Review: Cynopolis by David W. Edwards

Cynopolis (Nightscape #2)Cynopolis by David W. Edwards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The worst of infections can take advantage of the most minute of a body’s weaknesses–when the system breaks, it breaks down completely. In this Lovecraftian horror novel, an apocalyptic infestation stirs in the dystopian wound that is Detroit. After generations of neglect and exploitation by institutionalized racism and capitalism, the citizens of Detroit have become vulnerable to expansionist whims of ultra-dimensional alien godlings bent on chaos and infiltration.

The 3-day Battle of Detroit sees hundreds of disenfranchised citizens shape-shifted into jackal-headed killers and hundreds of thousands killed as the government stumble-bumbles its reaction to the scourge. Third-person narration following a cross-section of the populous: native Detroit cops Swain and Rollie; immigrants from Iraq, eastern Europe and Thailand; junkies, dealers, strippers, ex-cons, homeless, ex-60s radicals, and gangbangers; and a small non-profit dog rescue team.

These in-depth character arcs are interspersed with second-person vignettes of personalities glimpsed and/or taken over by the godlings:

Anger: the signal waveform of the slum deeps, disordered and disordering. Its corrupting vibrations excite your hacklesenses. You’re a creature of anger now–an anger borne of injustice and generations old. There’s no why or wherefore, no personality to plumb. The profounds of civilization stand for nothing. You’ve been created anew and more hotblooded: a flicker-fusion of man and animal and god. . . Those insulated rich would know the judgment due. Assured in their superior means, in their thoughts and Sunday virtues, they regard their luxuries as marks of steady character, not luck, no, never birth nor circumstance. Those are excuses for the poorer sort. Ah, to consider their haughty delusions gives you an ache in the back of your throat.

The novel is a high action horror-thriller with supernatural underpinnings. But the heart of the novel rests in the all-too-human characters acting out of luck and instinct. Some favorite characters include: Malee, the gun-loving, survivalist, Thai immigrant, stripper-girlfriend of a cop; Khonsu, the ex-60s radical, ex-con, ex-addict, now homeless and selling Black Power books from a defunct press to make ends meet; and Teyo, the Hispanic ex-Marine now working the dog rescue team despite crippled limbs and accompanying pain.

I received my copy of this novel directly from the author through
[Check out my other reviews here.]


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