First published back in February of 2019, British post-apocalyptic author David Moody’s novel ‘All Roads End Here’ formed the sequel to his previous offering ‘One Of Us Will Be Dead By Morning’ (2017) – the second book in his ‘The Final War’ trilogy – which in turn sat within Moody’s high-revered ‘Hater’ series.

DLS Synopsis:
It was the thought of returning home to Jen which pushed Matthew Dunne on.  It had taken him three months to make his way back from the small island of Skek.  To travel down through war torn Britain, constantly under the threat of violence, hiding in the shadows, learning to use others as a way of avoiding detection.

Matt was no longer the meek accountant who’d disappeared off to Skek all those months ago.  The journey back had brought the natural born survivor out of him.  Brought to the surface his base instincts.  He’d risked everything for Jen to get to where he was now.  Every second he’d been out there, skirting the roads, moving from building to building, he’d been at risk from attack.  From the Haters finding him and ripping him to shreds.

But after three long, tiring months he’d finally made it to his home city.  The increased air activity around the city indicated there was something still worth fighting for there.  A crudely constructed wall of haphazardly piled cars and debris surrounded the city’s outskirts.  The near constant thudding of heavy weaponry, echoing around the wastelands that surrounded the vast wall.  Drones hung motionless in the shimmering summer heat-haze above the huge city gates.  A shambling line of tired souls were slowly funnelled toward the mother of all checkpoints.

The Unchanged had managed to put up a defence in which they could take some shelter from the Haters.  A hastily built sanctuary away from the violent madness that had swept across the world.

It was here Matt hoped to find Jen.  Passed the towering walls and the Unchanged fortifications, passed the protective defences of the Civil Defence Force, passed the throngs of hungry, dirty and tired Unchanged survivors.  Somewhere deep in the city, in the house they’d once called home, Matt prayed he’d find her there.  Waiting for him.  Waiting for his return.

Matt knew the chances of finding Jen alive and well were slim at best.  But he had to try.  And even if he did, what then?  The mounting pressure in the tight confines of the city was escalating by the day.  Supplies were already low.  Tensions were at breaking point.  Surely it was only a matter of time before it all came crashing down.  And when it does, Matt knew he wanted to be as far away from there as possible.  Away from the violence.  Away from the trouble.  Like he’d learnt to do to survive in this violent new world.  But first he needed to find Jen.  Find Jen, then get a plan…

DLS Review:
Over the last twenty-years or so, Moody’s become a master of adrenalin-pumping post-apocalyptic tales.  He’s become somewhat of a veteran of the particular subgenre.  Akin to a modern-day John Christopher.  His ‘Hater’ series has played to the very pinnacle of the author’s strengths, mapping out a pounding storyline that encapsulates everything that Moody’s fans love about his work.

Where ‘
One Of Us Will Be Dead By Morning’ (2017) utilised a distinctly isolated setting with a threadbare cast of characters at the author’s disposal, in stark contrast, ‘All Roads End Here’ offers up a seething mass of human activity, within the bursting seams of an overcrowded cityscape that’s on course for inevitable disaster.

It’s the very definition of a pressure-cooker environment, drawing a fistful of similarities in its scope to Romero’s ‘Land Of The Dead’ (2005).  Although the close-knit confines of the walled-in city has far more claustrophobia, far more tension and bubbling disaster pulling down its false sanctuary status.

The pacing of the novel is quite frankly as close to untouchable perfection as you can probably get.  Even in the moments of relative relief, where dialogue and human connection stand at the forefront of its pages, the storyline still seems to pound forwards with an unrelenting urgency.  It’s hard not to get wrapped up in the way this story unfolds.  How it drags you into the pulsing tension; throttling you as it pulls you from litter-strewn street to street, immersing you in the stench and grime of humanities bitter desperation.

When writing about Moody’s work I inevitably end up talking at length about the human element that plays such a strong role in the tales.  This is Moody’s style.  His ‘go to’ paint brushes for the art that he depicts – warts and all.  Once again this is an absolute key platform from where the story behind ‘All Roads End Here’ develops from.  The character of Matt Dunne and his mission to reach his girlfriend and ultimately to protect her from the horrors of the Hater war, is beyond touching.  It wrenches at your throbbing heart.  Bombards your emotions until you feel you can’t do anything but want desperately for the two to somehow find their way through this madness.  In some ways it reminds you of the truly touching qualities of Moody’s debut ‘
Straight To You’ (1996).  But even though both novels are firmly in the throes of mankind’s demise, they are nevertheless miles apart from each other in their ultimate style and delivery.

If you’ve been following the Hater novels then there’s no way that you won’t find this latest addition to the series an essential read.  But it’s more than that.  It’s capitalised on Moody’s evolving skill as a writer, homing in on his strengths to produce a novel that is very possibly one of his best offerings to date.  Quite frankly, ‘All Roads End Here’ is an inconceivably gripping and powerfully emotive read.

From the moment you begin reading ‘All Roads End Here’ you’re flung head first into the terrifyingly uncontrolled fury of a world where humanity is tearing itself apart.  The magnitude of the utter desperation painted in blood across its pages is like no other.  It’s as terrifying as it is heart-wrenching.  Trust me, I don’t say this lightly, but the ‘Hater’ series seems to keep getting better and better.

The novel runs for a total of 343 adrenaline-pumping pages.

© DLS Reviews

Other ‘Hater’ instalments:



Make a free website with Yola