Great Review for Charlie Human’s ANCESTRAL from Arts24!

A little while ago, we shared the cover and details for Charlie Human‘s latest ‘firecracker’ of a novel, ANCESTRAL. We wanted to take this opportunity to flag a great review the novel has received, from Arts24, who called it ‘his best work to date’

‘Right from the opening pages until an exhilarating, powerful conclusion, this is mightily efficient, thoroughly researched, cleverly conceived and well-executed genre fare… energetic, well-mounted action set pieces, cracking, witty dialogue, convincing, layered characterisation and ultimately very solid internal logic and narrative craft…

… whacks you with muscular, even lovely prose, thoughtful juxtaposition of beauty and bone-crunching violence, and has you cackling away knowingly at the now gentle, now brutal (satirical) gaze he employs.

ANCESTRAL might well be the work of a madman, but oh, the method!’

ANCESTRAL is out now, published in South Africa by Penguin. Here’s the synopsis…

Clementine Khoza is a hard person; hard to know, hard to love, hard to fight. When she was a little girl, her grandfather put a stick and a shield in her hands and taught her the ancient stick-fighting art of her Zulu ancestors. The hard way.

And right now she is in a hard place, searching for Drew, her young son – kidnapped and drawn into the heart of a vicious gang conflict. Ex-army and ex-cop, Clementine has tracked Drew’s phone to Welcome Shade – a sprawling retirement estate that has fallen into disrepair to become a gang-infested war-zone. With nothing but a talent for violence, a drone piloted by a skinny Afrikaans street kid as her eye-in-the-sky, and a huge dog with ptsd who tried to kill her and then, somehow, became her sidekick, she’ll wield stick and shield, machete and shotgun, and wade through a sea of bodies to find her son.

But the gangs are only part of the problem. Dark, twisted things stalk the estate: nightmare creatures, elite military snipers working as mercenaries and a sword-wielding man on a white horse who has made her and Drew part of his agenda. And then there are the memories and visions of her ancestors, and her own very special hallucination whom she nicknames ‘Glitch’.

It’s going to be a hard day.

Here’s what Charlie had to say about writing novel, in a message on Facebook

In preparation for this novel, I read elegant prose, pondered deeply on how to use sparse and minimalist text to exquisitely convey human emotion, and looked for a way to give this work a deep thematic weight that would speak to our deepest selves.

Then I put that all aside and wildly wrote about cults fighting gangs fighting dogs fighting monsters embedded in an African mythological alien context. What can I say? I am who I am.

Human is also the author of the Baxter Zevchenko novels, APOCALYPSE NOW NOW and KILL BAXTER, published in the UK by JABberwocky, and by Titan Books in North America.

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