Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Title: Fork in the Road to Apocalypse
Series: Subnorm
Author: Jeff Gonsalves
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Format: eBook
Source: Author
To Purchase: Amazon  

Book Description: Elliott Andersson is a disturbed young boy with a dangerous psychic talent. His mother believes that he can make a victim's worst fears materialize in times of stress, so she keeps him locked in her house for days at a time. In a fit of desperation, Elliott transforms her home into a fiery vision from Hell, drawing the government's attention. A frantic chase results in the crippling of federal agents and detainment of Elliott in a maximum-security seclusion tank.

Elliott's uncle Chuck is an operative working for the Genetics Bureau, the agency that has subdued his nephew. His job is to interrogate mutants to see if they possess lethal psychic abilities. When Elliott is imprisoned, Chuck embarks on a moral roller-coaster ride, uncertain whether to protect his nephew or society. His nonchalant attitude masks an innate desire to save Elliott at all costs--even if it means leaving casualties in their wake.

An interrogation proves that he can alter reality, and the government decides to evaluate Elliott for use in military combat. Frightened, but with a strong will to survive, he resists the hands twisting him into a weapon. He is reeling on the brink of despair when his uncle forms a band of renegade soldiers to smuggle Elliott out of the Genetics Bureau.

After this daring escape attempt, Chuck and a group of aberrants board a skim-cruiser headed into an uncharted wasteland. Pursued by the military, an android stalker, and a vengeful government agent, their only hope is to reach a leper colony that may not exist.

Shadowing every victory is the suspicion that Elliott cannot control his psychic ability, and is unconsciously using it against the people he loves most.

Chuck must determine whether Elliott can be saved, or whether his psychic ability must result in his own termination. But at whose hands?

Review: Fork in the Road to Apocalypse by Jeff Gonsalves is a gory and disturbing tale of the costs of differences in society.

Chuck, an operative of the Genetics Bureau, strives to keep his nephew Elliott’s agenda under control and out of the Bureau’s eye, but when his nephew’s psychic talents become too dangerous, they capture and interrogate him. Now the government wants to use his dangerous abilities for their good. Chuck has other plans, but can he save his nephew or lose everything in the end?

Fork in the Road to Apocalypse starts out with great promise. Then, the interrogation scenes take over. These scenes are brutal and violent. At times, I am not sure if they serve the plot, and they seem almost gratuitous and sensationalized in nature when they come one right after the other. Of the characters, Chuck was my favorite, but by the end, I didn’t care as much about any of the characters and their plight. The plot sags in the middle. Gonsalves creates a well-written novel with beautiful descriptions in a stark world, but it is a struggle for me to pick out the good within the gore. As a second novel in a series, I feel a little more backstory could’ve helped me understand the Subnorm world some more. The novel has promise, and it’s an interesting world.

Jeff Gonsalves’ Fork in the Road to Apocalypse is a bleak portrayal of life after an apocalypse. Although this novel was just okay for me, it is well-written and touches on the worst of society with seemingly little hope.