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Ack-Ack Macaque [Paperback]

Gareth L. Powell
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

3 Jan 2013 Ack-Ack Macaque
In 1944, as waves of German ninjas parachute into Kent, Britain s best hopes for victory lie with a Spitfire pilot codenamed 'Ack-Ack Macaque.' The trouble is, Ack-Ack Macaque is a cynical, one-eyed, cigar-chomping monkey, and he's starting to doubt everything, including his own existence. A century later, in a world where France and Great Britain merged in the late 1950s and nuclear-powered Zeppelins circle the globe, ex-journalist Victoria Valois finds herself drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the man who butchered her husband and stole her electronic soul. Meanwhile, in Paris, after taking part in an illegal break-in at a research laboratory, the heir to the British throne goes on the run. And all the while, the doomsday clock ticks towards Armageddon. Winner of the British Science Fiction Award for Best Novel.

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Ack-Ack Macaque + Hive Monkey (Ack-Ack Macaque) + Vicious
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Solaris (3 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781080593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781080597
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

GARETH L. POWELL is an award-winning science fiction and fantasy author from the UK. He is the author of five novels, including Ack-Ack Macaque, which won the 2013 BSFA Award for Best Novel. His books have been published in the UK, Germany, the USA and Japan, and all have received enthusiastic reviews in The Guardian.

Gareth's short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines, including six in Interzone, and he has received several 'honourable mentions' in Gardner Dozois's Best New SF collections. In 2007, one of his stories came top of the Interzone annual readers' poll for best short story of the year.

Gareth is represented by the John Jarrold Literary Agency. You can find him online at:

Product Description


Powell primes an explosive narrative with brilliant cliffhangers. --The Guardian

More fun than a barrel of steampunk monkeys ... It's an over-the-top, verbally caffeinated adventure story with smart, nasty ideas and plenty of pulp. What makes it truly special is Ack-Ack, the action hero who can cut through any strategy session or infodump. --The Milwaukee Journal

Any book that makes me grin like a buffoon whenever I crack it open is a definite winner. Full of great characters, fast moving plot and lashings of first-rate action, I can t recommend this highly enough. --The Eloquent Page

About the Author

Gareth L. Powell is the author of the SF novel Silversands, and the critically acclaimed short story collection, The Last Reef. His work has been published all over the world and featured in a number of recent anthologies. He has written three novels for Solaris.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Military Monkey Mayhem 3 Jan 2013
In order to get the most from this novel you need only do one thing. If you can happily accept the premise a monkey can fly a fighter plane during World War II and that it is the most natural thing in the world you'll be on to a winner. Yes, yes I know it sounds entirely absurd (it is) but you know what? It totally works. Powell revels in the madness of it all and has crafted a cracking science-fiction adventure around the idea.

The character of Ack-Ack Macaque himself is just so much damn fun. Think a sardonic, simian Biggles with a penchant for bad rum and good banana daiquiris and you'll be about half way there. He enjoys his cigars, swears more than my wife (you'll have to trust me on this one, she swears a lot) and has a marvellously bolshie attitude. His default solution to almost every situation is varying degrees of violence. Larger than life and proud of it he is more than just a character, he is a force of nature.

"You know what we need, Merovech?"


A hairy palm slapped the wood hard enough to raise dust.

"Booze! And lots of it!"

Meanwhile the other main lead, Victoria Valois, manages to hold her own against the one-monkey war machine that is Ack-Ack Macaque. She's intelligent, inquisitive and absolutely determined to uncover the details of the conspiracy that left her ex-husband dead. Victoria's history gives Powell the opportunity to include some really cool technology in the story.

Now how do these two finally end up in the same place? Well, that would be telling and I'm not going to do that. Take it from me the discovery, in this instance, is half the fun.

You're bound to feel a certain amount of deranged joy when you realise that all bets are off.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now one of my all-time favourite books. 16 Feb 2013
By Raziel
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The blurb really is a thing to see. Alternate history? Nazi Ninjas? Doomsday clocks? A Spitfire piloting monkey? Part of me thought "this will be brilliant or a bloody mess," and it was the former. Good god was it the former... With intrigue, complex plots woven together that crash together into one glorious whole towards the end and a brilliant cast of characters, Ack-Ack Macaque is one of those books you just want to finish and one that leaves you pining for a sequel. The main monkey himself is one of the most memorable and enjoyable characters I have encountered to date and one that I will keenly revisit in the years to come, looking forward to passing him on to my sons when they're old enough not to repeat ALL of his phrases at school.

