CITY OF HUMAN REMAINS
Renegade writer Darren Callahans recent novel, CITY OF HUMAN REMAINS, is his best work yet. It is set in the year 2097 and opens with the day 81 children go missing from City 32. He tells the story through dozens of viewpoints, like a panning camera, shifting vantage point at every chapter break. The most endearing viewpoint/character is Hektor, an eleven-year-old orphan who loves Batman comics and is determined to find the missing kids. Callahan also follows two other boys from the orphanage, one of the investigating officers, and parents of the missing children, creating a sense of sprawl.
It is his aptitude for storytelling that makes this difficult structure work and enhances the novels suspense. The overall story is gripping and entertaining, but it is the social commentary on what our world could easily becomethat gives the book a deeper meaning. CITY OF HUMAN REMAINS is set in a time where everything is controlled, even the weather, where newspapers are digitally uploaded to newsstands, and where corruption is at an all time high. Rather than expressing his opinions blatantly, he tucks the messages within the prose and leaves much up to interpretation.
Combining a gripping plot, a wide range of interesting characters and strong social commentary,Callahan has created a fantastic novel that is easily deemed a must-read.