Thursday 5 January 2012

Coming Up in 2012 #2: The 13th horseman by Barry Hutchison

Read Barry Hutchison's Invisible Fiends books?

No? Where have you been for the past two years. Shame on you - go out and get them immediately.

Yes? Then you will no doubt be just as excited about his new book, The 13th Horseman, coming from HarperCollins on 1st March. Harper are touting it as Pratchett meets Python, and having read it myself I find I can't disagree with that statement. It is a hugely entertaining, very funny, comedy fantasy story, and as Barry is infinitely more talented than I am when it comes to writing, here is a little more about it in his own words:

Things are not easy for Drake Finn. His dad isn't on the scene. His mum works three jobs. Oh and he's just been expelled for blowing the roof off his school and inadvertently setting a teacher on fire. Forced to moved to a new house and a new school, Drake believes things can't possibly get any worse.

And then he finds the shed at the bottom of his garden and his world is turned upside down.

Living in the shed are the Horsemen of the Apocalypse - or three of them, at least. There's War, an angry bearded Scotsman with an exquisitely sharp sword; Pestilence, a flaky-skinned hypochondriac with OCD and a deep rooted love of musical theatre; and then there's Famine, a bulging, bulbous behemoth of a man who will - quite literally - eat anything.

The Horsemen were created at the beginning of time and given the task of riding across the sky at the end of time. The problem is, they've got naff all to do in between, and after a thousand odd years of sitting around playing board games, Death has gone mad and jacked it all in. He's taken human form and gone off to start his own Apocalypse, but that leaves the other three a Horseman short, and they believe Drake is just the lad for the job.

After reluctantly assuming the role of Death, Drake has only a few days to learn the ropes before his predecessor pushes the button on Judgement Day. The only problem is that Drake doesn't want the Apocalypse now. Can he convince the other Horsemen to go against everything they were created for and help him stop Armageddonm, or will he have to accept that the end of the world really is nigh?

The 13th Horseman is a fast-paced comedy fantasy crammed with evil doubles, barking cats, flying horses and more Buckaroo than you can shake a stick at. Who knew the end of the world could be this much fun?

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