A century after the gods of old destroyed the earth as humans knew it, things that once would have been considered myth or relegated to science fiction and fantasy – such as magic and aliens – are now commonplace in a world gone mad. Ranger John Booth and his team are sent on a mission into the depths of the wasteland, when all hell breaks loose. Now exiled as a traitor by the city-state he once protected, John must form uneasy alliances in order to fulfill a new mission: revenge.
I’m not the most well-versed reader when it comes to the Cthulhu mythos, but I have read a few of H.P. Lovecraft’s stories and some novels inspired by his writing. So going into Cthulhu Armageddon, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, other than what the book’s blurb told me. I’ve read a few of Phipps’s novels and know that he can pretty much write in any genre – fantasy, science fiction, super hero, urban fantasy, comedy – while also having the unique ability to mesh some of them together. And sure enough, that’s what he does with this story. Cthulhu Armageddon is a wild, strange amalgamation of the horror, action, and weird western genres, with elements of science fiction, fantasy, and some keen comedic timing. And it is a lot of fun.
Phipps knows how to write an action-packed story, one that can feel relentless, but then slow down at a moment’s notice to either push the plot forward, build relationships, or delve into deeper, existential and thought-provoking questions about humanity. In Cthulhu Armageddon, Phipps does all of these with such seamless ease. The plot is straightforward at times, but advances with numerous “holy crap” twists and surprises; the relationships, too, seem to be fairly uncomplicated, but that all changes when motives, desires, and hidden agendas are revealed; and the questions that I found most intriguing in the story are these: if you know the world stands no chance at survival, why keep fighting to save it? Additionally, why fight for those who hate you? And If all you knew about yourself turned out to be a lie, how do you move on? Excellent questions and even better execution in exploring them to varying degrees.
Cthulhu Armageddon is a thrilling post-apocalyptic action horror that never misses a beat when it comes to character growth and provocative life questions. I look forward to seeing how Phipps advances the story in the sequel.
Thank you to C.T. Phipps for a review copy of Cthulhu Armageddon in exchange for an honest review.