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The minute I saw the cover, it should have been the clue. Illustrative, somewhere in style between comic and graphic, it screamed YA(1). But I forged ahead, since it was introed—aka endorsed, wouldn't you say?—by none other than Ramsey Campbell. And, after the jig and jag of the book became obvious, I kept reading out of sheer astonishment at its audacious, narrative voice.

Oh, it's a page turner, alright, so a noted ingredient for this summer's word stew. But, don't bother because the main motivator is its final reveal and the author holds it out, teasing you with intimate asides even, and, because this is possibly the worst, stupidest explanation for resolution I've ever encountered, I am going to stamp out this lighted bag of dog turds on any prospective reader's front porch so no one but me will have shit on their shoes.

In medias res, wake up to the nails and teeth of your lovelife devouring you. Escape. Try to figure out why time has stopped, why everyone is a zombie, why no machines work, why the fuckin' moon is huge and night is proverbial. Meet some other survivors. Fight zombies with fire. Go back into the city because you feel guilty abandoning your feral girlfriend/wife. Turns out she's Queen of the Damned. How'd this happen?

There was only one word in the whole read I didn't know. Glaive. If I would've looked it up, I'd'a had even more laughs knowing everybody's working their way into a lycanthrope's hair shirt. But that's not why.

Here's the why: Love.

Yep. “People in love, wishing that the night would never, ever end. And they got their wish”(Bad Moon Books, ISBN 9780985194079, p.178).

Cynicism, you say, but what's the point? Campbell brushes it off as a fable for our “shallow, fragmented increasingly vulnerable age”(p.10, intro). I say, crap. I need some accountability from the author to make it plausible. I don't mean the no-clue metamorphic change. After all, a writer pulled that off in Metamorphosis a hundred or so years ago, right? I'm talking about everything else in the book. As Rickie always says, "Luceeeeeeee, youse got sum explainin' to do."

This is so not important stuff, I've moved into the wilderness, shaved off all hair, severed all connections with anybody I remotely care about, and am waiting in isolation for the world to end, or at least until it moves from human to zombie to werewolf so I can get some decent game meat. Lunar will make good bait.

 

1) I have nothing against Young Adult. I'm just not the audience.

 

 

© copyright 08/14/2013 by Larry Crawford

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