As human beings continue to destroy old Mother Earth at an alarming rate, it is only a matter of time before we all discover a new planet in which to eradicate. One that has not yet known our toxic human touch and is both primitive- yet deadly. In such an archaic land, those individuals who possess crack survival skills and an unbending tenacity will inevitably rise to the top. Actively being sought out and pursued for their unique skills and pure grit. In turn, helping those less than lionhearted neophytes find their way in a vast and savage new world. For those readers who enjoy their Science Fiction and Fantasy with a mammoth dose of audaciousness… Cur Dogs is the remedy you seek!
Cur Dogs takes place on a new planet. One which has given humans the opportunity to escape and Earth which they have virtually destroyed. It offers new hope and opportunity- or so they think. In reality, it is composed of two distinctly different cities. The poor and desperate “Sea City” and its significantly better off sister city called Dinlas Verde. Naturally, everyone wants to escape the one for the other. However, the problem is that it takes a vast amount of money to make such a transition. Not to mention having to travel through a wilderness which is filled with potential death and terror lurking around every corner.
In order to traverse through this death trap, Chaperones are hired. These are the aforementioned individuals who possess both the required knowledge and skills to guide their clients through this deadly stretch of land. One such Chaperone is Etta Reigert. She is tasked with transporting thirteen people across this ferocious outland to the promised “Xanadu” of Dinlas Verde. And a juicy promotion will be awaiting her on the other side of a successful mission. Easy Peasy! However, nothing is ever as easy as it seems. Etta must answer to her lead Chaperone Victor Stovall, who has the heart of a lion… and personality of a badger! Add to this a group of 13 unruly clients who may just have some ulterior motives of their own. No… this trip is going to be anything but typical!
The plot of this novel absolutely has a mesmeric and hypnotic effect. The action is non-stop, unpredictable and utterly irascible in nature. Believe me… these are all good things and serve to make this story what it is. The tale really has a Quentin Tarantino flavor to it. Absolutely in your face in a shockingly brutal… yet beautiful… way. If you dive into this book expecting a typical science fiction adventure story, that is not what you are going to find. Instead, you will discover an action packed story which is backed up by marvelous and descriptive writing. The flow is smooth and constant and the description of the alien land is intricately detailed and meticulous. You can see, feel, taste and smell everything in this story. A sensory delight!
In regards to the many different characters in this tale, the author does an excellent job in introducing and depicting them. From the beatnik Birdie to the evil and cruel Massot. All the characters have something unique to offer in this tale. Nevertheless, in the end it is Reigert and Stovall’s show. They are both entirely believable as flawed individuals with entirely redeeming qualities simmering below the surface. Horrifically brutal in one moment and surprisingly tender in the next. The author cleverly weaves his web with dynamic characters who constantly support the development of the story. Identifiable and absolutely memorable!
Having read M.N. Seeley’s first work, A Flicker of Shadows, I was unsure about what to expect with Cur Dogs. It seemed to be entirely different in nature to A Flicker of Shadows which is a piece of Literary Fiction I really enjoy and stands out to me as one of the best books I have read. So naturally I was a little bit nervous as I opened the first pages of Cur Dogs. The bar had been set really high with Seeley’s first novel. However, what I found was that while it was an entirely different type of book… I love it equally as much! A top-notch story which is backed up by impeccable writing and innovative ideas. Seeley has once again shown his keen aptitude for storytelling in an entirely engrossing fashion.
5 out of 5 Irascible Stars for this one!