Wednesday 22 May 2013

Book Review- Call of the Jersey Devil by Aurelio Voltaire

Happy World Goth Day, guys! 
Title: Call of the Jersey Devil
 Author:  Aurelio Voltaire
Series:   N/A
Published:   28 May 2013 by Spence City
Length: 331 pages
Warnings: Comical gory violence, strong language, homophobic slurs. Definitely not for little people.
Source: Spence City Share Group (Thanks Kayleigh)
Other info: Voltaire does a lot of stuff. Comics, music, animation, writing.
Summary : Five suburban mall rats and a washed up Goth singer find themselves stranded in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey where they discover two horrifying truths: The Jersey Devil, hellspawn of folklore and legend, is real; and New Jersey (as many already suspected) is the gateway to Hell!
With the help of one lone witch, this small group must face off against their deepest fears and the most unholy monsters in a battle where their very souls, the world they live in, and any chance of returning to Hot Topic in one piece is at stake!

Review: AJ, Prudence, Stuey, Ari and Aleister are on their way to a Goth festival they see advertised at the mall. Villy Bats, the musician is stranded there. As the Goths' minivan crashes, they get stranded in the Pine Barrens and soon discover that the Jersey Devil is real, and that in New Jersey there is a gateway to Hell. As monsters start to pick them off, it's up to the Goths, and witch Caroline, to battle their way out.
Having been a fan of Voltaire's music, I've been waiting for this since the moment he announced it existed.
It starts off well. Chapter one is a flashback in which young girl Caroline is called upon to banish the Jersey Devil. And then tells it it is an asshole(justifiably). Chapter two sees a (I think theistic) Satanic ritual being interrupted on the basis that a gift store is no place for it, introduces characters and has a lightsaber fight. Excellent opening.
The characters were mostly rich and full. Aleister, the devil-worshipper, is an irritating dick throughout- his throwaround of homophobic and demeaning slurs and just him made me really hate him. AJ is really really cool! He's sassy and funny. Random aside- I'm wondering if these two characters are named in honour of Crowleys (the infamous occultist and the  angel who sauntered vaguely downwards). Prudence was ok. Stuey, I loved-he was cute in a puppy dog ohmygoshyouneedahug way. Ari had a sad backstory making her what she is, and I think developed most. Caroline and Villy the for most generally awesome. You also feel at some point for the Jersey Devil. Villy and AJ and Aleister are beautiful masters of sarcasm.
The first third is learning more and more about the characters. The middle is setting up the threat. The last half is dealing with it, mainly with a spade.
I love the writing style. As promised, it's facepalmingly funny-see earlier juxtaposition of Satanic ritual and lightsaber fight. AJ and Villy are the funniest. Even when there's the serious backstory parts, there's soon something to make you laugh. The first bit in particular is filled with multiple nods to Gothic subculture, so I was just sitting there all I understood that reference :) The latter part of the novel, the bit with everything and the spade, went really really quickly. The ending tied things up nicely. The epilogue, all I can say is-HELL YES.

Overall:  Strength 4 tea to a goth fantasy story that is very definitely on my "books to read when I need a good laugh" list.

1 comment:

Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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