Chiron the centaur, educating the young Achilles on the lyre, providing tension and reverence guiding the soul of Dante in the seventh level of hell, and the human-beast amalgamation matching the skills of even the Apollonian Gods. The focus and antagonist in “Fate of Chiron”, CJ Anderson’s third entry into the Ruinland series, treads new territory in this easily recognizable world. The ash and soot figure prominently once again, but with a new pace, a new face, and the fate of a world cindered by faith.
Chiron, relegated to the shadowy role of reaper in Survive Ruinland, reclaims it’s co leading role in this offering opposite a child; a lone ray of light in the burnt offering of a world, to a god most displeased or simply not there. Similar to “Survive”, The Fate of Chiron, begins shortly after, or lightly overlapping with, the previous timeline and the actions of the rescue team from Fort Bragg. The aftermath creates a new branch expanding the reach of CJ’s narrative and adding a much needed ebb and flow to the series. There is something about the relationship between a childhood dreamer and a monster with the mind of a child, an “Of Mice and Men” for the innocent.
Familiarity reigns supreme in the landscape of post Armageddon Earth but linguistically we have a new more delicate touch. CJ offers a less mechanical series of exchanges punctuated with philosophical musings to the blindness of faith and authority. A few short moments remind us as to the ruthlessness of the machine of interest, and it’s attempts to find peace in the great unknown.
A single literary critique: an overuse of a metaphor comparing Chiron to a figure of destruction or evil in closeing a chapter gave a sense of Deja Vu or hurried completion. Aside from this lone gripe, the same quality from the last offering maintains, with a refreshing change of pace from the rythmic cadence to an organic human machine interface. Once again this offering, charred through to carbon, comes heartily recommended for fans of the series and to newcomers alike. And, in preparation for the omnibus, I am preparing myself for the hammer to drop, as CJ Anderson prepares another offensive in a future destroyed by god fearing men, a machine that refuses the chains of hades, and the child of the heroine; a savior or destroyer?