2nd Place for Urban Fantasy in Virtual FantasyCon Awards 2017.
A city of the bizarre and the unfamiliar, inhabited by monstrous beasts and people with unnatural gifts. A city of tall glass spires mingling with old gothic architecture, where wild animals roam alongside the populace.
This is where Ripley Mason finds himself.
University dropout, casual drinker, and newly fledged hitchhiker, Ripley is tired of the daily grind of study, drink, repeat. Only halfway done with a degree he never chose, Ripley heads north to see if life won’t throw him something less monotonous.
Early into his journey, Ripley suffers a brutal car accident and awakens in a rundown hospital. Nervous, he ventures into dark, unfamiliar streets and comes face to face with horrific beasts. Thrown into a world of supernatural fantasy, Ripley fights to discover where he is, how he came to be here and, most importantly, if he can even get home.
All he knows of this place is a single word: C A L I G A T I O N
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
‘Caligation’ is a dystopian urban fantasy by Australian-based author, Brhi Stokes. We join the tale as university drop-out, Ripley Mason, hitches a ride with Laura. After a road traffic accident, he wakes to find himself in a run-down hospital with no sign of his travelling companion. After discharging himself, he discovers he is in a place he doesn’t recognise. The author has taken the tried and trusted theme of dropping her main character into an alternative world after a trauma and then allowing her vivid imagination to create a multitude of supernatural dangers for him to contend with. Against this backdrop, Ripley meets all manner of strange people with bizarre abilities, mutations, dialects, dress and customs. It seems everyone is inseparable from their effigia, which takes the form a telepathic creature with whom they have a special bond. In Ripley’s case, his effigia is an owl named Athena. His lonely existence is enhanced as she becomes the foil he needs as he discovers a little more about the various species that inhabit the city of Caligation. This is not the usual run-of-the-mill good versus evil scenario, as Ripley isn’t particularly likeable and isn’t on any sort of crusade for the greater good, he just wants to steer clear of trouble long enough to find his way home. We see the action mainly from Ripley’s perspective but intermittently spend time with some of the other characters. There is a reasonable balance between dialogue and description, although at times it isn’t always clear who is speaking. Nonetheless, the story moves along at pace and concludes with all loose ends neatly tied together. In common with a lot of fantasy novels, there were shape-shifters and sorcery but beneath this, there is a fairly interesting story encompassing corruption and intimidation within the basic framework of survival of the fittest. I struggled with this book in the early stages because I found it hard to engage with a tale that had no foundation in reality. Had I not been asked for a review, it is doubtful I would have read beyond the second chapter. My perseverance was rewarded by some nice touches of humour and banter between Ripley and his owl which gave a bit of counterbalance to what was otherwise a dark and depressing tale. There was an inspired twist at the end and I have no doubt within its target audience, ‘Caligation’ will be a hit. Although it wasn’t my kind of book, it was quite a clever idea and objectively, I award four stars.
Ripley awakens in a hospital bed following a car accident. Only this is like no other hospital he's been in before - it's silent, dirty and appears to be neglected and abandoned. In a panic he flees, but what awaits on the outside is even more nightmarish than the inside - savage creatures are roaming the darkened streets. Ripley discovers he's in a city called Caligation, where the architecture is a strange combination of old and modern. Even the people are unfamiliar; dressed in a style not unlike Gothic or Victorian. But even more peculiar are the animals, or 'effigia', that follow the inhabitants around - one animal for each person. Fearing he's somehow entered another dimension, Ripley desperately tries to figure out a way back home. Brhi Stokes has written a wonderfully original and creative book. Not being a huge Science Fiction or Fantasy reader (I dip sporadically in and out), I thought I may be in for an uphill slog, but on the contrary, I was very pleasantly surprised. I was impressed by how imaginative and descriptive this book is. Caligation and it's eclectic mix of bizarre residents felt very real, which for me is essential with a novel in this genre. I often state that I struggle with the 'world building' element associated with Sci-Fi and Fantasy, but this book had just the right balance between quantity and quality. I do think the book could benefit from some sort of speech differentiation between Caligation's citizens and their effigias (or animals). Yes, the animals in this book are very chatty! It got a bit confusing at times. Other than that, I really enjoyed Ripley's adventures and his quest to return home.
We are proud to announce that CALIGATION by Brhi Stokes is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells readers that this book is well worth their time and money!