Humour’s a funny thing, until it isn’t. Then, it’s a complete waste of time.
I started “Bleeding Empire” hoping for a zany and original approach to the Apocalypse,
The opening fitted the bill. The Five Horsemen of the Apocalypse (five because Death is twins) arrive in a city centre (without horses – banned by Health and Safety – but with motorbikes) to find that everyone is so busy with Christmas shopping that their, slightly bumbled, entrance goes unnoticed. Then they checked into a cheap TravelInn and bickered endlessly about what to do next.
By the 20% mark, I was beginning to realise this book might not be for me. I felt it was trying too hard. There was lots of brittle, clever-clever dialogue exchanged between the five horsemen of the apocalypse as they behaved like sadistic, murderous, children on a sugar-high with a tendency to sulk or throw tantrums when not killing people. This got old VERY quickly.
The graphic violence had already palled. The witty dialogue had slipped into juvenile jibes with a bleeding edge vocabulary. There was some gleeful anarchy at the heart of everything but it was SO anarchic that the story seems to have no purpose or direction.
I hoped that a plot might emerge or, failing that a character or two I might care about, or even a clever twist that explained why this video game level carnival of carnage was interesting.
I gave up at 38%, after a series of murders and a violent riot that were described in detail but without any flair. Who knew that blood and gore and pointless, spiteful aggression could be so boring?
Now I’ll never know if this bunch of back-biting, sulky, incompetent demi-gods ended the world. The upside is, I won’t have to spend any more time with them in my head.