If an author is going to create an Apocalyptic event he might as well do it thoroughly. Killing off seven billion people overnight seems to be pretty thorough to me. Messing with the environment and changing the stars and planets we usually see adds to that thoroughness. R.J. Murray shares such an event with us in The Event. The Event appears to be a science fiction tale that slowly but surely leans toward fantasy. Not fantasy as we know it but rather new technology that has to be developed due to the teeny tiny damages wrought by Earth’s changes. Mutated people that have the qualities we find in traditional fantasy adds to the fantasy feel of the story.
As with other apocalyptic tales, we find that the qualities people already have seem to intensify in times of crisis. This is a normal trait in humans. Any type of traumatic event tends to pare down all of our extras leaving some sort of quality central that we draw upon. This is when we see a person run back into a mall again and again saving people’s lives while others break into buildings raiding them of wares, beat up others and do other heinous deeds. People are people whether our skyline changes or not.
The mutations we see are people whose bodies morph into something other than they were used to being (that is, those who did not turn to dust or remain human). Let’s see what we have:
Wizards are people who find themselves younger/stronger/longer-lived and able to handle the tools left from before the apocalypse. All races have their own wizards.
Elves also seem to be long-lived and changed into a stronger/younger version of themselves. But they seem more attuned to plants and living creatures rather than technology.
Dwarves are like the ones in stories: like to live underground and have an affinity for stone. Dwarves are shorter and more compact than humans. They will probably end up being longer-lived as well.
Humans are more numerous than the others and breed easier. There really isn’t much more to say about them.
Goblins are like the goblins we know from epic fantasy. There are various types, sizes and numbers. Most of them live underground or underwater. They too have wizards.
Thankfully Murray hasn’t fallen for the temptation of making people smarter or dumber than they were just because they happen to be elf, wizard, dwarf or goblin. There are qualities that are intensified but if you were dumb as bread before the apocalypse, well, you are going to remain dumb as bread – and probably dead within a very short time. Some of the people have to learn the hard way and for some that means they end up dead.
That probably tells you that it is not all happy endings. In spite of that I would not say that The Event is particularly dark. It is more like the traditional sword/sorcery stories in tone. I’m guessing this is a young adult story. It’s a pretty straight-forward tale without explicit violence or explicit sex. There is action and plenty of it.
Murray builds his world for us showing us how people become what they are and what happens to the Earth itself. By the end I felt pretty comfortable with the whole thing. I felt there was a proper ending although there was a tiny hill-hanger showing me that a continuation was on its way.
A pretty enjoyable tale that looks as if it has great potential.
- Print Length: 398 pages
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0083CMJ74