This action-packed monster novel contains ideas enough for 2-3 novels chaotically pureed together. 1] Colton Falls has a vampire infestation. At first just the homeless and forgotten were preyed upon, now everyone is a potential target. 2] A moral choice for mayor is turned into a werewolf. Confined to the sewers and tunnels beneath Colton Falls, he seeks revenge for himself and justice for the forgotten. 3] A demon gun controls those who possess it. It craves souls, and a portal to let out the primordial grimgorgon . . .
This proves a couple themes too many for this book to tell coherently. Character development eludes even the most major of characters, and the novel aims for a cast of dozens. Motivations are not explored, nor legitimate histories except for the factoid about the werewolf running for mayor once . . . What is left is caricatures: Sid the Midget [always called that]–the brunt of every joke, Carmine who’s always eating–always–there a scene in a church, Carmine is holding a conversation then suddenly shoves a taco in his face–what?!
With rewriting, major editing and parsing, this could become a coherent 3 stories. However, the copy I received through Goodreads First Reads had plenty of distractions taking one out of the story: grammatical errata, misuse and overuse of the ellipsis […], overuse of sound effects as if the novel were a Batman comic, and rapid-fire starting of scenes without hinting which character POV is in use for a page. The last gimmick could work once in a while, but not every few pages as happens in the last fifth of this long novel. Conversations happen without naming the speakers as if this were a movie voice-over, which if this were, we might actually recognize the voice of the speaker.
Monster novels sometimes keep the monsters unknown, which is not the case here. There is an attempt to give various monster cultures and motivations. The modern available mythos toward different types of monsters is tossed, however, with the stubborn insistence that vampires, ghouls, zombies, and mummies are the same thing as this novel professes. Maybe there is some gray area between definitions, but using the terms interchangeably takes away from a clear picture of the creatures. The same is true for the demon-Kyberwulf that is suddenly, later, called “a dragon” and only “a dragon” from two different characters. The dragon image does not mesh with the image painted earlier of the demon. Though it does fulfill the archetype of the knight fighting the dragon and tapping into archetypes is a great tool–conceding the story to them is not.
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