Nina Post – The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse

Kelly Driscoll tracks down monsters for a living, but the job isn’t what it used to be. Vampire hunters are the new big thing, but Kelly doesn’t swing that way. When a reclusive client hires her to locate a rival angel, Kelly’s search takes her to a downtown highrise that has become home to hundreds of fallen angels and dimension-hopping monsters.

As the fallen angels take over the condo board, argue over who’s handling pizza delivery, and begin planning for a little shindig otherwise known as the apocalypse, Kelly must team up with an unlikely group of allies to find her target and keep the fallen angels at bay. In the process, she befriends a reluctant Angel of Destruction, gets tips from a persistent ferret, uncovers the mysteries behind Pothole City’s hottest snack food empire, and tries to prevent the end of the world.
Description taken from the author’s website.

Nina Post’s debut novel, The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse is a fun book, which definitely needs to be read tongue in cheek. I don’t know whether it was written that way, but I think it definitely needs to be read as such. There are some flaws to the book, but they didn’t lessen my enjoyment of it too much. While the reads very quickly and easily, some elements get dropped into the plot rather suddenly and without explanation. Though, on further pondering, it isn’t so much that the plot is messy, because I don’t think it is, but because there are a lot of sudden shifts in scene and point of view. For instance, the book is 296 pages long but contains sixty-one chapters; which makes for a lot of really short chapters, some medium sized and a few longer ones. This means that in the space of less than fifteen pages you might have seen three different locales and two different points of view. In addition, the chapter headings where often a bit hit and miss for me, I’d have preferred a simple numbering instead.

The characterizations are fun, especially those of the SP’s, the Single-Purpose angels, who were really cute and funny. They are what amount to Kelly’s sidekicks in the novel, especially Tubiel. Kelly is developed somewhat more as a character than most of the other characters in the book, with the exception of Af. We learn about her youth and her motivations behind becoming a monster hunter. While Af is the other main character and we do see more of his current motivations, we learn far less about his background and why he’s actually kind of pleased to be bound to Amenity Tower. Perhaps Post will focus more on his story in the next book, but I would have liked to have seen more in this one.

The world building is limited; the main locations where the action takes place are Amenity Tower and the building where Kelly is housed by her employers. Any other places we visit are, with the exception of one or two, all in Pothole City. As the names suggest these are all fictitious places and while reminiscent of our world at the same time very different. Post doesn’t spend much time on these differences, instead relying on her readers to just go with the flow and accept her alternate world vision. And much of this is left to the reader’s imagination as well. While it’s clear we’re in an urban environment, the reader gets to fill in the blanks as to how this city looks and operates; for the author it is no more than the backdrop against which her story plays out.

The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse is a funny novel. Despite my quibbles with some of the aspects of the characterization, world building and pacing, I did keep reading and finished the book in under twenty-four hours. Don’t expect deep ruminations on the meaning of life or the reason for existence; this is a fun story about how an unlikely group of people safe the world – or at least Pothole City – from its end, no more. If you accept it as such, the book is a good diversion on a cold winter afternoon, driving away the gloom with its humour and its author’s easy writing style. If you’re looking for a quick, diverting read, I suggest you give The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse a try. The book will be out from Curiosity Quills Press on February 29th.

This book was provided for review by the publisher.