Monday, December 29, 2014

Book Review: Macaque Attack!

In what has become a sort of holiday tradition, we have a new book in Gareth Powell's Ack-Ack Macaque series this winter. I liked the first one and thought the second one was okay, but how about the third and final?

I wasn't sure what I'd think about the third one given my relative ambivalence about the second. Macaque Attack is the logical conclusion of the results of Hive Monkey, with plenty of monkey clones and some further universe bending that we've come to expect from the series. As the world grows, so too does the character base, and one of the best benefits of the newest book, oddly enough, is that Ack-Ack Macaque isn't present for a ton of it in comparison to some of the other books, and the result is a better read on a whole. We get a good exploration of the post-Hive Monkey world, and it ends up being pretty fun.

For me, I didn't find the conclusion to be the most satisfying thing in the world, as everything is tied up and together for the most part, but considering that it started out with a foul-mouthed, cigar-chomping monkey hero and ended up a lot broader than that, I suppose I can't complain too too much overall.

Ultimately, though, you have to really take this trilogy as a sum of its parts. A surprisingly ambitious story that starts as a video game and ends in basically saving the universe isn't a bad journey to be on, and I honestly think I might feel more fondly about the series had I not read it over the course of 2+ years. It's designed for that sort of pulpy quick hit, and that's ultimately where and how it succeeds. So yeah, overall, if you haven't dove in yet, there's no better time than now to start, and it will probably be a pretty fun read for you if you do.

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