HDD -Hard Drive- by Sam Goodings review

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We know what Max is doing on the road of fury but do you ever wonder what everyone else is up. Well wonder no more as we journey to world almost done where the remnants of humanity or about to force themselves into extinction over bureaucracy and finances….

The only things that go between the last cities standing are the rigs and their drivers. We’re going to focus on such man called Jekk who I kept picturing as Jonah Hex played by Kurt Russell. I think that’s just because my frame of reference for truck drivers, who love their ride, begins and ends at Big Trouble; and the dude has a wicked, massive scar taking over one side of his face. He roll into Fort Hastings where he is given a simple task. He doesn’t even have to deliver anything to make the biggest score of his life time. All he has to do is make sure someone else does. They have built a transport for beyond his old ride but they’re prepared to play it safe by having him ride in their shadow to ensure the top secret cargo gets where it’s going in one piece. Of course it would be a pretty boring book if this happened and we were just recounted by tales of him stopping off at a little chef and filling up at petrol stations while munching on a wagon wheel so their new state of the art ride goes tits up and Jekk has to make a decision when he realizes the secret cargo is GECK worth even more than he as promised.

I like Jekk he’s a foul mouthed old coot who gambles too much and loses even more. Now to keep this as more than a paragraph I would say his swearing doesn’t work too well lacking the poetry and rhyme or some of our nations greats like Malcolm Tucker. Instead feeling more like a hodge-podge of rude adjectives and nouns. It also seems to fade away once it’s been established as though it was potentially forgotten by our author. Josh, who seems to be at times co-lead, sometimes reader insert doesn’t have much depth to him at all. He’s okay but while Jekk isn’t written brilliantly all the time at least has some personality to speak of. Josh just kind of is. It’s his job to ride shotgun with Jekk, for reasons that are never really explained, and generally get on his nerves for a bit of banter and or drama. The thing is we establish Jekk as a miserable old coot at the start of the book who takes a dislike Karl, at the start of the story, to show this. The thing is we never really get an answer for why he likes Josh who appears just as rude at times. At least not an answer for why he likes him as quick as he does. If this had been to do with saving his life from the killer scorpion then maybe I would have seen it. But again it seems like it’s established and then forgotten. This is a problem when it’s pretty much just those two till the end of the book.

Now that’s not a tall order when the book itself is only 72 pages long but this kind of leads me onto the next issue with the book and how much of a mark against it this is I’m not so sure. Because the biggest issue with the book is there really needs to be more. Yes that means I enjoyed the book or I wouldn’t be asking for a few more pages but this really feels like an abridged tale or when they adapt a film into a children’s book and miss half the stuff out. For example chapter 15 ends with them racing off for the final showdown while chapter sixteen opens with them gunning down the bad guy and winning. No tense scene catching up to him or sneaking up on the drop point. No fighting goons just them and Dirv solving the plot in the next two pages. This is possibly the worst example in the book but there are more. Side quests showing us this hellish world we have to look forward to. Trips into the towns they mention or a bonding side quest or two for our main leads. Heck Joshua;s background is dropped on us so suddenly that I figured there was a mistake in editing when he mentions his son toward the end. In fact Josh could really do with a rewrite and considering how blank he is that doesn’t sound like a bad thing. He goes from rookie guard whose never seen the stars to a man whose lived with the nomads on the dunes well enough to speak their language and be welcomed in for the build up to the third and final act. I don’t know if he needed breaking down into separate characters or just polishing up to a higher sheen but I would suggest something needs doing with him.

Now this might be a pointless review as from what I can tell you can buy this from one place in the world and that is a small comic book shop in Lancaster. There’s no e-version on Amazon, or second hand copy in your used book store. My copy looks like it’s been printed at home. But for two quid it’s okay. Maybe something to consider spending your change on after you’ve staggered down from the brewery and on your way to sober up in the tea shop.

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