Risen by MT Miller

Risen review

three-stars

Risen, the first book of MT Miller’s Nameless Chronicle, is a bloody appetiser that will convince you pretty quickly whether you have the stomach for further courses. If you make it through the opening chapter unscathed, in which our nameless “hero” is birthed from the soil and immediately sets about defending himself against a horde of literally faceless adversaries in unflinching graphic detail, you can handle anything.

“Besides language and the art of killing, I seem to be a blank slate.”

As Nameless embarks on his uncertain journey, Miller employs tried-and-tested amnesia to leave his protagonist as clueless and disoriented as we are. Bits and pieces will be filled in along the way as we meet some of the colourful characters who populate this nightmare near-future, but it’s Nameless himself who remains the biggest enigma. Who is he? Why and how was he raised from the dead? And why does he enjoy killing so much?

This is a gleefully violent book that’s not for the squeamish, but the considerable darkness is balanced by equally black humour. Characters frequently take time out in the midst of deadly peril to make wisecracks about the absurdity of their situation, and while that may spoil the atmosphere if you’re trying to immerse yourself in the horror of it all (not advised), it helps greatly towards achieving the book’s ultimate purpose: to entertain.

This is straight-up dystopian fantasy, not a cautionary tale or serious literature to unpick. More Mad Max than The Road, with a comedy amputee sidekick, cyberpunk nun and hillbilly cannibals thrown in for good measure. What it resembles most of all is a video game, as our stock warrior character tears through legions of identical enemies and picks up advice from NPCs before taking on this book’s boss: the big, bad Boneslinger.

Lightweight, crude and a little depraved? Sure, but I’m hungry to see what Act II has in store.

 

Risen Book Cover Risen
Nameless Chronicle
MT Miller
Fantasy
Self-published
January 2016
87

 

In the middle of nowhere, a nameless individual rises from the dark. With barely any knowledge apart from how to speak and how to kill, he finds himself in a world gone mad. Worse off, nearly everything that moves is out for his blood.

Not knowing where to turn, the wanderer traverses the desolate landscape of a ruined continent. Along his travels, his mind and body are pushed to their limits as he desperately tries to make sense of what is going on, what he is, and why he exists.

Foe after foe meets their end at his hands, yet each kill only serves to raise more questions. Is he even human? What has happened to the world? Where does his path lead?

The answer lies beyond the blood-stained horizon.

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