Foehammer

Foehammer - Duncan Campbell

I've been searching for an appropriate way to describe this book for the full 48 hours since I finished reading it. And what have I come up with? Zilch. I don't know that I can do it justice in a simple turn of a phrase. It lies somewhere in between Avengers, Resident Evil, Revelation (as in the book of the Bible), and heck, I don't know, The Thing? The X-Files? Fringe? On top of that, throw in a little bit of political corruption and intrigue and a multitude of half-wit masses who no longer care about their government, and you have Foehammer. 

I want to say that I was hooked from the beginning, but I was not. It took 3-4 chapters for me to really figure out what was going on -- about the time the team was assembled and meeting for the first time. But I cannot put this on Campbell. I was having a difficult time focusing. 

But once I was hooked, I could not put my Kindle down. I stayed up way past my bedtime just to finish this book. Partially because I was so into the plot. And partially because, although there is a lot of humor and downtime in this book where they're not fighting off bizarre creatures, the plot and Campbell's writing style is just enough to put me on edge and make me uncomfortable enough that I couldn't fall asleep until I had a resolution. 

I love the questions that the plot brought to my mind. Most importantly, I love that the questions are not blatantly posed to the reader. With just the tiniest hint of what's going on in the world of Foehammer, alarms ring in your head and you realize that world is not right; something seems terribly wrong. 

While I want to go on and on about this book (I'm practically gushing already), I'm going to stop and simply say that you should read it. Period. End of story. The characters are exceptionally well developed, the plot is positively entrancing, and the writing style is clever and smooth -- leading you on with each page turned. 


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Some Bio Information

Duncan Campbell was born and grew up in Yorkshire in the UK. After school he left York to study philosophy at the University of Sussex. 

A huge dose of magic mushrooms whilst backpacking in Thailand resulted in a powerful hallucinogenic experience that awakened a strong interest in shamanism. The ‘spirit world’ sequences in the Foehammer books are drawn directly from his diary entries at this time.


Q&A

1.    Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?

I write lots and lots of drafts. This allows the story and characters to develop slowly and gives me lots of reflection time. Most people don’t believe it, but there were more than eighty drafts of Foehammer before I was happy. This took eight years. It’s a very personal story and reflects strong beliefs that I hold – so it was worth it.

2.    Is the story over? 

No, not at all. It has just begun! There are two more books. Unfortunately only a few characters survive!

3.    Which Foehammer character do you relate to the most? 

It has to be two. I am half Jester and half Curtis! In fact if you want to go into psychological depth then Curtis represents my super ego and Jester my id.

4.    What’s your least favorite part of the writing process?

Getting stuck on a single sentence to describe something. 

5.    Who’s your favorite author?

When I was a boy I read The Lord of The Rings about twelve times – so Tolkien.
As an adult, I rate Iain M Banks and Cormac McCarthy

6.    Can you give us a little hint of the inspiration behind Foehammer?

I can give you loads! Strangely, the tone of the book is inspired by the sound of the post punk band Killing joke. Many of the scenes contain subtle Killing Joke references. I wanted to capture the intensity of their music and gigs in written form (an insane goal – but there you go).

Politically Foehammer is also an angry statement about social complacency, politicians profiting from war and increasing global wealth inequality. Jester and Curtis will never allow themselves to be sub-dermaly chipped and tracked by the government! Foehammer are my small army of resistance. Crooked politicians and corrupt corporations beware, there are only six of them – but they will find you and nothing can stop them.

I am also inspired by classic graphic novels and sci fi. Some reviewers have spotted a hint of Alien and Aliens, and I hope there’s some Bladerunner in there – as I adore that film.

7.    What’s your ultimate writing goal?

To keep going. First I have to finish the trilogy – and then I have a box of about three hundred more ideas to get through. I will do a British ‘superhero’ collective in a few years time.