Publisher: Niflheimer Publishing
Covert Art by Natasha Gianni
Holed up in Drasilygg, Ukraine with his black cat and visions of a future dystopia, Ken Hagdal is a small known writer who has previously flirted with writing screenplays, dark comedy and other things, all to do with the weird and interesting.
By far his biggest publication to date, X-Novo is a 300 page sci-fiction/dark humour/satire novel which aims to be witty, far-fetched and yet morally intriguing all in one. Unrestricted and creatively minded, Hagdal’s vision of the future is as dark as it is interesting- exploring the many murky chambers that hide inside the psyches of both males and females.
At a first glance, it would be easy to liken this book to a feminist 1984, but set in a future world where oestrogen reigns supreme and manliness is forced into submission, the year is actually 20#6 AD (and no, that’s not a typo.) The explanation for this ironic shift in gender dominance? The genuine Dead Sea scrolls, which women get to learn is just a tampered with version of the Old Testament. Sounds slightly complicating? Yes it certainly is, but don’t allow this to become X-Novo’s downfall.
Split nicely into fifteen chapters- each of which representing one day, Hagdal has done a clever job of making an otherwise gloopy and impenetrable story into a digestible and compact read. Delving further through the chapters, the usage of irony and humour proves to be key, keeping the each page witty, engaging and pleasurable.
Having said that, I don’t feel that this is a book to read while just commuting on the daily train, or between casual flicks of a magazine. It is demanding of your interest, dedication and even a bit of your love. Rewarding and thought provoking, it certainly comes recommended, especially to those like the idea of keeping men in submission through the use of a collar, in the most cosmopolitan way possible however!