Tribunal: Dave Jeffery
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Right off the hop, I need to be upfront. I was fortunate enough to not only appear in an anthology based off of Dave’s wonderful A Quiet Apocalypse world (I have a story that appeared in A Silent Dystopia) but I also had a novella published through Demain Publishing, who are publishing this.
Saying that, the thoughts are mine and in this case, I’m all over the place.
The thing is – I’m not a fan of this particular style of storytelling, and, when paired with a world I love so very much, you can see why this has me all muddled up.
Jeffery has made a bold decision and has told this story through the reader being given statements leading up to the tribunal case. Essentially, this is us being given an all-access look at a court case, but only in document form.
It will either work for the reader or won’t.
What I liked: This has been stated as being the final entry in the series and as such, I was excited and filled with sorrow that this glorious series was coming to an end. It’s like when your favorite show gets an announcement telling you it is ending and that there are only X number of episodes left and on a particular date the final episode will air.
Jeffery does a deft job of filling something that should be static and one-dimensional with tension, intrigue and drama, a tough job considering the style of telling this story. And the characters that are within made me happy, which I think will do the same for long-time readers.
The ending was bold and emotional and everything that I was hoping for in terms of a “conclusion.”
What I didn’t like: Ultimately, for me as a reader, I missed the storytelling aspect that populated the previous entries. I really do struggle with ‘format’ narratives like this one. I’m not actually sure if this is considered epistolary or not, but either way, I found at times I couldn’t get as deep into the character’s heads as I could when it was set up as a traditional book where we get a beginning, middle and ending.
Why you should buy this: If you love this world, this is a must-read and Dave delivers on his personal desires for this series and the world itself. If you’ve not read any of this world, do dive in and fall in love with what Dave’s created.
I do wonder how this book will sit with each reader, but for this particular one, I believe Dave’s concluded this in a magnificent way.
HEaR TODaY …
It is one of the most devastating events in human history, a deadly virus that killed most of the world and deafened the few who survived. In the chaos of the aftermath, the city of Cathedral emerged, and with it, a brutal regime of oppression and violence.
Now, years later, the city is in ruins, and the scene is set for a reckoning. A tribunal seeks to make sense of what happened behind Cathedral’s walls, so it can exact justice on those who fostered atrocity. Imprisonment or a noose await those found guilty.
But things are not as they were before this quiet apocalypse. Testimony and statement will make clear that the lines between good and evil are no longer clear. Against a backdrop of ambiguity, a verdict must be reached, and justice served.
Yet this decision will affect more than the lives of those on trial. It is to be the defining moment in humanity’s willingness to learn lessons from its own near extinction. With all the evidence in place, there is no avoiding what must be done.
It’s time to choose …
Steve Stred is the Splatterpunk Nominated Author of ‘Sacrament’ and ‘Mastodon.’
Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Steve has released over a dozen novels and novellas as well as a number of collections. He has appeared alongside some of horror’s biggest names within some truly excellent anthologies.
He is a proud co-founder of the LOHF Writer’s Grant and an Active Member of the HWA.