Fan Feedback on Latest Novel: The Social Club
This is a good review (warts and all) of the novel I launched last month. It’s my eighth book, although only the third to be set after the apocalyptic event known as Yellow Dawn has taken place. The other five books all take place in a more or less ordinary world where the horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos haven’t yet delivered a knock-out blow against humanity.
Dr Robert Lowe, the chap who wrote this kindly sent me his thoughts via email after he secured a pre-launch copy. Sharing his words here (unabridged).
Subject: Review of The Social Club
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2013 14:31:54 +0000
Thanks again for the pre-launch copy of The Social Club. I’ve written a mini-review which is appended below.
Also, I’m hoping to make it to the launch party on the 23rd (it’s a straight forwards hop from here in S_____ to Bristol).
Review – The Social Club
The Social Club is the latest novel by David J Rodger. Rodger’s work essentially spans two different but related genres placed within the same future world. One strand pursues cyberpunk/horror (gritty near-future Lovecraftian) whilst the other strand focuses on survival-horror/thriller (the same world, but a few years after the zombie apocalypse).
The Social Club is set in the latter. I mention a zombie apocalypse, but in fact it is so much more (as revealed in Rodger’s roleplaying game, Yellow Dawn).
In The Social Club, the action occurs within a island of civilisation – an enclave – located in zombie-infested London. It’s a sinister place – an Orwellian society complete with ruling single party, personality cult, and strong arm security force.
The story is essentially a detective thriller, in which our hero unwittingly finds himself drawn into a case behind which are the movers and shakers of the enclave. The machinations of the various players is set against political happenings in the wider world, providing additional twists and turns along the way.
Much of what happens in the novel are the sorts of things one could imagine occurring in a contemporary detective thriller, although lying just behind this are darker more sinister dystopian forces, and the undead horrors that lie just beyond the borders. I enjoyed this approach; it sweetened the narrative and allowed some twist to the knife.
The central protagonist is well constructed; someone I liked and rooted for and whose motivations and actions were understandable and reasonable.
Although the story develops at a fairly slow pace, the narrative is both engaging and easy to read. However, the pacing may not be to everyone’s taste. I did not encounter much the way of zombie action, but frankly, this was not a problem. The ending of the book contained sufficient open threads and ‘unfinished business’ that I wondered if Rodger is planning a sequel. Some readers may leave the table a bit unsatisfied by this; however, I felt the denouement was mature and unpatronising by its lack of complete ‘closure’.
The proofing is a bit rough at the edges, with the odd typo here and there. But given that – as I understand it – Rodger does all his own editing and layout on top of everything else, then this is easily forgivable.
In saying this, it would be a mistake to label Rodger as a mere ‘vanity’ publisher. His writing and narrative style are well developed, and with eight full-length novels, and a short story anthology under his belt (with more on the way; and not forgetting the roleplaying game and associated campaign book), I reckon David Rodger can stare down many a full-time writer.
In sum, I found The Social Club to be a solid addition to a growing collection of books set in a consistent, well-constructed and interestingly portrayed dark future. It’s a pity Rodger is not better known within the sci-fi literature and roleplaying communities, because a lot of people are missing-out on some real gems.
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The Social Club
By David J Rodger
An Orwellian detective story in a damaged universe
AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK AND KINDLE
“Atmospheric and Creepy” – The Guardian on The Black Lake
“…a modern noir style mixed in with a heavy dose of brutal action adventure!” – Reflexiones Finales on Dog Eat Dog
BUY THE SOCIAL CLUB TODAY
Available to buy in paperback from LULU Global