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Ack-Ack Macaque [Paperback]

Gareth L. Powell
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 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 (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,034 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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2 of 2 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Everyone loves the monkey ... 4 July 2013
By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE
It's 2058 in an alternate world where Britain, France and Norway have united under the British monarchy. 19-year-old Prince Merovech is the heir to the throne but when his French girlfriend, Julie, invites him to join her in breaking into a laboratory run by his mother to free an artificial intelligence he jumps at the chance to abandon his responsibilities only to find that the AI's actually an enhanced monkey known as Ack-Ack Macaque.

Ack-Ack's been jacked into an on-line role-playing game where he believes that it's 1944 and he's an RAF pilot fighting German ninjas. Forced to question his entire existence, he's determined to get revenge and ropes Merovech and Julie in to help find the people responsible. Their search brings them into contact with Victoria Valois, a technologically-enhanced former journalist who's hunting for her ex-husband's murderer.

In a world filled with nuclear-powered zeppelins, electronic souls and vengeful, cigar-smoking monkeys, the four of them will battle powerful forces with sinister motives against the backdrop of a mission to Mars ...

Gareth Powell's SF novel is a thoroughly entertaining, fun-filled adventure packed with ideas and wry humour that kept me turning the pages to the end.

The star of the book's Ack-Ack, a cigar-chomping monkey undergoing an existential crisis. Larger than life, he simply takes over every scene he's in and I really enjoyed learning about his backstory. However Victoria Valois takes an equally prominent role and she's just as interesting, having had her brain rebuilt with gel-ware following a helicopter crash.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 days 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 1 month ago by Mr m N Christopher
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 3 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 6 months ago by elizabeth anne hepburn
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware the angry monkey
I've really been struggling to find a book I could really get my teeth into. Short stories weren't holding my attention and novels were dragging their heels. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Christopher Long
5.0 out of 5 stars A read worthy of consideration
Ok I am not one for writing reviews, mainly because I find that I am much better at reading things than actually writing them. Read more
Published 8 months ago by nahp
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Monkey
I read the brief introductory comic strip in 2000AD, so I knew what to expect.

But it turned out I didn't. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Pat Galea
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent monomaniacal monkey masterpiece!
You know, it's far too easy to try and shove bands, books and movies into some kind of genre pigeonhole so readers of reviews will know what they're getting. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Zeke Pliskin
4.0 out of 5 stars Alternative history SF
I was lucky enough to snag an ARC of Gareth L. Powell's latest book. The novel hits the beaches in January 2013 from Solaris. Read more
Published 11 months ago by 3rd spearman
5.0 out of 5 stars Swashbuckling, uplifted monkeys in epic sea and zeppelin battles
So really what's not to love? Also manages to ask some pretty serious questions about the nature of consciousness whilst you're distracted by all the adventure. Brilliant.
Published 13 months ago by Mr. Dj Livesey
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