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Ack-ack Macaque - don't mess with monkeys

20/01/2014

Having walked by this book entitled "Ack-ack Macaque" quite often, I was very intrigued by the title, but never bothered to grab the book off the shelf. I finally decided to try reading this book and to my amazement, it contained a very compelling tale in a well fleshed out alternative Earth universe. In one third of the tale, you read about the exploits of Ack-ack Macaque, a one eyed, cigar chomping ace pilot who continaully saves England and France from German invasion in 1944, specifically German ninjas. The other two-thirds of the tale take place a century later where England and France joined together in the 1950s to create a different type of United Kingdom. You follow Victoria Valois, an ex-journalist who has just discovered that her ex-husband has been murdered. While investigating the murder, Valois loses her electronic soul, but remains alive due to her cybernetic enhancements received after a horrific accident. And finally, you also follow the exploits of the heir to the British throne who gets involved in a break-in at a research facility, and then has to go on the run. Although it sounds overly complicated, all these threads get picked up into the larger story, which could have been a hot, hot mess, but Gareth Powell delivers! I really had expected a very silly or uninteresting story that I might have closed after a few dozen pages, but I was pleased to discover a fast paced action story. I very much enjoyed the characters, loved the plot twists, and turns out, there's a sequel coming out called "Hive Monkey". There's also a very funny twitter feed run by Ack-ack Macaque found here, but it might not be to everyone's tastes. I mean, if you're going to have a monkey in a book, you might as well give him guns, liquor, and a penchant for mayhem. I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel!!

Image: Ack-ack Macque

Ack-ack Macque

By Powell, Gareth