Tuesday, December 20, 2016

It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World by Curtis M. Lawson

When the Vatican's top assassin, a Rhodesian merc, a pair of serial killer lovers, a dirty cop, and a professional sadist compete in a mad race for a pair of priceless magical artifacts, betrayal, theft, and murder are just the opening moves in a game of death.

Oh my goodness!  I had so much fun with this book!  It's kind of like Rat Race but with the dregs of society!

Let me get my only complaint out of the way first.  In the beginning few chapters, Lawson has a little trouble finding his voice.  The storytelling style changes from scene to scene.  At first, I was hoping this was in an attempt to change storytelling styles as each character was prominent, but I don't think so.  After a few chapters, Lawson settles into a nice flow.  Don't let the storytelling style affect your decision whether or not to read this.  The fluctuation is over quickly and the rest of the book is smooth as sea glass.

I loved the characters and the world building!  It's ugly and crass and horrible!  These are some mean, nasty, vicious people and the world they live in is the same.  You'll find no saints here and you'll be hard pressed to find what can pass as good values.  Each person has their own code of rules, which they try to live by.  You'll find a lot of 'Well sure I kick camels, but I don't hit them!  That's just wrong!'  I use that as a loose example.  Each one sees what they're doing to be perfectly acceptable while at the same time, not being able to comprehend the wretched sin of the others.

Reading this was a lot like watching a ninja gang fight.  You know you're going to see some horrible stuff.  You know you're going to be scarred.  But at the same time, you can't help but admire the cleverness and proficiency.  This is the entertaining side of the ugly side of the human condition.

This is an extremely graphic and upsetting book.  If you get a little queasy, you may not want to attempt this one just yet.  Otherwise, you'll find a well-crafted story with fascinating characters.  You'll be left wondering who's going to be standing at the end.  Pick your favorite and cheer them on!

I'm glad to hear that there's a second book coming out.  I'm particularly interested in the character of Philip Carver.  Watch for him when you read the book!

I don't normally say a lot about illustrations, but I had to stop reading long enough to look through the book to find who was responsible for them in this case.  At the beginning of chapter nine, Broken Finger Blues, there's a picture that just really caught my eye.  I've gone back to look at it several times.  I'm not sure what I find so captivating about it, but it really hits me.

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