Shadow City - Book Review

Shadow City

Author: Anna Mocikat
Genre: Fiction - Science Fiction
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Date Published: November 7, 2019
ISBN-10: 1684333512
ISBN-13: 9781684333516

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Book Review of :  Shadow City


Shadow City by Anna Mocikat is a novel that takes place in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. The once-great city has been reduced to rubble, and its inhabitants are a mix of humans, mutants, cyborgs, vampires, Dark Ones and other oddities.  Anna Mocikat epic of horror is a perpetuation of a genre which Mary Shelly started with her book, “The Last Man,” about a group of people struggling to survive in a world ravaged with the plague. Mocikat has created a minacious character in the Overlord of the Dark Ones.  He is an evil entity that thrives on suffering and violence similar to Rudolf Steiner’s Sorat described in his book of revelation. Sorat is the adversary of good and the adversary of Jesus Christ. The Overlord like Sorat thrives on the negation of humanity.

Mocikat starts her tale with two of her main characters, Jean and Louis, saving the life of a nameless, naked man who was about to be killed by a mutant with claw-like appendages. The man who has no recollection of who he soon proves to be an important champion in humanity’s struggle for salvation.

One of mankind’s most feared nemesis realizes their need to unite with humans in this epic battle against this powerful outside evil force. Soon a pact is made where this one time enemy is willing to fight for the salvation of the world alongside humans. Their terms were quite simple, one of them being their demand for a tribute in human blood; the “Human Force,” considers the fee acceptable if it can save mankind.  Soon a hospital becomes the paymaster for their ally.

Eurydice is one of these former enemies of mankind who has a strange relationship with the Overlord of the “Dark Ones.” Is she the ambassador for the Overlord or the Human Force’s undercover agent?  Here is an interesting excerpt that describes one of her encounters with the Overlord.

It was melodic and had a fatally hypnotic power. At the same time, it was cold as ice. When she moved closer, Eurydice noticed he was wearing his favorite human body today. Contrary to the other Dark Ones she had met, who needed to inhabit human bodies to live in the human world, the Overlord could obtain any form he wanted. He even could walk on Earth in his true form in which he appeared in the Narak, the Dark Ones’ homeworld.

The Overlord has also brought along his pet, Nir, to keep him company;  Mocikat's description of this strange thing is as follows:
“Cute,” she said, taking a closer look. It had about the size of a bear but was nothing like any creature that could be found in the human world. It appeared to be mostly head with long spiderlike legs. Its body was partly covered with something that seemed to be black fur on the first glance but was thousands of sharp needles instead. The rest, where her master put his feet, had thick leather-like skin which was continually pulsating. It had six eyes which looked up to her with blank viciousness and gigantic jaws armed with three rows of claw-like teeth.  

Another important character is Vincent, who is able to inhabit the bodies of the deceased. When killed, he can also inhabit his own corpse.  But what is he? He is on a mission, but from where and for what reason and most importantly for who?

Like other post-apocalyptic fiction there is despair in this world after “The Glitch,” but hope reigns; there is a will to persist in the face of devastation. The “Glitch,” was the worst catastrophe the world had ever seen. The end of civilization as mankind had previously known it and the beginning of a new era.

There are aspects of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and dystopia, and all blended together in a way that paints an H. R. Giger nightmarish world.  Mocikat’s “Human Force,” is trying to establish a new world out of this dark and dismal land but they have multiple foes, Hector and the Raiders, but most dangerous to them is the Overlord. As each day passes the world tumbles further into depravity, bent and twisted by the new order, corrupted by the Overlord, the true enemy of all.

Mocikat is able to mix a bit of dry humor in this horrific story of a gloomy, desolate, devastated landscape. The uniqueness of her characters, the gruesome nature of the land they inhabit, and the genre-blending will make many readers happy.  Mocikat demonstrates her gift for injecting terror into her stories that cut to the core of our common fears and frailties.

Reviewed by: Mark W

About Anna Mocikat

Anna Mocikat was born in Warsaw, Poland, but spent most of her life in Germany where she attended film school, worked as a screenwriter and a game writer for several years. Her "MUC" novels have been nominated for the most prestigious awards for Fantasy and Science-Fiction in Germany. In 2016, Anna Mocikat moved to the U.S. where she continued her writing career in English. She lives in Greenville, South Carolina.


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