Today is a big day. Finbar’s stitches come out, and Abomination goes on general release. The digital version anyway; the paperback comes out next week. Abomination is the first volume of The Pathfinders series and the great thing is, the sequels are already programmed for release—volume two in June and volume three in July. So there’s no fear I’ll do a GRR Martin on readers and make you wait five years between each volume.
As the end of the world begins, Carla and Tully hurtle through a wormhole five years forward in time, only to find they haven’t missed the Apocalypse after all.
Carla and Tully are picnicking in the quad of their international high school in central Paris when the end of the world begins. They are sucked into a wormhole that spits them out five years later to find that the world is a freezing desolation but still hanging on, waiting for something even worse to finish it off. The something worse turns out to be the Burnt Man and his horsemen. Taken prisoner by the Flay Tribe to their lair in the ruins of a shopping mall, Tully is forced to become a warrior, while Carla joins the other girls as a kitchen slave and comfort woman.
Tully might like the idea of playing soldiers, but Carla knows what is waiting for the girls when the food runs out, and it isn’t pleasant. The supermarket holy man’s vision of the return of the Burnt Man and his demon friends drags Tully back to reality. When the four fiends are reunited, the Apocalypse will really begin. Carla and Tully don’t plan on being there when that happens.
But in this post-Abomination world where only the young and brutal have survived, where food and fuel are running out and the climate is plunging into another final ice age, there is nowhere to run—except down another wormhole, with no idea of what might be waiting for them at the other end.
Here’s a short excerpt.
At the sound of footsteps in the corridor, Tully tensed into a defensive stance, feet apart and fists clenched. The key turned in the lock and the door crashed open.
A small figure in too-big clothes stood outside brandishing a too-big rifle. Tully relaxed. “Where to, Rambo?”
“Never mind. And stop calling me Rambo.”
“What shall I call you then?”
“I don’t want you to call me anything. Just move!” The child’s voice rose to a nervous treble.
“Okay, Rambo, keep your shirt on. Or is it your big brother’s?”
The answer was a sharp poke in the back with the muzzle of the rifle.
“Just trying to be friendly.” Tully ambled outside. “No need to lose your rag.”
The dingy light in the corridor was enough for Tully to see the fresh bruises on the side of the boy’s face and the dirty smears left by tears.
“Hey,” Tully’s voice softened. “How did you do that?”
“None of your bloody business.” The boy’s voice was close to breaking. “Just get a move on or I’ll be the one that gets…”
“That gets what? They thumped you, didn’t they?” Tully clenched his fists again, this time in anger. “Those big bastards that you went off with. That’s how they get their fun is it? Picking on the little kids?”
“There are no other little kids. Anyway, the girls get it worse,” the child mumbled, conflicting expressions of shame and relief chasing one another across his face. The child soldier mask dropped and it was a frightened eleven-year-old who poured out his grief to Tully. “You joke about it, about Ace and, and…all this, but you don’t know what it’s like. Not to live like this. Every day. Knowing nothing’s going to change, except to get worse.”
“Go on then. Tell me,” Tully said gently. “I don’t understand what happened, but until a few hours ago, I was at school. Put me in the picture a bit. I’d appreciate it.”
The boy’s face took on a serious look, fear battling with responsibility. “The tribes is all that’s left now. You got to belong to one. Outside it’s just freezing cold and drax and other tribes.”
“Hold on. What’s a drax?”
“A drac. Drax is when there more’n one of the fuckers. Those dog things that got…That we… Outside, on the wire.”
“Oh yeah,” Tully murmured. “Got yah.”
“Anyway,” the boy went on, “it’s always cold, and there’s never enough to eat. At least in the beginning there was me and Kat.” His weary face brightened a little, as if just saying the name was a rare comfort to him. “But they took her away, put her with all the other girls.” He stopped as if the thought was too hurtful to bear. When he spoke again it was in a dry whisper. “They all…died, all the little kids, all the kids I used to play with. I’m the only one left. I’ll always be just The Little’Un.” He snuffled and wiped his nose quickly on his sleeve. “My name’s Jeff.”
Tully held out his hand. “Tully. Glad to know you, Jeff.”
Jeff made a feeble attempt at a smile and Tully grasped his hand. It was a hard, dry hand, wrinkled and coarse—not a child’s hand at all. It represented a lost childhood, and the touch of the rough skin moved Tully more than anything else.
“Right then,” he said briskly, afraid of setting off more tears. “Let’s get moving. We don’t want to upset the King of Shit Valley now, do we?”
“They’re going to make you fight Tab this morning, before he gets loose again.” Jeff let out the words in a rush then looked about nervously.
“If Tab’s one of them that thumped you, I’ll be pleased to have a poke at him.”
Jeff looked at the floor and said in a barely audible voice, “Tab got bit by a mad drac. It was Tab what tried to break your door down last night.”
Tully got a sick feeling as his stomach sank several floors below the basement. “By fight, do you mean like fisticuffs, the Queensbury rules and all that?”
Jeff looked at him, a puzzled expression on his face. Tully swallowed. “Can you give us a loan of your rifle, then?”
If you like the sound of it, you can get a copy here