Well, there you have it: The final issue of the “Chronicles“. Will the series end on a high note? Will open question be answered? Will Andrej finally get the redemption he was seeking for centuries? Let’s see for ourselves as we take a spoilerish look upon “Necropole“.
Upon eventually arriving in Rome, problems immediately start for our two immortal protagonists, Andrej Delany and Abu Dun. First they discover that the zombie-plague seems to have followed them here, then their recent employer Hasan/ Pope Clemens XV gets himself kidnapped, along with his adopted (?) daughter Ayla, by Swiss Guards.
During their rescue, Hasans #1/ bodyguard, Ali, reveals himself as the papal camerlengo, and something seems off with Ayla’s face. Also, Hasan tries to keep her from any other human being. But Andrej, whose protective instinct has developed into a creepy crush towards the girl, doesn’t seem to notice, or doesn’t want to.
As the group of immortals, assassins and clerics journey through the city, they get attacked by zombies on multiple occasions. The only way to stop the epidemic from spreading is to reach the necropole, deep beneath the most secure place on earth: The Vatican.
This may be one of the worst written book in the series. Not because of the plot, which is okay, not because of misspelling, but just the way it is written. Oftentimes sentences reoccur on the same page or the next, the characters’ thoughts are repeated thwice, thrice, and the middelpart of the book goes nowhere.
Andrej has become my least favourite character in the entire franchise, which must mean a lot, for it has brought us characters like Meruhe, ever-crying Frederick, and Corinna. He makes stupid decissions, still doesn’t realize when he is doublecrossed, and still (STILL!!!!) helps those wo betray him whenever they got the chance. It doesn’t help either that his moronic behaviour turns out to be caused by the cursed zombie-bite from volume XIV.
So our protagonist isn’t quite himself for the entire book! That also makes Abu Dun the voice of reason, and if you’ve read the previous books you may know that he isn’t quite the type for that. It eventually comes to the epic confrontation between Andrej and Abu Dun, a rematch from their brief fight in volume II. But as I said, due to Andrejs obsessive crush on Ayla he is not quite a match for the Nubian. So their slapstic confrontation is more or less a reimagination of Joxer vs… anyone.
In the end, when they finally reach the sacred temple underneath the Vatican, it turns out that Ayla is responsible for the zombies. So the person everyone was suspisious about from the previous book and this one really turned out to be the person responsible?! What a twist! And interestingly (or wait, no, not interestlingly, uninspiringly) the same thing happens that has happened in volume III – “The Deathstroke“: The person responsible for the protagonist’s weird behavior dies/ is killed, and everything is back to normal. While in that book then, it was Andrej himself who killed the werewolf, whereas here he literally does nothing, he is just standing around, staring at stuff happening and thinking about what to do. The book is even self-aware of this and mentions this at the end.
“Necropole” is not a bad book, but it is extremely mediocre at best. There are no surprises, and the main protagonists don’t really do anything useful to the plot. Some plot-devices appear but are never fully adressed again, like Abu Dun’s new iron fist, which may have fice fingers but is designed for the wrong hand. Wat happened to it? Did he get a correct one? Does he still use his “old” iron fist? Does he just accept the fact that he will have two left hands? It’s questions like those that lower the reading enjoyment of the books. This book doesn’t have anything secial about it, and that may be its biggest flaw.
As I said in the beginning of this article, this is the final book in the series. Well, I lied. There are going to be future books and stories about the “Chronicles“. But for me personally, this may be the last one. I’ve been reading the series for 10 years now. I really liked and enjoyed the plot and characters at first, and have been criticising the writing style and unsolved mysteries since volume III. I love the first, fifth and ninth part, and enjoy some other parts.
But since book #12, “The Black Death“, the quality of the series has been on a constant down. And I really don’t want to spend any more money or time on this franchise. So I’ve decided to sop reading it. I can’t promiss that I will never read any more books of the series, but at least for now, I won’t. There’s one more book I haven’t reviewed yet. Maybe I could, in the near future…