Unlike many fantasy authors who spend a sizable chunk of their work crafting an elaborate world of painstaking worldbuilding, MacNaughton instead launches directly into a fast-moving tale that barely relents until its final pages. There is still the feel of a larger magical underworld out there, but it will be for any subsequent volumes in the series to start exploring it in any way.
The chapters are short and quick blasts of action – they feel a little like the issues of a comic book series – and keeps things rattling along at a swift but nevertheless sustainable pace, so much so that the reader is almost as perpetually bewildered at the speed of developments as Dru is. The apocalyptic shenanigans the title promises take a while to fully materialise, but once they do a greater sense of urgency is added to proceedings, and the already high gear of the tale is kicked into overdrive.
As the story uses the simplest of urban fantasy setups – magic exists; only a few can use it; most don’t believe in it – much of the true extent of everything that’s out there remains only vaguely sketched, but the realisations of demonic antagonists are suitably creepy and signify enough imagination that we can expect to encounter more than basic mythological creatures later on in the series.
Other than the central duo of Dru and Greyson, the few characters along for the ride such as snarky shapeshifting warrior Rane and Dru’s ever-practical assistant Opal, are interesting enough to keep you engaged and likable enough that you care about what happens to them. The relentless dynamo of the book’s structure means that some necessary characterisation gets lost amidst the frenetic chaos, leaving some late character revelations without the required level of development, but it doesn’t detract too much from the fun of the rest of the story.
It Happened One Doomsday is a simple and straightforward read that doesn’t tax brain power in any way but is also a fast and fun ride that keeps you entertained all the way through its unyielding mayhem.
IT HAPPENED ONE DOOMSDAY / AUTHOR: LAURENCE MACNAUGHTON / PUBLISHER: PYR / RELEASE DATE: JULY 12TH