‘The Dead Boy’ is an end of days tale that offers a fresh take on the final days of life in the United Kingdom. I’m not quite sure what it is about this particular sub-genre of dark fiction but I really do love it.
Last year saw the release of ‘Left to Darkness’- a book I really enjoyed, it followed a similar path as this in that it showed us the worlds end through the eyes of a few survivors. This is similar in theme but very, very different. In ‘The Dead Boy’ Saunders has created Kurt William O’Dell – the man with fire in his eyes – a sort of Randall Flagg type character that wants to see the world burn. O’Dell uses the minds of children to make himself stronger, but one child manages to escape. The boy (George) befriends a woman whom he has a psychic connection with and they flee O’Dell’s grasp with the help of another (Edgar).
‘The Dead’ Boy’ isn’t your standard apocalypse read. It has some great ideas and also has a few different themes running in the background that become more prevalent as the story progresses. The tone of book is rather bleak, but that is just what I am looking for in a tale about the end of the human race 🙂 The characters are solid, even the bit part players like Wake – a helicopter pilot who joins the survivors later in the book and O’Dell’s puppet Wayland Redman is a character you will love to hate. The pace is great and the explosive beginning will have you sucked in straight away. As usual, Saunders doesn’t get carried away with being too descriptive, it is his characters that make his stories shine more often than not.
‘The Dead Boy’ is another very solid entry in the Craig R. Saunders catalogue. Unlike ‘Left To Darkness’ this book is a stand alone novel and is much the better for it. I always enjoy reading Saunders work. He writes in multiple genres from horror to fantasy to satire and he rarely makes a misstep. For those wanting to read about the worlds end you could do a lot worse than giving this highly original, though bleak tale a go.
Check the interviews section for a chat I had with the talented Mr Saunders.
You can pick up a copy of ‘The Dead Boy’ from here.