By: Bill Braddock
Permuted Press Publishing
Something has gone dreadfully awry in a college town ordinarily consumed in frat parties, football, cheerleaders and more parties. The carnage unleashed seems to pour from the very microbrewery the youths have known to come and love. Will there be any stopping the blood lust and mayhem unleashed or will everyone eventually succumb to Brew?
Bill Braddock’s novella, Brew is an apocalyptic cavalcade of carnage meets the fall of Babylon. He pulls no punches and spares no detail in the sheer primal evil rearing its ugly head in this graphic terror. Be forewarned, this is not your ordinary, candy coated zombie tale, Brew is a gore, blood splattered exposition that refuses to relent until the final pages.
The onslaught of intriguing characters makes this tale a captivating expose that carries the plot smoothly and goes down like a well-chilled lager. Some readers may have a little struggle keeping all of the protagonists and antagonists straight. The number of characters teeters close to the fifty or so volume which is a little unusual for a novella, the sort of thing we may suspect from an epic eight hundred to twelve hundred odyssey. Yet Braddock makes it work and we’re as equally enthralled with what Steve and Catalina are up to as Demetrius and Herbert have to offer.
Character development within itself is executed decently. The interaction and rising tension is illustrated with some memorable dialogue and non-verbal cues. Once again these personality sculptures are traditionally reserved for bulking literature. The author seems to have a firm grasp on the need to cut through all of the trivial and mundane, getting his audience to know the characters quickly and efficiently; no easy feat within a mere one hundred sixty four pages.
Some may be a little perplexed over the indulgence in exposition or back drop to several of the characters’ lives. It isn’t so much the duration or frequency in learning about one collective individual’s past as it is the timing. We all know it’s a necessary evil from time to time to get to fully understand what makes a character tick. Yet the distracting variable would present itself just when we’re on the cusp in embedding some serious pulse pounding action the narrative suddenly drifts off to Demetrius’s history. It may be a little distracting for some readers, dramatically slowing the pace just when the momentum was picked up in overdrive.
The tale is unapologetically lewd, crude and brewed. Braddock’s tale is so intense graphic images will resonate long after the final chapters. If a film version were released in its mirror image it’d undoubtedly receive an x rating.
The use of contemporary technological references and pop culture will lure a mass audience into the chaotic fray of things with a common bond or relation. Engaging younger readers in today’s society is no easy feat and the author should be commended for doing so. For those of us a little more aged there is still a little something for everyone to relate to in the characters from sororities to college coeds, weed enthusiasts, geeks, the promiscuous and perverts.
Braddock reserves no hesitation in graphic glory occasionally slaying characters we don’t suspect. Far too many tales are predictable and become monotonous and mundane as our subconscious decides who will survive and who will divide and conquer. In Brew, Braddock is a refreshing game changer and will spark a great deal of emotion through the unexpected.
Brew fits neatly into the post-apocalyptic niche of Permuted Press and a stellar edition to burst the threshold open for a new home in terror. I’d highly anticipate another reading adventure along with this highly gifted author.