A group of hardened mercenaries take an idealistic young smuggler under their protection as she transports a cache of the one drug that keeps humanity alive.
25 years before the events of THE PRELAPSARIANS, a volcano under Yellowstone erupted throwing deadly ash into the air. Shortly after that, a world war erupts further throwing the globe into chaos. A squad of mercenaries from before the eruption live and die by the sword, until they come across Ani. Ani is a shuffler, a smuggler of the drug Mammy that allows humanity to breathe the air without facing a protracted death. Recognizing her youthful exuberance, the hardened Viking-like warriors vow to protect Ani as she transports the drug. Their arduous journey takes them through ruined cities and across breath-taking vistas smothered in ash. Betrayed by allies, joined by former enemies, the anti-heroes face the worst of humanity in the hopes of restoring hope at any cost.
THE PRELAPSARIANS is a difficult novel to place in a single genre. While the story takes place in the aftermath of a world-shattering event in modern times, the feel is distinctly epic fantasy. The result is lengthy read but strong characterization and vivid writing make for a fast flowing story. Characterization really shines as even secondary and background characters are fully fleshed out with their own goals and life story. The prose boomerangs between flowery poetry, deep philosophical musings, and heart-pounding gory action. Gaiserich’s writing is unapologetic gory, violent, sexual, contemplative, dark, and ultimately, engaging.
Despite the bleak setting and dark content, THE PRELAPSARIANS manages to interject humor and hope. A stand out scene has the warriors arguing over the naming of a mule. Each character’s dialogue reflects masterfully on their own personality, while discussing a seemingly mundane issue in a world literally thrown into chaos. Ani’s tendency to hand out the Mammy willy-nilly highlights her desire to help the world, even as she staggers under the weight of her own past. Aggressively captivating, THE PRELAPSARIANS is a meditation on faith and morality as civilization collapses, rebuilds, and threatens to fall once more.
THE PRELAPSARIANS is a meditation on the cost of humanity in an increasingly dark world. Covered in deadly ash, beset by enemies, and protecting the last bastion of hope, a group of rage-fueled soldiers face a compelling and harrowing journey across a post-apocalyptic Russia.
Character driven with profound contemplations, THE PRELAPSARIANS is a refreshing entry in the post-apocalypse genre.