Underground Reading: The Turncoat by Hal G. Evarts
Serpent's Tail x Genre Classics

Underground Reading: Arrowhead by Paul Kane

Arrowhead Arrowhead is the fourth in Abaddon's delightfully morbid 'Afterblight' series. Like the other books in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone (but is more fun if you've read the others and can spot the connections). 

Arrowhead is perhaps the most insular book in the series - all the activity taking place in Nottingham. After the plague wipes out pretty much everyone, a deranged French mercenary raises an army and moves through the Chunnel to take over England. 

For various reasons (most of which are plot-driven), our new French overlord sets up in Nottingham Castle. Once the new Sheriff is installed, it doesn't take long to introduce the readers to the new Robin, Maid Marian, Friar Tuck and Little John. (The first two are conveniently named Rob and Mary, so you don't miss anything). They live in Sherwood Forest and fight the rich to feed the poor. 

The set-piece action scenes are all simply post-apocalyptic re-enactments of the famous Robin Hood stories - freeing the hanging hostages, attacking the castle - even Robin & Little John's fight with staves. 

To his credit, the author tries to bring the characters to life, but overall, this is an excuse for a fun re-creation, and doesn't feel like something original. It even lacks the trademark splatterpunk violence of the other Afterblight books - the action being flatly-described cinematic descriptions, rather than the super-squishy gore that has otherwise dominated the series. 

As such, Arrowhead is a bit of a disappointment on all fronts: while the other Afterblight books introduce original characters and complicated stories - this feels more like a casual throwaway.

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