cover image The Apocalyse Ark

The Apocalyse Ark

Peter Roman. ChiZine (Consortium, U.S. dist.; PGC/Raincoast, Canadian dist.), $16.99 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-77148-377-3

At one point during Roman's third Book of Cross novel (following The Mona Lisa Sacrifice and The Dead Hamlets), Alice (of Wonderland) comments, "That's the magical thing about books. They don't have to make sense." There's likely meta-commentary in that statement, as Cross's adventures are almost unarguably confusing, but happily they're also very fun to read. This adventure finds the habitually belligerent Cross%E2%80%94a man who's been trapped for millennia within the resurrected body of Christ%E2%80%94stumbling onto, losing, and trying to regain "God's bible" before Noah, "the keeper of God's mistakes [who] has gone mad in God's absence," uses it to annihilate the world. Readers who are unoffended by this plot will very likely dig Cross's bizarre exploits, even if they wish Roman would slow the narrative now and then. The Cross series is a spiritual relative to Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim and Lavie Tidhar's Bookman series, meaning that anyone (and anything) in the literary universe is fair game. Mythological beasts, Lovecraftian allusions, pirates, and characters from Moby Dick and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea all fuse together to form a vastly entertaining, fantastical, breakneck hodgepodge quest novel that has the good sense never to take itself too seriously. Agent: Monica Pacheco, McDermid Agency. (Apr.)