Year 47: Bo Chappell
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Last year I had the fortune of reading ‘By Year’s End’ an anthology based on Chappell’s book ‘Year 47.’ It said in the introduction that the stories were all set in the same world, but you didn’t need to have read ‘Year 47’ beforehand. Now having read ‘Year 47,’ I can confirm that you do not need to have read it beforehand, but now the two combined make for a stunning double bill.
KR: You can read the By Year’s End Kendall Review HERE
What I liked: Set 47 years after an event has thrown the world into a post-apocalyptic existence, we are quickly introduced to a non-verbal child named Sara and the gunslinger The Stranger. The Stranger has decided to try and accompany the girl back to her family, but nobody knows for sure if that part of the world even exists. I found The Stranger to be a nod to Roland from King’s Dark Tower series, but not in an obnoxious way or one that detracted from the story. I loved the world that this is set in and it was great to get a Mad Max type take on survival.
What I didn’t like: While I loved the setting and the world, I wished Chappell had given us more information, more descriptions on some of the beasties and baddies that swoop from the sky and attack from the dark. It didn’t detract from it, but at the beginning, I found I was getting some of the creatures jumbled.
Why you should buy it: If you are looking for an action/adventure post-apocalyptic story that features a stunning philosophical ending, I couldn’t recommend this enough. Chappell has created a really great world here and the good guy versus bad guy theme takes a number of hits as the story progresses, which is great to see as it made the decisions The Stranger had to make that much more compelling.
I had a great time reading this Mad Max Western and it really does gallop along at a breakneck pace.
Chappell delivers some vicious moments book-ended by beautifully written prose and I’m all the more fulfilled as the reader, having him treat this like a delicate flower in his delivery.
HORROR-WRITERS.COM’S 2016 NOVEL OF THE YEAR
There once was a creator who watched over you from the Heavens. Who kept you safe from his past and present. Who gave you all that you needed to build your own lives while guiding you home. Who knew your name and loved you.
But He no longer existed, and His three houses were destroyed. Your countless prayers have gone unanswered, and your endless hopes have been buried in unmarked graves for forty-six years.
With the walls torn away, the three became one. And among the blackened skies and arid soil of the New West walked a man with a gun and no purpose. A Stranger to you and everyone else.
But as chance and fate collided, a lonely girl crossed the path he walked, carrying hope that her home was still out there waiting for her.
How long can purpose be denied, and how far can hope carry two heavy hearts in an unknown land?
There is no Heaven.
There is no Hell.
There just is.
And you will bare witness to Year 47.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of three novels, a number of novellas and four collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
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