THE LAST DAYS OF HONG KONG by G D Penman (COVER REVEAL)
Today, I’m very (VERY) excited to reveal the cover for G D Penman’s final book in Witch of Empire trilogy: The Last Days of Hong Kong
I can’t tell you how much I love this trilogy. Well I mean, I tried to, in my reviews for The Year of the Knife and The Wounded Ones. I am heart-broken that this will be our last adventure with Sully, so if you could all go out there and buy these books so Graeme will feel compelled to write more, I’d personally be very grateful to you.
ANYWAY, let’s do the usual Cover Reveal stuff shall we? First up, the synopsis:
In the aftermath of the war, Iona “Sully” Sullivan has lost everything; her job, her friends, her fiancé and even her magic. But when an old friend shows up on her doorstep, offering her the chance to undo one of her long litany of mistakes, there is still enough of the old Sully left to get her on the first boat to Hong Kong.
A stranger in a strange land, Sully must navigate alien customs, werebear chefs, the blossoming criminal underworld, religious extremists, Mongol agents, vampire separatists, and every other freak, maniac or cosmic leftover with an iota of power as they all compete for a chance at the most valuable prize in all the world; a little sailor doll named Eugene, and the last wish on earth.
EUGENE IS BACK. AND WHAT’S A WEREBEAR CHIEF.
The Witch of Empire trilogy so far has had stunningly unique covers, so without further ado, let’s check out the final instalment:
MoRe InCoHeReNt ScReAcHiNg
Let’s just turn to Graeme at this point, shall we?
Every time that I think Meerkat Press have topped themselves with these covers, Tricia blows me away all over again. Blending an almost abstract aesthetic with stunning contrasting colours to give you such a great impression of the magic and skulduggery in these stories.
The Year of the Knife was a Film Noir hardboiled detective story that just happened to take place in a world where magic existed. The Wounded Ones drifted forward into the war stories that characterised the films after WW2. So when the time came to write the third and final Witch of Empire book, I wanted to look to the natural inheritors of those very macho film genres.
In the west, we had our goofy action movies, mostly glamorising war, not something that Sully would be interested in doing, given her pathological dislike of authority. There were some neo-noir movies popping up here and there, but too recently for me to feel like they were a direct continuation of the old cultural trend. Hong Kong seemed to provide the answer. Not just the kung fu movies that were widely exported, but the steady output of crime drama.
Of course, now that I had a post-war period in the Witch of Empire world, I had to go back to my beloved Noir flicks again too. So many of those stories were rooted in the thin veneer of civilisation laid over the post-WW2 world, when all men knew the savagery and violence that they were capable of, but now had to pretend to still be civilised.
The Last Days of Hong Kong draws on both of those cinematic traditions, the complex criminal underworlds that make up the backdrop of the eastern films, and the structure of Noir classics like The Maltese Falcon.
And I think this cover nails all of that. – G D Penman