BOOK REVIEW: WINTERWORLD BOOK 1: THE MECHANIC’S SONG / AUTHOR: CHUCK DIXON / PUBLISHER: IDW PUBLISHING / RELEASE DATE: MARCH 3RD
The creative genius that is Chuck Dixon (over a thousand scripts covering everything from Batman to the Simpsons) has written a novel to accompany his Winterworld comic series. The novel is The Mechanic’s Song and tells some of the early life of Scully, the travelling trader from before he met Wynn.
Even if you’re new to Winterworld, this is a very accessible novel. At an action-packed 180 pages, we learn how a teenage boy survives in the middle of an icy, post-apocalyptic wasteland and makes his way to the old man who will teach him to become a mechanic and allow him time to grow up with a chance of life.
The story never wastes time explaining the backstory of how the world has ended up as a frozen wasteland but paints an intense picture of life with almost no food, scrabbling in the leavings of our civilisation and where the brutal reality is the total absence of loyalty or any redeeming characteristics. The narrative covers two quests both of which see Scully helping someone else achieve their own goals. This is not to suggest Scully is without his own values; indeed, he is very much shaped by events; what we have is a plausible adolescent force to survive in world with few redeeming aspects, and yet to set his own destiny.
The world described by Chuck Dixon is savage and life is cheap. Bands of people (generally male) take what they can, and live of every source of food available. Scully survives through learning about machines and being useful. This is not to say he is without a steely core and shows himself quite capable of making life or death decisions.
Although on some levels The Mechanic’s Tale is a straightforward tale of survival and exploration, Chuck Dixon crafts an excellent story where the prose paints a picture directly in the imagination and it is a real joy to read.
This is one for both fans of the comic series and lovers of a well told story.