October 23, 2017

Review: Reaper’s Legacy by Tim Lebbon

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It’s always great to see major world cities laid to waste all in the name of an apocalyptic science fiction saga.

Perhaps, the promise of an eventual Armageddon is comforting in a way, a realization that the mundane drudgery of daily life may yet come to pass. Hey, there’s no shortage of world-ending scenarios to choose from these days in sci-fi, from zombie plagues to alien invasions, zombie alien invasions… and, well, you get the idea.

This week’s review sees a return to a London under quarantine with Reaper’s Legacy: Toxic City Book Two by Tim Lebbon out from Pyr Books. Fans of this space will remember our action-packed review of London Eye: Toxic City Book One from late last year.

In Reaper’s Legacy, Jack must once again plunge into the deepest darkest heart of infected London nearly two years after the first devastating attack. Its hell for the beleaguered inhabitants who have been left behind as they begin to evolve strange and mutant powers. The streets are owned by the  deadly Choppers and new menaces such as the inscrutable Rook and the dominating Reaper are rising to power as well.

Breaking: The Toxic City saga is also in development with ABC Studios for a TV series adaptation entitled Evolve; more to come!

Jack, along with his friend Lucy-Anne have entered the city to locate lost family members. Book Two also does a great job at further filling in the back story of the events leading up to the attack.

This all leads up to a cliff-hanger climax of atomic proportions. It isn’t far off the mark to think of the Toxic City saga as a young adult fiction version of the “Hunger Games meets the X-Men.” As its been billed previously.

The city of London itself sets a grim backdrop for the post-apocalypse of the Toxic City saga; think Gotham City meets The Walking Dead. Amidst their quests, our heroes and heroines must not only combat the Choppers, but rumors of a new and deadly bio-engineered plague. We get a clearer view in the second novel not only of the dilemmas the characters face, but life in a devastated London. Call it “tips for surviving the end of the world.”

The end of Book 2 will definitely leave you clamoring for Book 3, and the aforementioned TV adaptation. Will London be annihilated? Which is worse, destruction, or rule at the hands of the Choppers? What are the Rook’s final goals? What will the horrible experiments being run on the survivors yield? Will Jack and Lucy-Anne save the day, or at least locate lost family members?

We think it’s interesting that “Apocalypse Fiction” always seems to come into vogue during an economic downturn. You’d think we’d want shinny-white antiseptic futures to look forward to when real life turns to crap… It seems that we like our fantasy to reflect our current outlook instead. Hard-hitting & graphic sagas such as the Hunger Games and Toxic City give us that and more, the true mythology of our age plumbing our psychological hopes and dreams. Stick around for the finale saga and Book 3!

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