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booboohead

booboohead

Just reactions to books I read. I don't really summarize the book's content, because how hard is it to click on the cover and read the description?

 

So I just write my response.

Good first installment of a post-apocalyptic series

The Purge of Babylon: A Novel of Survival (Purge of Babylon #1) - Sam Sisavath

I bought this on a whim after seeing it in the "customers also purchased" section of another book's page. It had a high rating with a decent number of reviews, so I figured: what the heck.

 

I'm glad I did. It's well-written with distinctive voices for the main characters (only a few very minor editing issues, like someone "balling" their eyes out) and moves at a good pace. It's a LONG book; much longer than I anticipated, because I hadn't really checked the number of pages when I bought it. So many self-published post-apocalyptic books -- especially those in a series -- run on the shorter side, like 200-something pages. This was almost a 500 page book. Well worth the money, especially because there aren't that many draggy parts. 

 

I loved the Will/Danny pairing. Great banter between these guys. I worried at first that the jokes would become tiring, but after the action got started the light bits between them were really welcome. 

 

I also appreciated Kate and Lana, although -- I'm going to mark this as a spoiler

 

[spoiler]

I'm really disappointed that they both ended up in the "Will's girlfriend" role. I really liked that they were both strong female characters with interests and strengths and weaknesses beyond that pairing, and I thought that Kate's decline was believable. I just wish that Sisavath had chosen NOT to hook them both up with Will at different points, so that at least one female character/narrator wasn't partially defined by that history. 

 

This is probably a problem of expectations: I hadn't realized, starting the book, that it revolved around a hero. I thought it would be a story about several people. But since they both ended up as Will's girlfriend at one point (and now Kate is going to be the former-girlfriend-turned-evil) it kind of squarely puts the narrative focus on Will as hero, instead of having multiple protagonists. Sure, we have multiple viewpoints, but this book is all about Will.

 

But really, that's a minor nit -- because I liked Will and am willing to follow him along. I just hope this doesn't become a case of: the ladies keep dying, but no matter -- because a new pretty and smart one will show up and fill that slot again.

 

Only time will tell for that, though.[/spoiler]

 

So I'm looking forward to the next installment (and joy! It was just released yesterday. I thought I'd have to wait months!) The Gates of Byzantium  

 

I hope that we learn more about the ghouls. They are vampire-like, for the most part, but Sisavath hints toward a larger goal and structure behind the hordes. In a way, I guess, it's kind of like the vampires in The Strain trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan (except that trilogy just went into stupid-land. The second book was SO boring and almost unreadable) so even if there are some similarities this version was far more enjoyable.