Monday, 24 November 2014
Endless Empress by Kirkland Ciccone
Review by The Mole
Portia was attacked by a serial killer as a child but managed to escape with her life after being tortured. Now she is suffering from the effects of Post Traumatic Stress and has created an imaginary world - Enkadar. Slowly she has drawn her friends into her imaginary world.
Being "different" at school is always troublesome and Portia, the now self-styled Endless Empress, is bullied and ridiculed along with her friends. Revenge is on the cards and did I tell you that this group of friends contains the academically astute in the school? Revenge will be planned, revenge will be sweet, revenge will be awesome and deadly.
With over one thousand dead in the school will the real world let it stop at that or are Enkadar and The Real World of Milordahl at war? And where will it stop? Will it stop?
Many moons ago I was walking in Glen Nevis with the family when I stepped between some tall rocks and there before me was a hidden valley - it was a shock and a truly awesome moment and Kirkland's first book Conjuring The Infinite contains such a moment when the book suddenly, within a paragraph, swings around. It did go on to win a Catalyst Award. This being Kirkland's second book I was intrigued as to what I would find - more of the same? Travelling to that hidden valley a second time was nothing like as impacting.
What I got was something totally different but still as mind-jangling. Mind-jangling and frightening at the same time. Frightening? We have all known Portia at some point in our lives... that kid who is "different" to the point they are best avoided for our own comfort - although they are often made fun of and bullied. What if they decided to take revenge?
Molly, a self styled journalist, acts as a focus to gather the history of the Endless Empress together and to try to find her because while some say the Empress is dead, many say she is not. It's difficult to understand at first why Molly is so persistent but let's not discount the X39 bus either.
The story has many threads winding through it and as a reader I found it confusing to follow each thread into the next knot for Molly to untie but when she does all becomes clear except that there is another knot looming. Lots of action and explosions and sandwiches - there really is something for everyone in here.
A second book every bit as good as the first but every bit as different too. I absolutely loved it and expect it to do as well as his first. Brilliantly conceived and executed.
Publisher - Strident Publishing
Genre - YA/teen horror, Fantasy