REVIEW: TIGERMAN / AUTHOR: NICK HARKAWAY / PUBLISHER: WILLIAM HEINEMANN / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Lester Ferris, an ex-sergeant from the Royal Army finds himself at the end of his career. After a lifetime of battles and war zones, he is sent to be the British representative on the small island of Mancreu, a former colony that still needs a presence but in a less official capacity, due to its imminent destruction.
The tiny island has suffered from a number of companies dumping various waste beneath its surface, but when its tectonic plates shift the natural world and the chemical world collide, releasing the first in a number of toxic clouds. Once the world realises the island's toxic potential, it is deemed a threat and sentenced to destruction, its port in the meantime becoming home for numerous ships hiding secrets.
As the end draws near, violence starts to erupt. Lester and a young boy whom he has befriended hatch a plan. Who can seek vengeance and save the day? Only a superhero, one they call Tigerman.
Nick Harkaway follows up his 2012 best-selling novel Angelmaker with his take on a superhero novel in Tigerman. Do not confuse this with other superhero novels, though, as there is no flying, toxic transformations, futuristic science or general super powers. Tigerman is a hero armed only with great military skill and the determination of a man desperate to become a father. With intelligent, witty writing you cannot help but warm to the unlikely and slightly hapless hero in Lester Ferris. Other characters are quirky and fun but there are times where you want to hurry the story along, where the writing style almost holds back the plot.
The final fifty pages pack in plenty of twists and turns that keep you guessing before speeding up into a satisfying and powerful conclusion. If you approach this novel expecting the playful science fiction and steampunk styling of Angelmaker then you will be disappointed. Although it may still be classed as science fiction, this is a slower paced literary tale of political madness and how far people will go for love.