… ‘You squid-looking fetish porn freak…suck on this!’ was where I officially reached my limit and I’m almost ashamed to say that I couldn’t finish it. In parts the prose was very good but others parts were so ridiculous that I was half convinced two people were writing it. I’m a big fan of MasterChef and I’ve always hated the way the critics, who have done none of the work, tear a meal to pieces with savage words. In the same vein, a lot of work goes into completing a book and publishing it so I won’t go to town saying how bad it is, but I will give him one star purely for the effort he has put in and invite you to make your own judgement. I cannot, in good conscience, award more.