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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An imaginative, enthralling and well written Steam Punk adventure
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...
Published 22 months ago by Kevin Trebell

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a convert...
Everyone loves the Monkey? Well, yeah, the monkey is OK...but the plot gets into a van somewhere in rural France and lord knows what happens in there but what gets out is something else entirely. The story kicks off in rip-roaring style and rampages along like a genetically modified cigar-chomping monkey with a bad attitude but, just as you'd expect of such a monstrous...
Published 1 month ago by mike1880


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An imaginative, enthralling and well written Steam Punk adventure, 22 Mar. 2013
By 
Kevin Trebell (Cornwall, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ack-Ack Macaque (Paperback)
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Military Monkey Mayhem, 3 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Ack-Ack Macaque (Paperback)
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?"

"What?"

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. In this novel, anything can potentially happen and most likely probably will. In the space of the first hundred pages alone Powell manages to throw a couple of major curve-balls into the plot that I'll admit I didn't see coming. I thought I had things sussed pretty quickly and was overjoyed when I realised that I was almost entirely wrong. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I had very high expectations before I started reading Ack-Ack Macaque (what can I say, some of us have stayed closer to the old evolutionary tree than others), but nothing could have prepared me for the novel I read. Any book that makes me grin like a buffoon whenever I cracked 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. I didn't just like this I loved it.

"If bullets wouldn't work, he'd have to do it the traditional way, with an old school monkey knife fight."

The novel also includes a couple of nice extras that offer a little insight into the inception of the character of Ack-Ack Macaque. The first short story that the character appeared in is reprinted and I rather like the idea that the monkey has always been hanging around somewhere just waiting to be discovered.

There had better be sequel to this or I will be unleashing my own army of flying monkeys to sort the publishers out. I'll take no pleasure in it, but I'll do it! I promise you!
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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
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
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This review is from: Ack-Ack Macaque (Kindle Edition)
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
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This review is from: Ack-Ack Macaque (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!, 3 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Ack-Ack Macaque (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 3 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Ack-Ack Macaque (Kindle Edition)
This is a tightly written book with characters who you want to win. It is an adventure, alternative history, sci fi book that is hard to put down. I loved the original short story (which is included) published in Interzone and I enjoyed this as much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have a banana!, 1 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Ack-Ack Macaque (Kindle Edition)
Completely new and improved version of the original story which I loved from interzone. Great ideas that move along at a rattling good pace with really good character development. Can't wait for Gareth's next novel!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not a convert..., 10 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Ack-Ack Macaque (Paperback)
Everyone loves the Monkey? Well, yeah, the monkey is OK...but the plot gets into a van somewhere in rural France and lord knows what happens in there but what gets out is something else entirely. The story kicks off in rip-roaring style and rampages along like a genetically modified cigar-chomping monkey with a bad attitude but, just as you'd expect of such a monstrous creation, it all ends badly. Shame, the monkey deserves better.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Something for (nearly) everyone, 4 Oct. 2014
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Mr. C. Reid - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ack-Ack Macaque (Kindle Edition)
The author admits that this concept started with just the name, but what a name! It tells you almost everything you need to know about the character, but there are still a few surprises to give it a wider context. Well worth a read for fans of sci-fi, alternative histories, neo-steampunk or monkey spitfire pilots.
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Ack-Ack Macaque
Ack-Ack Macaque by Gareth L. Powell (Paperback - 3 Jan. 2013)
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