Originally published 09/06/2016
Trailing dystopian nights into no less dystopian days, Greg F. Gifune’s grim fantasy noir, Babylon Terminal, is a quick tour of a blood-spattered world of rules, victims, and punishers. Between the fights, the bathing in blood and gore-laden scenery, there is something poetic in how Monk sees his world of reality and dreams. A flavor not uncommon of recent releases indie publishing houses, the bleak, graphic, startling, chaotic worlds where imagery reigns for the sake of style. This point is neither good nor bad in the case of Babylon Terminal.
Nothing is forced or overdone, and for that, the reader is rewarded with a scenario that is easily followed, just as the runner is easily followed in the tale. Bright characters and endless ways to die keep the story bouncing along the seemingly singular and mostly isolated path.
With little help, Monk chases his Dorothy down the Yellow Brick Road, seeking the Land of Oz, overcoming obstacles as much with luck and chance as with his skills. The fallible, morally ambiguous hero is made rewarding by these traits.
Monk is the story, Monk is agreeable, his dreams work, his ambition is easily followed, and his methods of massacre are plenty. The story itself reads like a mixture of the film Blade Runner and The Waste Lands by Stephen King. It is fast with zero filler. It is intriguing and ultimately engaging from beginning to conclusion.
A novella beyond its page count. Worth reading without doubt.
Available now from Journalstone