11 February 2013

Book Review: The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse by Nina Post

Title: The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse
Author(s): Nina Post
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy
Publisher/Date: Curiosity Quills Press / February 29, 2012
Series: Kelly Discoll/Apocalypse Series (Book #1)

Disclosure: I received a review copy via the publisher on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

"Some of the fallen angels physically bound to Amenity Tower had been cast out, but some left on their own, for their own reasons. In some cases, it was both, and in every case, they left angry. The bound angels were resentful. They all secretly despised themselves. And they were all stuck in perpetual angel adolescence. There was no way they wouldn't want to raze their condo prison behind them. What was one more bridge burned?"
Case Study
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. (synopsis from Goodreads)

The Game's Afoot
To be honest, I wasn't sure how I was going to write this review because The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse was, by far, the strangest book I've ever read. And it wasn't just strange, it was, like, really bad acid trip strange. The entire time I contemplated banishing it to the dreaded DNF pile because I had no idea what the hell was going on. But for some reason, I couldn't. Every time I thought I wanted out, it sucked me right back in. And here's the odd thing --- the more I read the it, the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. This wasn't an immediate revelation by any means, but after several days of digesting the book, it grew on me.

My initial reaction --- WTF?!
The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse was absurd, it was confusing and it was incredibly abstract. But while it is all of these things, it is also lighthearted and curiously entertaining. The book verges somewhere between controlled chaos and total disorganization, often becoming hard to follow. It took me awhile to really grasp what was going on, and at times, the formatting made it hard to understand exactly who was doing the talking. The story is multi-directional with several small sub-plots threatening to take over. But what I really liked was that the book's insanity isn't there for no good reason. It serves as a device to make a smart social commentary and showcase Post's sharp wit.

Kelly Driscoll is a Private Investigator hired to figure out who, among all the fallen angels bound to Amenity Tower (a condo), is going to bring about the apocalypse and total destruction of Pothole City. Also, she's looking for her parents' murderer. During her search,  Kelly teams up with some single-purpose angels and the ever-passive Angel of Death of Mortals, Af. We're also introduced to Murray, Kelly's boss' right-hand man. He pretty much delivers her the assignments and explains the rules. Then there's Tubiel, "Angel of Returning Small Birds To Their Owners," who is more like the "Teller" to Murray's "Penn." He's got a lot of personality for someone so quiet and small. Insert a series of ridiculous hijinks and crazy-ass half-human, half-monsters and there you have it. Only it's not quite that simple. Post uses things like the condo board meetings and sub-committees to poke fun at the every day mundane. I mean, who ever heard of a sub-comittee of creating an escape plan? Her writing, obscure as it is, is highly observant.

I really got a kick out of the funny chapter titles which come directly from a line or thought a particular character has in the chapter. They speak volumes about the story and its personalities. And of the characters, I think my favourites were Kelly, who is no stranger to the strange and Af. Kelly is strong, defiant and sarcastic. Af, on the other hand, is passive and content (for the most part) with his situation:
"He would really prefer to do quiet things indoors that didn't involve massive destruction or the deaths of humans." (pg.50)
There is a hint of a love connection between Af and Kelly but it doesn't envelop the story. It's more of an innocent flirtation than anything and I loved the slight tension in their interactions. 

I guess my biggest issue with the book, though, was the pacing. The story takes awhile to climax and when it does, it's over a bit too quickly. Luckily, brevity is in its corner and once you've grasped the rules of Post's fantasy world, it becomes far easier to navigate through it. The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse was an unexpected read that left me muddled and confused by the end --- not because of the storyline but because I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I will say this, after a few weeks of thinking on it, my feelings have gone from somewhat sour to total appreciation. If anything, The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse wins the award for my most memorable read of 2013.

Summary Prognosis
The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse is weird --- one of those unconventional books that takes some patience to get used to. But it is an unusually smart, lighthearted romp. While being an abstract read, it's short enough to tolerate, and eventually it becomes one of those stories that sets the seeds to grow over time. And though I liked it, I'm not sure I'm smart enough or quite ready to dive into the sequel. On the other hand, maybe, just maybe, I am that crazy...

Rating: ★★★

Read It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Discuss It: Goodreads | Author's Website  Curiosity Quills Press 


  1. I'm so glad you reviewed this book, Nikki, because I almost requested it from NetGalley. Now I'm kinda glad I didn't:) Some books are better just knowing someone you trust read it and reviewed it instead of you, LOL! Not that I couldn't use a good acid trip once in a while, but...anyway, great review!

    1. Haha, thanks Tammy! I think the concept is great and Post is clearly a smartie, but you really have to be in the right frame of mind to read this book.

  2. Lol about the WTF reaction. This does sound like a crazy read. I'm glad you wound up liking it after all.

    1. It was strange and, at first, I didn't like it but it was one of those books that the longer I thought about it the more it grew on me. But I understand that its not for everyone.


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