Saturday 7 January 2023

The 13th Horseman - Barry Hutchinson - Afterworlds Book 1

The 13th Horseman
Afterworlds Book 1
ISBN 9780007440894
eISBN 9780007440900

Several months before reading this I encountered the works of J.D. Kirk I also discovered that Kirk publishes children’s books as Barry Hutchison, and other adult fiction as Barry J. Hutchison. I have read 19 stories published under the Kirk Name and I am now branching out to the ones under the Hutchinson names. He is coming up on 175 books across the three pen names. If I had known that or I might not have picked up this first one. Friends call me a ‘completionist’ in that when I find an author I like, I try to read everything they have published. I have enjoyed all I have read from his pen and this one was no different.

The description of this novel is:

“Pratchett -meets-Python in this dark-comic fantasy with plenty of action, perfect for 11+ boys

Drake is surprised to find three horsemen of the apocalypse playing snakes and ladders in his garden shed. He’s even more surprised when they insist that he is one of them. They’re missing a Horseman, having gone through several Deaths and they think that Drake is the boy for the job. At first he’s reluctant to usher in Armageddon but does being in charge of Armageddon have to spell the end of the world?

An apocalyptic blend of riotous comedy, heart-stopping action and a richly imagined fantasy adventure.”

I seriously could not put this book down. I started it one day at work during lunch and did not go to bed that night until after I had finished it. It was hilarious. I was addicted from the get go. It took me back to some of the first books I read after overcoming my dyslexia. It took me back to reading Robert Asprin, Harry Harrison, and even Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immorality series. It also reminded me of more recent reads like Adrian Plass and Tom Holt. A few times I laughed out loud. A couple of time I chuckled and often had a smirk or smile on my face as I read this volume.

Young Drake is about to begin at a new school. After an unfortunate incident trying to free frogs from a science lab. Drake has not only had to move schools, but move towns to a school that would accept him. When all of a sudden he finds a strange shed in his back yard and within are War, Pestilence and Famine and guess who is the fourth horseman, well actually the 13th, but to find out why you will need to read this story.

It appears the old death has retired and has plans to end the world. He got tired of waiting. Took his retirement package and plans to complete the job as an independent resource. The Big Book of Everything is missing and things are being winged. So are Drake and the others supposed to usher in the end of the world, or are they to stop the old death from completing his plans? 

The story was great fun. It has wonderful characters. Some great action, with a few laughs thrown in. It is truly a story young readers would love. Hutchison’s style reminds me a lot of the works of Dan Gutman, Tony Abbot, Andrew Clements, and Chris d'Lacey. It was an excellent read and I look forward to exploring more books for younger readers under the pen of Barry under the name of Barry Hutchinson. A great read for Middle Grade Readers for tweens and even younger teens. And for some older folks like me in my fifties who just love great stories no matter the market they are written for. 

Books by J.D. Kirk:

DCI Logan Series:

Robert Hoon Thrillers:

DI Heather Filson Series:

Contributed to:
Everyday Kindness: A Collection of Uplifting Tales to Brighten Your Day

Books as Barry J. Hutchison:
Dan Deadman Space Detective Series:

Space Team Series:
The Search for Splurt 
Song of the Space Siren 
The Guns of Nana Joan 
Return of the Dead Guy 
Planet of the Japes 
The Time Titan of Tomorrow 
The King of Space Must Die 
Sting of the Mustard Mines 
Sentienced to Death
The Hunt for Reduk Topa
A Lot of Weird Space Shizz: Collected Short Stories

Sidekicks Initiative Series:

The Bug Books Series:
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Complete Season One

Other Books:

Children’s books as Barry Hutchison:
Invisible Fiends Series:
The Crowmaster 
Doc Mortis 
The Beast 
The Darkest Corners 

The Missing Remote of the Apocalypse
The Book of Doom 

Benjamin Blank Series:

Beaky Malone Series:

Generator Rex Series:

Living Ted Series:
Revenge of the Living Ted
Invasion of the Living Ted

Spectre Collectors Series:
Too Ghoul for School
A New York Nightmare!

Other works:

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