Sunday, 9 August 2015

The Massive, Volume 1: Black Pacific Review (Brian Wood, Kristian Donaldson)


Set in the always-ominous near future, a series of disasters have taken place in a year bringing devastation to countries around the world. Luckily, our protagonists are in a boat - the Kapital - so don’t really give a crap about rising sea levels. They’re looking for their sister ship, the Massive. Anyone seen it? No? Anyone care about this rubbish plot? Nope! Onwards then! …. no…. 

That said, describing this first volume, Black Pacific, as having a plot is a bit misleading. The crew of the Kapital float around aimlessly, occasionally asking each other if they’ve seen the Massive, and then fight off some roving faceless pirates. That’s the whole book. 

But don’t worry because we get to read about the hipster cast (a supposedly more active group than Greenpeace called Ninth Wave even though they don’t seem to do anything active besides dodging pirates - yeah, helping mother earth!) who’re all tedious environmentalists who grimly spout garbage about pacifism. Even though they’re attacked every other page, they’re not gonna use guns or nothing because that’s not what we’re about, maaan. Come on, pirates, kill these bozos already! 

Brian Wood ladles on the misery by describing the natural disasters that’ve brought about this apocalypse. Giant tidal waves, earthquakes, enormous volcanoes… except none of those are brought about by climate change, those are natural disasters. There are man-made problems present but considering if we took away the natural disasters, the world would be in better shape, I’m not really sure what the message of the book is. 

And it is a heavily political book like Wood’s other overrated series, DMZ (DMSea?), where none of the po-faced characters are at all likeable or interesting for that matter. The book trundles on as the Kapital floats from port to port - Hong Kong, Israel, Antarctica, Micronesia - searching desperately for a plot, I mean, looking for the Massive. Because, uh, we really care about it. Yeah… gotta… find that… boa… zzzz…..

An antagonist would’ve been nice. A point too. Anything than this “thriller” about a slow moving boat full of dullards listlessly searching for another slow moving boat of dullards! The flashbacks are handled really poorly too as the characters look the same in the present and the past with only a mere shading differentiating between the two. 

Read the first half in a couple days, then had to pscyhe myself up for over a week to finish the second half. If there is a post-apocalypse coming and this is the only book that survives? Write a better book and read that instead. What a MASSIVE load of bollocks!

The Massive, Volume 1: Black Pacific

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