Today, we will briefly look at The Border, Robert McCammon's sci-fi novel from 2015. I had not intended to write a review of it; I'm curating a running post (or series of posts, more likely) about every book I read this year, and my intention was to simply give it a couple of paragraphs in that post. Not because it's unworthy, mind you, but simply as a time-saving gambit.
I enjoyed the novel enough, though, that I felt like I had to get something on my blog about it sooner rather than later.
So here 'tis!
It's a crackerjack of a book that many reviewers have said is the closest McCammon has gotten to his '80s/'90s heyday since ... well, since the nineties, I guess.
Having not yet read the entirety of his output from the '00s and '10s, I can't speak to that for the time being. But I can say without a doubt that The Border is something that any fan of McCammon's early work is apt to enjoy quite a bit.
The setup goes like this: a pair of alien races invade Earth as part of a long-running war over the border between their territory. Earth has, in the normal course of its journey through the galaxy, become part of that border, and the aliens -- referred to by humans as the Cyphers and the Gorgons -- devastate the planet and its inhabitants in their squabble.
The novel itself begins some two years after that initial invasion took place, as a teenager with amnesia and some really gnarly bruises finds himself fleeing a battle between the warring aliens. He finds shelter with a band of human survivors who are holed up in an apartment complex.
From there, the novel turns into something that many people might derisively refer to as YA, and if that's your conclusion I guess I can't fault you for coming to it. I didn't feel as if McCammon was courting that audience in any way, however, and nothing about the book's marketing seems to have done so. (By the way: good luck finding a copy of this book. It was released by Subterranean Press, but only barely, and is out-of-print as fuck.) It does not, for example, promise a never-ending stream of sequels.