Thursday, July 31, 2014

Book Review: Apocalypticon

Read 7/21/14 - 7/23/14
4 Stars - Strongly Recommended to those who don't mind laughing in the face of the apocalypse
Pages: 338
Publisher: Dapper Press
Released: January 2014

A post-apocalyptic novel that makes fun of itself and every book or film that's ever come before it? Uh, yes please!

Clayton Smith knocks it out of the park - The Magic Kingdom's parking lot, to be exact - with this hilarious tale of two BFF's who've managed to survive the apocalypse (which was brought about by Jamaican 'Flying Monkey Missiles' if you can believe it) by apparent sheer dumb luck. After holing up in an apartment building for the past three years, Patrick panics when his food-to-pudding ratio finally reaches a critical low, and convinces his neighbor and ole college buddy Ben to pack up his belongings and hoof it all the way down to Florida with him. His bucket list has only one item on it and he'll be damned if he's gonna die before taking a trip out to Disney World. After much bickering and some super-intense backpack repacking, the two besties head out on a POST APOCALYPTIC ROAD TRIP!

Prepared for the worst, though they're not exactly sure what that might be, they leave their Chicago digs behind and trudge through the yellow dust fog that blankets the entire United States, with Patrick leading the way as his buddy reluctantly follows.

The road they travel is ripe with danger and sticky with the melted bodies of those who were not immune to the Flying Monkey Dust. Armed with a bunch of weapons (chosen for their cool factor), their witty banter, and unique sense of humor, these guys meet up with some of weirdest end-time characters I've ever come across - a milky-eyed soothsayer who foresees a world of trouble for the traveling duo; zombie-like running men who will stop at nothing to eat the flesh of the uninfected; a cuddly buffalo named Ponch; tree-dwelling monks who drink frog blood in the hopes of spontaneously switching genders; a crazy family of four who act as though M-Day (Monkey Day, the day Jamaica bombed with US) never happened, and more.

Time and time again I found myself wishing I could hop inside Clayton's world and tag along with these guys. Their "laugh in the face of danger" attitude and incredibly poorly timed curiosity made APOCALYPTICON an edge-of-your-seat fun house ride. There was no situation Patrick and Ben couldn't get out of. I swear, these two had nine lives. Screw survival of the fittest! In this post-apocalypse, those who take the craziest risks and don't take themselves too seriously will inherit the earth. Well, whatever's left of it, anyway. Of course, it's not all laughter-and-happy-tears for these two. The dark humor pulls back at just the right times and let's the gory-goodness-of bashing-in-heads-with-baseball-bats and extremely poignant, bittersweet moments shine through. You can't survive an apocalypse on sarcasm and inside jokes alone, now that's just plain cuckoo.

Sprinkled throughout with pop culture references and served with a heaping dose of well written dialogue, I'm naming APOCALYPTICON the must-read book of 2014 for fans of post-apoc literature. Give yourself a break from all the end-of-the-world doom and gloom, and get your read on with this insanely incredible post apocalyptical novel with a huge heart. And HELLO?! Have you seen the cover? If my review's not enough to make you pick this thing up.... that cover sure as hell should be!

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