Review: The Chosen Seed

by Sarah Pinborough

Gollancz, out now

The third instalment in the gripping Dog-Faced Gods Trilogy

Book three in any trilogy is always a tricky thing to pull off. How much do you pander to those who haven’t read the other books? Do you risk boring people who already know it with details about books one and two? In my opinion, The Chosen Seed gets it absolutely right, hitting the ground running and getting straight down to the nitty gritty for those of us who’ve been eagerly awaiting the final part of this must-read trilogy.

When we last saw Cass Jones, he’d been framed for murder, had lost his job as a detective inspector, and was on the run from his former colleagues. He’d also been shot. We pick up the action with Cass in hiding, recovering, and wondering how on earth he can not only find his missing nephew, but also bring the sinister Bank – a front for the even more sinister Network – to its knees. Luckily he’s about to get some help from a very unexpected source…

At the same time, the so-called ‘Angel of Death’ is spreading a disease out on the streets so dangerous it makes AIDs look like the sniffles. Dr Hask and Detective Ramsey are on the case, but the more they investigate, the more they uncover the connection between this and what has happened to Jones. As the tension mounts, the scene is set for the final confrontation between Cass and Mr Bright, during which the devastating truth about the history of humanity might just be revealed.

For those coming late to the show, picking up this book might be a little like trying to pick up Lost a couple of seasons in. So do yourself a favour and go and buy the other books to get up to speed, because you really have been missing a treat. Pinborough’s plotting is tight, the action moves at breakneck speed – you’ll find yourself flipping through the pages like nobody’s business – but more importantly her characters come alive through the writing. You care what happens to Cass, despite his faults, or maybe even because of them – because they make him human. She also manages to gracefully introduce SF and horror elements into what is essentially a crime thriller: something that’s not easy to do. Basically, this is essential reading for genre fans and just anyone who enjoys a good story, told well.

A thoroughly satisfying conclusion to this supernatural crime series. 9/10 

Paul Kane

Click here to order The Chosen Seed from


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