cover image Pilgrim Tale

Pilgrim Tale

Tim Murgatroyd. Cloud Lodge (Consortium, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (436p) ISBN 978-1-9995873-2-1

Murgatroyd introduces a dystopian 22nd-century setting in this jumbled novel. The rich research immortality in five high-tech walled cities; the rest of the world scrabbles to survive in a rough landscape where only weathered ruins remain to remind them of a better past. Protagonist Michael Pilgrim is a veteran of the Crusades and a stubborn do-gooder from a highly respected local family in the tiny fishing village of Baytown, in Yorkshire, England. Michael is desperate to fend off an approaching famine, but his mission is complicated by the arrival of an ambitious local bully who has acquired the backing of City agents (and their killer drones) and plans to take the post of mayor of Baytown. The ruined world, though far from unique, is vividly drawn. Intermittent flashbacks to Michael’s wartime experiences don’t inform the central story, though they do provide insight into the brutality of the Crusades. Too many side plots distract from the main story, leaving readers somewhat at a loss. (Apr.)