Kenstibec was genetically engineered to build a new world, but the apocalypse forced a career change. These days he drives a taxi instead.
A fast-paced, droll and disturbing novel, Barricade is a savage road trip across the dystopian landscape of post-apocalypse Britain; narrated by the cold-blooded yet magnetic antihero, Kenstibec. Kenstibec is a member of the "Ficial" race, a breed of merciless super-humans. Their war on humanity has left Britain a wasteland, where Ficials hide in barricaded cities, besieged by tribes of human survivors.
Originally optimised for construction, Kenstibec earns his keep as a taxi driver, running any Ficial who will pay from one surrounded city to another. The trips are always eventful, but this will be his toughest yet. His fare is a narcissistic journalist who's touchy about her luggage. His human guide is constantly plotting to kill him. And that's just the start of his troubles.
On his journey he encounters 10-foot killer rats, a mutant king with a TV fixation, a drug-crazed army, and even the creator of the Ficial race. He also finds time to uncover a terrible plot to destroy his species for good - and humanity, too.
©2014 Jon Wallace (P)2014 Orion Publishing Group
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"A kinda post-apocalyptic drive across the UK"
I decided to get this based on the overview of the book. It made me think a little of Mad Max across the UK, with a hint of the Transporter and 28 days later.
However, it didn't really get out of the north of England, and the driving part was fairly small.
But that does not take away from the enjoyment of the book. There are basically 2 stories running - the first is before the 'event' - which follows our main lead and describes the Artificial Beings and why they were there and the events that lead up to the current situation. The second is basically the main story - which is our main lead taking a passenger to London.
As stated before, they stop off fairly quickly to pick up a guide - who wants something to help with his condition and they have to break into a secure compound. Its a bit of a stretch, but if you go with it it is enjoyable. Shame we missed some possible cool Mad Max moments.
The narrator was good. Its a shame that one of the characters has a condition which means it hard for his to talk - as the narrator made this character fairly hard to understand in some instances. This is a minor grip only.
This is a quick read. So, jump on board the taxi and listen to it.
"A different perspective on AI"
This is a post apocalyptic adventure from the point of view of the major threat to humanity, an engineered race of artificial beings - 'ficials' that have to barricade themselves into city conurbations to survive attacks from the humans that regard them as a threat. And rightly so. The goal of the 'ficials' is to cull humans as a waste of resources. it's hard to envisage how a characterisation can be built up from such a dearth of material but actually the character of the 'ficial' at the centre of this story does develop. He is capable of creative thought and moral judgement by the end.
The author manipulates the reader into almost preferring this race of human cullers to the real humans.
It's a good production. He voices it well and when nasty things happen to the characters you can sense it in the voice.
What would YOU rather be: ficial or real.
I hope the next Kenstibec novel is 'audiblised' soon.
The story has pace and motion, and gives you vivid glimpses of the pain and decay of life after an apocalypse.
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