The Plague Forge
By Jason M Hough
The Plague Forge is the dramatic conclusion to the Dire Earth Cycle. With the Builders plans still hidden and time running out, can Skyler and his team recover the four remaining relics before the final Builder event takes place?
No-one really knows what will happen when the five artifacts are returned to the orbiting Builder ship however they do believe that they must be collected before the final event takes place.
One of the things I like about this series is that it's essentially a thriller set in a post-apocalyptic environment. The result is a very fast-paced book that uses tension and drama to excellent effect. The Plague Forge is no exception, it's one of those books that you just breeze through and continue to read long after you should probably be sleeping or eating. There are very few lulls in the action with solid writing and more than a few surprises. The finale is no exception and is a genuine curve-ball I didn't see coming.
The characters work well and their interaction is one of the highlights of the book, stirring genuine emotion at times and drawing you into the story. These are characters that grow as the story develops. This is especially true of Skyler and his relationship with Ana which works better than I would have expected.
One of the big ideas of the book (and the series) is that we often ascribe our own values to other things around us (known as Anthropomorphism) and this includes how we imagine aliens will be too. The fact is that when we do finally discover life on other worlds it's unlikely to be like anything we expect. Neither should we judge such creatures actions based on our own values.
The ending is both surprising and quite fitting, not only feeling more positive than most post-apocalyptic stories (as the series is in general) but also perfectly executed too.
The Plague Forge is a powerful and rewarding end to a fast, tense and above all enjoyable series that introduces us to a new sub-genre, the post-apocalyptic thriller.
Written on 31st March 2014 by Ant .