Macaque Attack

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Books -

Monkey tragic

Re­lease Date: 15 Jan­uary

347 pages | Pa­per­back/ ebook Au­thor: Gareth L Pow­ell Pub­lisher: So­laris

On pa­per, Macaque

Attack seems like it’ll be a lot of fun. It’s full of great ideas: a cigar­chomp­ing mil­i­tary monkey who drops both f- bombs and real bombs! Par­al­lel re­al­ity cy­borg- as­sas­sins! A tough woman who’s mar­ried to a holo­gram! But ideas aren’t enough on their own; great sto­ries need soul.

Per­haps we’re naive to ex­pect great­ness from a plot that sounds like a YouTube su­per­cut of sev­eral DTV ’ 80s ac­tion flicks. Hell, this is the third part of an award- win­ning tril­ogy cen­tring around a talk­ing sky­liner cap­tain/ monkey named Ack- Ack, for good­ness sake. But just be­cause it’s about an army of mul­ti­verse- jump­ing mon­keys fac­ing an evil cy­borg in­va­sion doesn’t mean it can’t be well- writ­ten. Macaque Attack’s com­bi­na­tion of gen­uinely fun B- movie con­cepts and clichéd de­scrip­tion makes it a chore to get through. There’s only so many “Pow­er­ful mus­cles rip­pling like pis­tons” sim­i­les you can take be­fore you start to feel your brains drib­bling out of your nose. And motherf ** king Ack- Ack’s f ** king ten­dency to eff­ing eff ev­ery other eff­ing word gets tire­some in­cred­i­bly quickly.

It ends with a false epi­logue ( with­out it, the con­clu­sion would be in­cred­i­bly un­sat­is­fac­tory) sug­gest­ing more to come, so we can only pray to Se­mos ( god in the Planet Of The Apes se­ries, a fran­chise that proves the po­ten­tial of pulp pri­mates) that this re­ally is the end of Ack- Ack’s ad­ven­tures. Sam Ashurst Gareth’s younger brother Huw is also an SF au­thor: Space­jack­ers, the first book in a chil­dren’s tril­ogy, came out last sum­mer.

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