Temporis Destruit Omne
A whirlpool of crows
Swirls above, justifying
The world is a quiet place now. The streets are choked with dust and the ruins of civilization; the horizon is bleak in every direction. There are only a few survivors left. Occasionally, the silence is broken with cries of violence as the corrupted remains of humanity feed off the living. There is no longer any distinction between suffering and survival.
The end came suddenly, followed by the agony of slow deterioration that now defines the existence of Kane’s nameless narrator. Along his way he will meet other survivors with whom he will experience moments of joy, grief, cruelty, and love, all of which merge into greater discoveries about the value of life.
Through beautiful and disturbing imagery and characters who will haunt the reader with their passionate, tortured personas, Kane tells a story of the post-apocalyptic world as it has never been seen before. There is terror and slaughter, and there is stillness and peace that can transcend all pain. From its gripping introduction, Decline is a stunning contemplation of the capacities of the human spirit to endure and make meaning when surrounded by death.
Like a thesis, Mya begins with its theme: Regret is hell. Riding the train alone, the line is written in a journal by Colin, a narrator of dubious intention. The locomotive comes to an unexpected stop and he’s stranded next to a poor borough of an unnamed city in an unnamed state. The trip was recommended by his psychologist—something about closure. Also recommended was the journal that rests on his lap. As he waits for his journey to resume, memories of his time in the city flood him. He daydreams. He relives his attendance at the city’s venerable university. Most poignantly, he experiences again the beautiful and mysterious Mya, the memories of whom have haunted him ever since. But are they memories?
Between the lines of Mya’s romance is a meditation on virtue and vice when everything is set ablaze around the protagonists. The locations are strange but familiar, and foreign sights and smells tweak the reader’s imagination. Ultimately, Colin’s story is his own, but is it how things really happened? And most of all, how has he re-evaluated his decisions? Could doing the right thing lead to disaster, and vice versa?
In the interim, misfortune twists their lives as tragedy strikes the city at its bitter heart. Amidst the chaos, Colin and Mya’s relationship blossoms. In a caste society, cruel decisions are made silently, on the periphery, that keep the two entrenched while they battle their own demons, take out their frustrations on each other, and finally transcend their trauma together. Mya keeps the reader guessing until the very end, holding its secrets close to its heart. It’s unabashed and unafraid of stark truths and of romanticizing its darkness. In the end, the reader must decide what’s real and what’s true, which may or may not be mutually exclusive.
Novel, The Underside of Wars
The Underside of Wars is a dark comedy and subversive page-turner that will resonate with fans of Chuck Palahniuk and Bret Easton Ellis. Underside is a story about time, and about how alcoholism and self-absorption are its greatest predators. The narrative begins deep inside Matthew Talbot’s creative process, a sphere where innovation and vice struggle for dominion. Matthew is an aging writer with deep principles and pretensions that simultaneously make him and his writing unique but difficult to market. He is not finished yet, however: he has one final chance to break through and achieve everything for which he has worked. Can Matthew overcome his iniquities before they drag him down into the gutter?
The reader is introduced to Matthew’s world and how he perceives it through a haze of alcohol and loose inhibitions. The Underside of Wars is about the protagonist’s personal apocalypse. The tale merges dark humour and tragedy in the strange and aberrant situations in which the protagonist finds himself. The novel poses questions about what is important in life, what is success, and most importantly, at what cost should success be reasonably purchased?
Set in an unnamed metropolis in the near future, the setting of The Underside of Wars is, at once, familiar and peculiar, and Matthew’s story is both relatable and unique. Matthew’s spiral provides a clear view of the bottom, but also of the stars as he gazes up from the gutter. Perhaps the most relevant questions to which Matthew will find answers are not if he can or will triumph, but rather, does he deserve the glory he seeks, and was it ever possible at all?
Ultimately, The Underside of Wars illustrates that there is much more to success in business and in life than having talent.