Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
From the first few chapters I felt Before would be an epic tale. The scope of the story along with the characters and locations gave it a wide scale feel. Paul Kane creates multiple groups of characters in various time periods and begins to weave them into a larger narrative. I really liked the glimpses of the antagonist/villain, The Infinity, that are described as he was revealed a puzzle piece at a time. The story was told from two view points. First, from the protagonist Alex and his struggle to understand the visions he is having. Second, from the antagonist The Infinity or Mr. Finn as he calls himself, and his right hand man Lucas. I really enjoyed the flow and feel of the story when were with Mr. Finn and Lucas. To me that part of the book had a different and noticeable feel. The story really moved with constant action and mystery. In contrast, when with Alex the story was flatter. It held my interest less and his character wasn’t as interesting. I typically love all the ‘British isms’ but didn’t care for many of the conversations between Alex and his wife or family. The book felt a bit split between being written with an ‘American voice’ and written with a ‘British voice’. It didn’t take away from my enjoyment, this was just my observation.
When we reach the climax with The Infinity and Alex I was all about the story again. The story picked back up with a solid pacing and thrilling action. I finally learned what The Infinity wanted and what he was all about. The plot fell into place and many of the previous clues now made sense (which was good because I was wondering if I would ever get any answers). I thought the reveal about Mr. Finn was cleaver and I loved the character but thought he was a little too easily defeated. This is a problem I’ve found in many fantasy or supernatural books I’ve read, but the author threw a nice curve ball in the end.
Length: 529 Pages
Publisher: Grey Matter Press
Release date: September 5, 2017
In 1970s Germany, a mental patient at the end of his life suddenly speaks for the first time in years. A year later in Vietnam, a mission to rescue a group of American POWs becomes a military disaster.
In present day England, the birthday of college lecturer Alex Webber sends his life spiralling out of control as a series of disturbing hallucinations lead him to the office of Dr. Ellen Hayward. And things will never be the same again for either of them. Hunted by an immortal being known only as The Infinity, their capture could mean the end of humanity itself…
Part horror story, part thrilling road adventure, part historical drama, BEFORE is a novel like no other. Described as “the dark fantasy version of Cloud Atlas,” Kane’s BEFORE is as wide in scope as it is in imagination as it tackles the greatest questions haunting mankind–Who are we? Why are we here? And where are we going?
Join award-winning author Paul Kane as he takes you on the journey of a lifetime.
Paul Kane has been writing professionally for almost fifteen years. His genre journalism has appeared in such magazines as Fangoria, SFX and Rue Morgue, and his non-fiction books are the critically acclaimed The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy and Voices in the Dark. His award-winning short fiction has appeared in magazines and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic (as well as being broadcast on BBC Radio 2), and has been collected in Alone (In the Dark), Touching the Flame, FunnyBones, Peripheral Visions, Shadow Writer, The Butterfly Man and Other Stories, The Spaces Between and GHOSTS. His novella Signs of Life reached the shortlist of the British Fantasy Awards 2006, The Lazarus Condition was introduced by Mick Garris – creator of Masters of Horror – RED featured artwork from Dave (The Graveyard Book) McKean and Pain Cages was introduced by Stephen Volk (The Awakening).
As Special Publications Editor of the British Fantasy Society he worked with authors like Brian Aldiss, Ramsey Campbell, Muriel Gray and Robert Silverberg, he is the co-editor of Hellbound Hearts for Pocket Books (Simon and Schuster), an anthology of original stories inspired by Clive Barker’s mythos – featuring contributions from the likes of Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola, Kelley Armstrong and Richard Christian Matheson – The Mammoth Book of Body Horror (Constable & Robinson) – featuring Stephen King, James Herbert and Robert Bloch – and the Poe-inspired Beyond Rue Morgue (for Titan).
In 2008 his zombie story ‘Dead Time’ was turned into an episode of the Lionsgate/NBC TV series Fear Itself, adapted by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) and directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (SAW II-IV). He also scripted The Opportunity which premiered at Cannes in 2009, The Weeping Woman – starring Fright Night’s Stephen Jeffreys – and Wind Chimes (directed by Brad ‘7th Dimension’ Watson. He is the author of the novels Of Darkness and Light, The Gemini Factor and the bestselling Arrowhead trilogy (Arrowhead, Broken Arrow and Arrowland), a post-apocalyptic reworking of the Robin Hood mythology gathered together as the sell-out Hooded Man omnibus. His latest novels are Lunar (which is set to be turned into a feature film) and the short Y.A. book The Rainbow Man (as P.B. Kane). He currently lives in Derbyshire, UK, with his wife – the author Marie O’Regan – his family, and a black cat called Mina. You can find out more at his website www.shadow-writer.co.uk which has featured Guest Writers such as Neil Gaiman, Charlaine Harris, Dean Koontz, John Connolly and Guillermo del Toro.