Review: Ferox by Chris Brausch
Review by Nix Whittaker
If all the teenage dystopian texts had a love child with all the darkest space operas you would get Ferox. It is a little wordy but it is clever so I’ll forgive it its verbose nature.
Set a thousand years in the future where the world is pretty much starving to death and China has taken over New Zealand and made everyone into slaves. We follow the story of a few characters on both side so the conflict. We have the desperate and the pragmatic along with the plain just evil but they are pitched to us the reader in a way that makes us not completely hate them.
The story is very cleverly told unfortunately the bad guys are called the Fong and every time I read it all I heard in my head was, “I will fong you until your insides are out.” Unfortunate, but it did make it more amusing though I doubt that was the intention.
This story barely passes the Bechdel test but at least there is a strong female character that certainly doesn’t need any rescuing from anyone. I like it when the women are bad asses. The story in general is darker than I like but it is certainly realistic in the dark future it portrays. There are swear words but they aren’t over used. Sex and violence are used to control and everyone is ruthless because that is the only way to survive.
The world building is exquisite. No fault can be found there. The characters are fully filled out and three dimensional though most of that gets lost in the large cast in the book. I think that might explain its length. Or is that just the wordiness (okay maybe I didn’t forgive them for that)
I give it four stars. Half a star off because it is too long and dark for me and another half star for the terrible cover.
BLURB: The year is 2987, a thousand years since the Global Catastrophe. Post-oil and post-iron, the islands of New Zealand labour under the tyrannical Fong dynasty that has enslaved the masses to provide for an aristocratic few.
Somewhere on the plains of the South Island, a man and his son fight for their lives, hunted down by the Emperor’s forces for daring to be free. If the youth can escape the onslaught of their pursuers and make it to the forest, he might survive the day, but in that inhuman wilderness lie legendary terrors even more menacing than the men trying to kill him.
Meanwhile far to the South, a rebellion of its own threatens to shake the empire to its rotten foundations, as a rogue warlord and his allies eagerly await the return of an exploratory ship from the depths of the Southern Ocean.
Alone on an island to the east, an old man watches the stars and keeps track of mankind’s destiny. For the antipodean isles, a millenium of cultivator oppression may face its biggest challenge yet.