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.