Angus Mcfarlane's Reviews > Ave Judas

Ave Judas by Cassian Brown
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May 26, 12

bookshelves: scifi, thriller
Read from May 23 to 26, 2012

I received this book as a free offer from the author via goodreads on the day before I had day surgery - perfect timing. The overall feel of this was a futuristic da Vinci code with references to art, catholic church plottings and an alternative reading on the original Jesus/judas story. The setting, however, is distinctly Australian and many of the images used in the story felt familiar: the rugged cliffs of the south coast covered in swirling most; blue wrens and eucalypt forest; kangaroos and cuttlefish; and placenames that were evocative to my Australian ears with memories of my own from having visited them. The use of Australian megafauna was a fun way to reflect on some of the surprising creatures that have been part of our relatively recent past, although tree crocs sound a little like drop bears!
I struggled a little at times with what felt like disjoints in the plot ( some of which may have been due to medications) and the characters felt unevenly developed. It was as if important sections had been left out or trimmed to meet publishers word limit requirements. As such the plot worked but I was not drawn as strongly to the two brothers, who merged into each other initially, and some of the meta-themes were not as engaging as they might have been. What is identity, our genes or something else? Was the original judas evil, misrepresented or somewhere in-between? Does the evil outweigh the good of religion? Like some other stories I've read recently, this was futuristic but not science fiction in a full sense, set in a colonized galaxy with some technological advances, but little philosophical or scientific description (that is written in) to underpin the authors vision of the history to come.
Many of the sections of prose in this book were enjoyable to read, and the action was not frantic or too long. No doubt this a sign of more good things to come!
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