Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Book Review: Demon Squad: Resurrection

After reading and enjoying the first Demon Squad book, Armageddon Bound, I knew it wouldn't be long before I read the second installment in the series, Resurrection.  I tried really hard to put it off for a while though, because, you know, you gotta spread the good stuff out over time, but that damn thing sat there on my shelf staring at me. Demanding my attention.  Like a crow spotting something shiny and reflective, I was lured in.

After the epic events of Armageddon Bound things have returned to business as usual for our intrepid hero Frank Trigg.  By "business as usual" I mean trying desperately, and failing miserably to get himself laid.  Just when it looks like Frank has found true love, or at least a prostitute who's good at pretending, his night is rudely interrupted by a horde of marauding zombies.  The strange thing is, the zombies appear more inclined to capture humans than to feast on them, a sign that points to greater schemes.  Schemes that Frank Trigg is bound to get caught up in.

As per usual, Frank soon finds himself in over his head, right smack dab in the middle of a sea of supernatural shit.  With a necromancer, demon assassin, Satan's ex-wife, and an ultra powerful demon all using him as a pawn in elaborate schemes, Frank must do what he does best, survive, and if possible, stave off the resurrection of the Anti-Christ.

Zombies... Have I mentioned before that I hate Zombies?  Well, those pesky bastards keep popping up all over the place these days, to the point that I've become a bit numbed by all of it.  That said, the zombie element in Resurrection is just that, an element; one among many others at play in this slim, yet densely packed novel.  And truth be told, they didn't bother me in the least here. In fact, I dare say they entertained me, which is saying a lot.

Love him or hate him, (pencil me in for a man-crush) Frank Trigg is back as the unwitting hero of this dark and twisted tale of back-stabbery, secret alliances and hidden agendas.  Once again, the story is told through Trigg's first person perspective, and once again, that voice is pivotal to the story.  Trigg is a great character to hitch the narrative onto because for better or worse, he is sure to find himself in the middle of the action, where ever that may be.

I was impressed by just how many insane elements Time Marquitz was able to pack into this novel.  Just when the odds seemed terribly stacked against Frank Trigg, Marquitz would chuck in another villain, or demon or beast, or jilted ex-lover just to further stack the odds. Add in a boat load of plot twists, double and triple crosses, and plenty of surprising moments, Resurrection is pretty much non-stop action.

With Armageddon Bound I found myself slightly frustrated with the world building.  I felt that the events of the story only seemed to affect the characters and had no ramifications to the innocent bystanders or regular folks who seemingly populated the world.  This time around things are different.  Reading Resurrection I definitely got the sense that there was an effort made to populate the world with regular everyday people, and have the events of the story make waves in the regular non-supernatural world.  Marquitz makes this adjustment in a variety of ways, and it definitely serves to add another layer to the story.

Speaking of layers and elements, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that once again Tim Marquitz gives a nice nod to fellow metal heads out there.  Though there were many metal-moments I appreciated, and some I'm sure I missed, the greatest metal and comical moments all came when Chatterbox, the body-less zombie head, belted out metal hits in two part harmony with Trigg.  You had to be there.

As far as sequels go, Resurrection is something for other series minded writers to take note of.  Not only does this installment build on and improve the best parts of its predecessor, but it also adds plenty of new elements, characters and situations and ends with a nice little cliff-hanger that makes me wish I had the next volume, At the Gates, locked and loaded on my shelf.  For as good as Armageddon Bound was, I'll definitely say Resurrection is a marked improvement.

All told, another successful, satisfying, and incredibly entertaining reading adventure for yours truly.

Grade: B+


Bastard said...

Another great review Ryan. Got nothing more to add.

Bryce L. said...

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Ryan said...

Thanks dudes. Less than a month until At the Gates!