Futuristic earth is plagued by a zombie infestation caused by an undetermined virus. Seemingly all mankind survivors are at the mercy of the ravenous undead hunger. Will the reanimated wipe out human civilization as we know it? Or will a formidable invention be the key to thwart the multitude of ravenous flesh eating society?
Xavier Cecil’s efforts are without question innovative, ambitious and provide a creative slant on a genre that has just about been completely bludgeoned to death with exposure. I appreciate his unique perspective in developing a tale that enhances a very popular theme and mish mashes a very different twist in as well.
For readers that are familiar with my reviews, each of you will know my general sentiment towards science fiction. We generally are as cohesive as an egg salad sandwich and about three days of Arizona sun exposure. Needless to state we don’t mix so well. The recipe isn’t impossible mind you, but more times than not the end results are not at all pretty.
I actually sat with this novel for much longer than I care to admit. I offer my apologies Mr. Cecil for the extended wait; I wanted to give Apocalypse Doll a fair shake but often get lost within the sea of lingo, jargon and syntax many other readers breeze through fluently in science fiction themed stories. It’s not without shame that I’ll admit my attention wanders to the sequence of events that transpired throughout my previous day, a grocery list, chronologically listing my favorite Kiss songs from 1974 to present, reciting the funniest dialogue from Anchor Man, well you get the picture. My mind wanders while my eyes scan dozens of pages while realizing I hadn’t absorbed a damn thing.
In all fairness Cecil is a very talented writer. Arguably his descriptions are over extravagant to the point one wonders if he’d received a Reader’s Digest vocabulary calendar for Christmas yet I find his enthusiasm commendable. I think if a persistent editor were to convince Xavier to trim down on the wordy descriptions, prune them by a couple hundred words we’d captivate a much larger audience. As much as I wanted to enjoy Apocalypse Doll I had to read, reread and reread again to really get it. Many other readers will get frustrated and ultimately abandon the adventure without giving it a real chance.
On a positive note there is a little something for everyone. Granted a lot of innuendo and not so subtle text is presented that may not be suitable for an adolescent crowd, the introduction of surrogate robotic sex dolls as the saviors of the earth is Sci-Fi exploitation at its finest. Somewhat comical, endearing and disturbingly titillating our lead protagonist Gia, is a redheaded bombshell originally designed and manufactured for human companionship. It’s ironic how she evolves into the very key to survival.
As we become further engaged in the development of the dolls it’s fascinating to see each develop their own personality that is somewhat reminiscent of the classic film Blade Runner. How is does that catchy little White Zombie ditty go again..? Ah yes, More Human Than Human. There’s plenty of subtext to be found here in parallels with how we interact with one another as a human race in the twenty first century. Cecil is no fool in creating profound themes that can be analyzed and discussed for numerous years to come.
I’d recently discovered after completing Apocalypse Doll that there is indeed a prequel titled Fleshware Requiem which may answer a lot of unanswered questions and add some perspective to Apocalypse Doll. It’s definitely worth a read for those discerning Sci-Fi fans that don’t mind a twist of zombielore and surrogate sex dolls added to the mix. Perhaps someone could interpret it to me?
Book Review: Apocalypse – Author Xavier Cecil