Monday, June 01, 2020

Son of Grendel: A Battle for the Wastelands Novella - Matthew W. Quinn

It’s been a while since I read a post-apocalyptic yarn. A while back, I bought the e-book edition of a novel called BATTLE FOR THE WASTELANDS by Matthew W. Quinn, mostly because of the great cover since I wasn’t familiar with the author. I hadn’t gotten around to reading it yet, though, so when Quinn recently published SON OF GRENDEL, a novella-length prequel to the novel, I decided to start with it instead.

Quinn doesn’t spend a lot of time on world-building. Instead, in an opening reminiscent of Ernest Hemingway’s FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS, he drops the reader down in the middle of the action as a group of resistance fighters in some future America ambushes a column of soldiers from the army of a tyrant known as Grendel, who evidently has conquered most of North America.

Then Quinn cleverly switches the focus to the title character, a young army officer who’s the son of that tyrant, and how he handles the campaign of reprisal against those resistance fighters. There are also some unexpected elements to the story, such as a mention of pterodactyls, that lead me to believe this is either an alternate universe from ours, or else something really weird happened in that apocalypse.

I suspect I’ll find out in BATTLE FOR THE WASTELANDS, which I intend to read soon because Quinn is an excellent writer with a fine sense of pacing and some top-notch action scenes. I really want to discover more about the world he’s created in this series. I’ll add, too, that SON OF GRENDEL is very well edited and formatted, something you don’t always get in books these days, even from the big New York publishers. Overall, if you’re a fan of post-apocalyptic adventure tales, I think this one is well worth reading.

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