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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Review: Call of the Jersey Devil


Title: Call of the Jersey Devil
Author: Aurelio Voltaire
Format: Paperback, 331 pages
Pub. Date: May 28th 2013
Source: Gifted by The Little Pink Book Boutique

★★★★

Four stars.

There are far worse things lurking in New Jersey than The Situation. Like for instance, the gateway into Hell. A witch who has taken to resealing this gateway when needed finds herself in the woods with a motley crew of assistance: five misfit teenagers and one bitter has-been Gothic singer. It will take all the strength they have to get rid of the worst thing to come out of New Jersey since the Real Housewives- the infamous Jersey Devil- and not everyone will make it back alive.

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This book is exactly the kind of writing that I expected of Voltaire, who is one of my favorite (if not favorite) musical artists. This books caters to the goth kids that grew up reading things like Goosebumps and watching Lovecraft films but never outgrew the need for creepness. Creepdom? Ah well. This book turns the goth kids into the heros instead of just the side freaks or the venomous, judgemental bad guys that they're normally portrayed as. This alone makes the book stands out and gains my favor.

This book is an equal mixture of urban legend, horror, comedy, and what the fuckery. The descriptions, while very well written and graphic, are disgusting in the best possible way. The creatures that emerge from the pit of hell are putrid, and Voltaire makes sure that you know it. I often found myself making a facial expression not unlike a first grader talking about cooties- tongue out and nose turned. But, these horror elements are well broken up with bursts of dark comedy that people with strange senses of humor, like myself, will find hilarious. I also really enjoyed a lot of the song and movie references that this book contained. (I also secretly got really excited when I read the title of the book in the prose. It doesn't take much.)

For me, the characters are what make this book one that I'd read again. AJ is a black kid who plays it smart and gets the hell out of there (no pun intended) when demons and devils start rearing their ugly horned heads. Prudence is a very pretty gothic girl who struggles with self image. Stuey is the pudgy type who worships an obscure goth musician. Ari is a girl who never speaks. Villy is the aforementioned obscure goth musician. And Alistair is a loud mouthed, foul, hilarious Satanist who tries to open Hell in the back of a Spencer's Gifts. Villy was probably my favorite character, since I felt he had the most history and the most character development throughout the story, but Alistair wasn't far behind. I admit, he made me laugh (sometimes at him, sometimes with him) for different reasons entirely than Voltaire had planned. I had a boyfriend who was a loudmouthed not-very-educated-about-Satanism-Satanist who was also an asshole. So when Alistair loses his head, I couldn't help but to applaud.

This book contains a few illustrations as well, helping to show off more of Voltaire's well-rounded artistry. My personal favorite is of Alistair (page 171).

My only real negative point about this view is that the ending left me wanting a bit more. I'm not really sure what I would have changed or ended, but I was left with a bit of disappointment when I saw that the story was over.

All in all, I think that this is a book that horror comedy fans will eat up. Be warned that this book contains graphic descriptions of monsters and anatomy, and contains adult language. If sex, gore, or Goth kids bother you, than it's probably not for you. This debut book from Aurelio Voltaire definitely delivered, and I look forward, as always, to his next project. If you haven't checked out his music, I sincerely hope that you do so.

Thank you to The Little Pink Book Boutique who gifted me a copy of this book.

6 comments:

  1. I freaking loved this book! The ending left me wanting more too, but I was pretty damn happy with what I got. I'm so glad you liked it!

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    1. I know you did, love. I know you did. Haha.

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  2. Should I know who Voltaire is? Because when someone says Voltaire I assume they mean the philosopher...and when they music artist, I think of the operetta based on Voltaire's Candide and clearly this is someone else entirely. Well I mean beyond the fact he's been dead for ages haha!

    On a different note, this looks like a really entertaining read!

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    1. He's a "gothic cabaret" style singer, whose songs are sometimes comedic and sometimes really emotional. Here's a link to one of my favorite songs of his:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kkIwAir4Hk&list=PLC5B716E5A7C030EC&index=9

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    2. Wow I didn't even know this was a thing! Personally I'm not a huge fan of his voice, but her voice reminds of me The Hush Sound or Eisley. And the music is so fun!

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    3. Her voice is beautiful. His music is the type where I can just listen to his albums on repeat for ages.

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