“Under an alien sky where gods of eldritch matter rule, the only truth is revenge.”
CTHULHU ARMAGEDDON is the story of a world 100 years past the rise of the Old Ones which has been reduced to a giant monster-filled desert and pockets of human survivors (along with Deep Ones, ghouls, and other “talking” monsters).
John Henry Booth is a ranger of one of the largest remaining city-states when he’s exiled for his group’s massacre and suspicion he’s “tainted.” Escaping with a doctor who killed her husband, John travels across the Earth’s blasted alien ruins to seek the life of the man who killed his friends.
It’s the one thing he has left.
The internet informs me that this book is very much in the style of old westerns. I can now inform you that I apparently like westerns! I’d heard wonderful things about it and it came highly recommended by the magnificent Stephen Kozeniewski so I picked it up without even checking the synopsis – I’ll be taking more recommendation in future because this book was incredible.
This story takes place after the rise of Cthulhu and the other old gods. They don’t care about humanity and the very nature of their existence screws over the world as we know it, but humanity is doing what it can to stay alive.
The main character, John, is a big part of this effort – he’s a Ranger, a soldier whose mission is to protect the innocent and try to maintain order. While he’s out investigating a strange structure in the Wasteland, shit hits the fan. I’ll stop there, you can read the book yourself to find out what happens next.
The important things about this book are:
- The Wasteland is the perfect setting, it’s so well written that you can almost taste the dust.
- The author manages to squeeze in all manner of nerdy wondrousness and make it seem totally plausible. This doesn’t read like fanfiction, this reads like genius.
- Phipps’ female characters KICK ASS. That’s right. Here’s a fantasy novel with a male protagonist who is surrounded by women of varying ages, abilities and moral standings. There’s no soppy romance to be found and they all manage to keep their autonomy in the face of tentacles.
- The writing style is excellent, it wasn’t just gratuitous gore but at the same time the horrors of the wasteland weren’t overlooked.
I have nothing but praise for this book, it appeals to me as a fan of excellent writing, the Fallout franchise and casual fan of Lovecraftian gore.