Buy it. Really, do. Or buy it for someone else.

Or both.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly enjoyable read 27 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Downloaded this onto my kindle whilst on holiday as the 'blurb' sounded intriguing. The story itself was fast moving and entertaining and although predictable no less entertaining for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Sci Fi knock about fun 14 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are some big asks in this book. Not solely a shootin', rootin', tootin', monkey, but also a United Europe led by a merged UK and France, massive airships, a vast conspiracy and a heroic prince. But it all seems to come together nicely. There is a good mix of political intrigue and knock about thrills. But the big star is Ack Ack himself, where on earth did the author come up with him as a central character? The book cover art says it all really. Just one quibble, one of the characters is a Japanese called Nguyen, that's a Vietnamese name!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Ack Ack Macaque is an adventure based in an alternative Steam Punk world were Zeppelins still fly, where Britain and France were unified in the 1950's creating a very different Europe and where familiar modern tech such as the Internet developed alongside Cyberpunk wetware technology.

I decided to buy this on impulse when I saw it in the bookshop, as I'd read a small strip about the titular hero in last Christmas's copy of 200)AD and was interested in the character.

Without giving anything away, the book isn't what I expected at all but it's absolutely brilliant. Much of it takes place 50 years from now but the wartime fighter pilot setting suggested by the dress of Ack Ack on the cover of the book also features strongly. The story is one of steampunk, political intrigue, the possibilities of technology merging the brain and computers and high adventure and it's an absolute page turner.

I'd honestly say this is the most enjoyment I've had from a new book in a long time. Gareth L Powell has wasted no words, the writing is tight and fast flowing (he could teach a lot of modern authors a thing or two, too often now word count seems king even when nothing of note is being written).

A fantastic entry in what I hope can be a series. I'll be keeping an eye out for future works from Powell, one to watch.

If you're on the fence do yourself a favour and give the Macaque a chance. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down! 3 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ok that's technically a lie, but whenever I had the free time I kept picking this up. I'm a slow reader at the best of times so this did take me a while to complete but I am so glad I did. A comic strip prequel to this appeared in 2000AD's Prog 2013, and having relatively recently gotten into 2000AD I thought "2000AD featured it, might as well give it a go". I am very happy I did, this is a fantastic novel with interesting ideas and notions, the novel is somehow able to paint vivid pictures without OVER explaining things. Whether it does or doesn't happen in the future, I would love to see a movie, or TV movie either animated or live action of this, I think it has legs, and with a sequel novel recently confirmed it seems Everybody Loves The Monkey!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Alternative Reality Monkeying Around
At the heart of this book is a tale of freedom from slavery and revenge. I found the book to be engaging and thought provoking about where technology may end up taking us.
Published 1 month ago by B. Dean
5.0 out of 5 stars Read This
Just stupidly funny, but classy, too.
Published 1 month ago by Mark Rawsthorne
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!
Kudos to Powell for his rampant imagination. I loved every character even the baddies. Can hardly wait for book 2
Published 1 month ago by Melanie
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody loves the monkey!
Great fun, had me grinning like an idiot any time Ack-Ack Macaque said anything! First book i've read by Powell, will definetely read more.
Published 2 months ago by Steven McKenzie
4.0 out of 5 stars Ack-Ack Macaque
Just as World War Two seems to be drawing to a close, waves of Nazi ninjas parachute into Kent and, faced with a clear and present danger to King and country, Britain’s only chance... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Erin Britton
4.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculously readable, thoroughly entertaining
Ack-Ack Macaque (Ack-Ack Macaque #1) by Gareth L Powell was recently named the joint recipient of the British Science Fiction Association’s best novel award for works published in... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mark Chitty
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Shout The Title
A cigar chewing, gun toting talking money laying waste to nazi ninjas. More cheese than cheddar gorge right? Surprisingly not. Read more
Published 4 months ago by IuchiAtesoro
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun.
Not quite finished it yet but it's tons of fun so far.
The plot is creaking a little bit, but I'm interested enough to see whgere it goes and the writing is amusing enough
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars dont be mislead by the title
This book delivers an unexpected surprise. The title and summary suggests a trashy novel but the book delivers an interesting take on the old question of what does it mean to be... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Adrian
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody loves the monkey!
I couldn't resist downloading this when I read the description - I mean, a cigar-smoking, wisecracking pilot monkey? Come on, you HAVE to be joking?! Read more
Published 11 months ago by elizabeth anne hepburn
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