If you read my 'Bone Breaker Awards', from last year, [http://the-bone-breaker.blogspot.com/2008/12/2008-bone-breaker-awards.html] then you may remember that I gave D'Lacey's Meat the award for the Most Memorable Novel of last year. That is the thing about D'Lacey - he is a very intellectual writer who does more than just entertain - he makes you think as well, and that is always a bonus, in any novel!
The Garbage Man wasn't supposed to be released until May 7th, however Mr. D'Lacey e-mailed me, last week, informing me that The Garbage Man is available now! [in the same e-mail, he attached his upcoming novella, which I read over the weekend - hence this "double header"]
Now, I hate to compare two novels, but for an author's 1st novel and his 2nd, there is always going to be comparisons. I loved Meat, and I was curious as to how D'Lacey's next novel would compare to it. To be completely honest, I did not enjoy The Garbage Man as much as I did Meat - I am not saying that The Garbage Man isn't an enjoyable read, it is, it just isn't as powerful [to me] as Meat.
I think that the problem lies in the fact that the book centers around creatures that are ultimately created out of our garbage and I just had difficulty placing myself into this reality. Still, D'Lacey has actually created some pretty terrifying creatures [my favorite being the centipede] You see, the creatures create themselves from whatever waste we dispose of and whatever they feed on becomes a part of them, helping them to grow stronger and faster [for instance, the centipede had legs that were made up of severed fingers and it's teeth were rows of knives] While not as good as Meat, The Garbage Man is still an enjoyable read and for what it is, it does not disappoint.
Let me leave you with my favorite line in the book: "Her closed eyes are two pregnant bellies in which twin eye-fetuses kick" How awesome is that line?!? Another cool thing, I thought, was one of the character's dogs were named Ozzy & Lemmy :-) Also, for any zombie fans out there, one of the characters is an avid video game player and there is a zombie game [Revenant Apocalypse] that he plays where he wields a katana - very cool - especially since he utilizes the game play when the garbage creatures start attacking. . .
On to The Kill Crew:
Set in a post apocalyptic society, The Kill Crew is the story of a group of survivors - primarily, the main character, Sheri, her 'not-really' boyfriend Ike, and a young girl by the name of Trixie.
The story is told in a 1st person narrative, from the viewpoint of Sheri.
After what is called The Long Silence - after which every car, watch, phone, etc has stopped working [Was the cause some sort of electro-magnetic bomb? No one knows for sure] - people have begun to change. While not exactly zombies, the story runs parallel with the zombie theme.
In The Kill Crew, the "zombies" are called Commuters, and similar to Matheson's I Am Legend, the commuters come out only at night. [Was it something in the water, a chemical, or some aspect of nature that has caused normal people to change into commuters? Again, no one knows for sure] Not everyone was affected though. About 200 survivors have walled themselves into what they call The Station, which consists of a city block of shops, apartments, 2 gun shops, 3 mini markets, 2 restaurants, and a wholesale warehouse... Every night a lottery is held and a group of survivors, known as "Crewers" head out beyond their walls to kill the commuters. [they say that if they kill 20 - 50 commuters a night, they will be 'crewing' for the next 20 - 30 years!]
Sheri is one of the best there is at 'crewing' - she carries two pump-action shotguns [named Kane & Abel] and a snub nose .38 named the paramedic] While her and Trixie [a young girl she has taken under her wing] are out "shopping" for supplies, during the day - when it's safe, Ike asks if he can tag along. While Sheri & Trixie are inside a store, Ike finds a vehicle that is still working - the three also discover that the commuters are evolving - these two things change the story drastically.
In The Kill Crew, D'Lacey has created some great characters, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if The Long Silence came about due to some sort of ecological unbalancing.
As you can tell by the length of the story, this one is really just a novella, though I sincerely hope that D'Lacey plans to one day go back to it and expand upon it, as it is an awesome read! The 77 pages fly by and only leave you wanting way more!
The Kill Crew is D'Lacey's 1st book that is actually going to be published in America, and it is due out in paperback, on August 10th, so mark your calendars now!