Reviewed by Carole McDonnell
The End, My Friend
by Kirby Wright
In Kirby Wright’s The End, My Friend, the powers that be have come undone. National and local laws have crumbled. Militias, warlords, and gang-leaders rule the streets.And Tony and Eva have to get away from it all.
They have to get out of the city and into the safe areas, Oregon for instance. Other humans are dangerous, and yet it would be great to find allies one could trust.
This is a futuristic story without any science fiction or supernatural events. It’s the author’s image of a possible scenario — the USA after economic and governmental collapse. The author assumes –probably rightly– that if the US ever had a meltdown, there would be looting, murdering, raping, and mayhem throughout the larger cities and danger on the highways. The country would be full of badlands and bad guys with only a few safe regions.
The first two or three chapters have a distinctively “real” feel. But then, the author does something with his characters which some readers may not like. The story, which had felt like a mainstream novel suddenly becomes a bit stylized. Not entirely, but a bit. The characters speak and do things that characters in a noir novel might do. Think Mad Max meets Sin City. It’s not a bad thing, and it certainly will not mar the book for those who like hip larger-than-life characters. Evo is tough, but for those who like to see regular folks in novels, she is way too tough. She is a broad, a dame, a femme fatale, if necessary. And the conversations between the characters are a bit too tough-guy lingo.
This is a good book, a novel filled with suspense and disturbing insights into the American psyche. But the hipsterification of the main characters and the stereotyping of some of the Big Bads they encounter reduces the impact. Recommended.
About the reviewer: Carole McDonnell is a writer of ethnic fiction, speculative fiction, Christian non-fiction, and Christian fiction. Her works have appeared in many anthologies and at various online sites. Her fantasy fiction novels, Wind Follower and The Constant Tower are published by Wildside Press. Her short story collection is Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction by Carole McDonnell. Her self-published books are My Life as an Onion, A Fool’s Journey Through the Book of Proverbs, Oreo Blues, and Seeds of Bible Study: How NOT to study the Bible. She can be found at http://carolemcdonnell.blogspot.com/