I am very used to CT Phipps’ books being gritty and humorous, so Cthulhu Armageddon was a great departure from the wild humour of some of the other books. This was dark, unabashedly full of Lovecraftian ideas and philosophy, and fascinating. That is to say, I liked it.
1. Thoughts on the plot
This book follows John Henry Booth, a soldier of the Remnant, one of a few remaining cities that survived the rise of the Great Old Ones when they remade the world. Humanity is dying, and these last dregs are touched by things that the human mind can’t quite comprehend. When Booth is blamed for something that he didn’t do—the death of his unit—he goes on a quest to seek vengeance on the man that truly caused the deaths. Along the way, though, are reanimated dead, monstrosities that boggle the mind, and friends who may not be all they seem.
The plot in this book felt a lot like an epic (or dark) fantasy, only Lovecraftian and Western. There was adventure, a fair amount of death and sacrifice by our antihero, and monsters. Lots of monsters. There’s not a lot I can say without spoiling things, but I really enjoyed the plot of this book.
2. Thoughts on the characters
The primary character in this book is Booth, and as a narrator he is severely unreliable. I like it, though. Getting into the depths of his mind, seeing the downfall of humanity from the cynical perspective of one right in the middle of it, is a great way to tell a story. It does mean that some of the other characters lose out a bit on explorations of their motivation, but I think it all works out. I do wish there had been a bit more with Richard, but I understand why that situation happened the way it did.
3. Favourite part
The monsters. How does one even describe things that the mind cannot comprehend? This book will tell you!
I think that the ending, specifically the final battle, was a bit…well, it felt rushed. The lead up was great, the various “side quests” and adventures were perfect, but when it all came down to it, the battle at the end happened so quickly that I was a little stunned. It works, certainly, and I don’t think that it’s illogical, but it was very quick.
Overall, if you’re looking for something dark, gritty, monstrous, and with a bit of humour (let’s be honest, there’s not a CT Phipps book without some humour) then this is absolutely the book for you. Very good.