HYENAS is a post-apocalyptic tale that is unlike any other I’ve read! There were at least two aspects that made it unique for me and I’ll elaborate on those below.
The set up is as follows: 5 months ago there was a “Jolt” or “Spasm.” Since that time, most people have been turned into “Hyenas” or “Jokers,” and the world as we know it has ended. These people have changed from humans to insanely fast creatures that do nothing but laugh and eat other humans. And books, they eat books. (That’s one of the unique aspects I mentioned above.) We follow along with Jay who has been hiding out in a bookshop and was rescued by Dempsey, who promises salvation in the form of a boat. To get to the boat, they will have to avoid the hyenas as well as the Beatles-loving militia that has recently formed. (Yes, you read that right.) Will Jay and Dempsey be able to float away from the horror that life in the city has become? You will have to read HYENAS to find out!
I don’t want to get too far into the book-eating aspect of this tale as I believe the author should relate it to you as he intended. However, the second aspect of the story that I found original was the fact that these creatures are technically zombies; but somehow, I thought of them more as wolves. Granted, fast moving wolves that eat human flesh and books, but wolves just the same. Perhaps that’s because they had some intelligence? (They could recognize when regular people were speaking to them, for instance.) Whatever term you want to use for these creatures, I found them to be simultaneously fascinating and terrifying.
Since this world-ending event is rather recent in the book, different people refer to it, (and to the resulting beings), with different words and phrases. There hasn’t been time for people to get together and come to a consensus on what the event and the resulting individuals should be called. I thought this was a realistic way to portray how different characters viewed the occurrence.
There’s a lot of action packed into this book and with it came my only problem with this story. I thought there was a bit too much focus on the street names, alleys and city squares. We only raced through them for the most part, so I don’t think we needed to know the name of every road down which they fled. As far as problems go, it’s rather picayune.
Overall, HYENAS was a hell of a good time! Action packed, with a unique premise that turned the typical post-apocalyptic story on its ear. I’ll state it bluntly: I want a sequel!
Strongly recommended for fans of dark fiction, post apocalyptic fiction and horror!