Tags: daryl gregory


Book Review: Afterparty, by Daryl Gregory

God is a drug in this near-future medical thriller.


Tor, 2014, 304 pages

It begins in Toronto, in the years after the smart drug revolution. Any high school student with a chemjet and internet connection can download recipes and print drugs, or invent them. A seventeen-year-old street girl finds God through a new brain-altering drug called Numinous, used as a sacrament by a new Church that preys on the underclass. But she is arrested and put into detention, and without the drug, commits suicide.

Lyda Rose, another patient in that detention facility, has a dark secret: She was one of the original scientists who developed the drug. With the help of an ex-government agent and an imaginary, drug-induced doctor, Lyda sets out to find the other three survivors of the five who made the Numinous in a quest to set things right.

A mind-bending and violent chase across Canada and the US, Daryl Gregory's Afterparty is a marvelous mix of William Gibson's Neuromancer, Philip K. Dick's Ubik, and perhaps a bit of Peter Watt's Starfish: A last chance to save civilization, or die trying.

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Verdict: Afterparty is a worthy piece of modern speculative fiction, with some genuinely original ideas and diverse and interesting characters, all of which are driven by a good if not entirely unpredictable plot. 8/10.

Also by Daryl Gregory: My review of Raising Stony Mayhall.

My complete list of book reviews.

Book Review: Raising Stony Mayhall, by Daryl Gregory

A touching zombie coming-of-age story.

Raising Stony Mayhall

Del Rey, 2011, 448 pages

In 1968, after the first zombie outbreak, Wanda Mayhall and her three young daughters discover the body of a teenage mother during a snowstorm. Wrapped in the woman's arms is a baby - stone-cold, not breathing, and without a pulse. But then his eyes open and look up at Wanda, and he begins to move.The family hides the child - whom they name Stony - rather than turn him over to authorities who would destroy him.

Against all scientific reason, the undead boy begins to grow. For years, his adoptive mother and sisters manage to keep his existence a secret - until one terrifying night when Stony is forced to run, and he learns that he is not the only living dead boy left in the world.

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Verdict: Even if you are tired of zombies, give this book a chance. It's well written, it's poignant, it's the most unexpectedly touching book you will ever read that ends with a zombie apocalypse. (That's not a spoiler since it's mentioned in the prologue.) Stony Mayhall is a surprisingly effective living dead protagonist. While it's not quite perfect, Raising Stony Mayhall has got a lot more brains than your average zombie novel.

My complete list of book reviews.