Call of the Jersey DevilPaperback
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- Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
- Format: Paperback | 352 pages
- Dimensions: 102mm x 170mm x 13mm | 204g
- Publication date: 28 May 2013
- ISBN 10: 1939392004
- ISBN 13: 9781939392008
- Sales rank: 322,412
Five suburban mall rats and a washed up Goth singer find themselves stranded in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey where they discover two horrifying truths: The Jersey Devil, hellspawn of folklore and legend, is real; and New Jersey (as many already suspected) is the gateway to Hell! With the help of one lone witch, this small group must face off against their deepest fears and the most unholy monsters in a battle where their very souls, the world they live in, and any chance of returning to Hot Topic in one piece is at stake! The first novel by musician and horror media personality, Aurelio Voltaire, Call of the Jersey Devil is a hilarious and terrifying homage to 80s horror and genre films. Like a mad doctor, Voltaire has Frankensteined together elements of Evil Dead, The Breakfast Club, Poltergeist, and This is Spinal Tap to create a creature feature that will have you laughing out loud when you're not glancing nervously over your shoulder.
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By Nazish Ahmed 01 Jun 2013
To read more reviews by me, got to my blog: nazishreads.net
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I rated this book 3.5 stars.
Gore: Yes, lots
Pacing: 3 stars
Plot: 4 stars
Cover: 4 stars
Note: I finished and reviewed this book on my blog on Tuesday, but I didn't get a chance to post it here until today.
This review will be a bit different than my other ones.
When I first read the synopsis, I was really intrigued, since I've never read a book like this before, I've seen horror movies, but not many books. Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as I hoped it would be, don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad, it just had a few problems, which I'll talk about in a bit. What I didn't know was that the Jersey Devil myth is actually a legend in New Jersey, I thought that Voltaire made it up, but then I was curious so I searched it up and found that the tale does exist since I've never heard of it before, pretty spooky.
It's hard to think of where to begin. This book is like a horror movie and it felt like a zombie apocalypse (although it was only in a forest in New Jersey, not the whole world, I don't think anyone else in the world had any idea about any of that going on).
This story was refreshing since there was barely any romance in it. The reason why I'm talking about romance is because in many paranormal novels, there's way more romance than there is paranormal, sometimes it's ok but since I'm not a romance story kind of girl, I was really happy that this paranormal story doesn't have romance in it, although they do make a lot of jokes about doin' it.
What I loved most about this book is the humour, I didn't expect this much would be in the story, which is a good thing, since I love comedy. I loved the humour of most of the characters, although Alistaire was a bit much at times, but I think that was because that's his personality, he always speaks his mind, regardless of the consequences, and he's obsessed with hell and the occult.
I'm not sure who's my most favourite character from the book, but there is something I liked from each of the characters: I liked A.J's easygoing nature especially when he hangs out with Prudence and Aistaire, Prudence isn't as mean and shallow as I first thought of her as (she's one of the people who sticks up for Ari when Alistaire is being a jerk), Stuey always being optimistic was kind of annoying, but despite all that happened to him, he still didn't regret anything, Alistaire's craziness (he was really annoying and sometimes mean, yet he's not afraid to speak his mind), so I liked his wacky nature at times, even though Ari is sweet and still recovering from her dad's death, she was one of the surprising characters (I can't reveal how because that might spoil the story), Villy is also one of the characters that changes a lot from our first impression and he ends up becoming really close to the group (he was a jerk full of himself, but then he becomes a better person), especially Stuey. And finally Caroline (I hope this is not a spoiler) joins the group and helps them fight off the zombielike creatures and the Jersey Devil, gotta love her badassness and that she deals with Alistaire's crap even though she just met him and is tempted to throw him to those creatures. I love the interactions between the characters and that they're not afraid to speak their mind on many things instead of holding back, and that there's a small cast of characters instead of a large one. I like it when there are many characters in a book, but it's nice to sometimes only have a few characters in a novel sometimes.
Even though I enjoyed this book, there were a few problems I had with it. The third person narration was confusing, I've only read a few third [person narrated books like: Charmed (the books from the TV show that is about the Halliwell witches), and The Mortal Instruments series, etc, and it was easy to tell who's point of view it was, but in this book at some parts it switched to another POV so quickly and without warning (in the books I read, for ex: when it switched from Clay's POV to Jace's in TMI, sometimes it would be a new chapter and sometimes there would be a double space).
Another thing is that there are too many swear words, I don't mind some because in real life teenagers and even some adults swear quite a bit. I remember walking down the hall many times at school and hearing the f word and the s word (I graduated high school two years ago so it hasn't been really long), I swear to sometimes, especially when I'm angry, but I've never said the f word. But I feel like the characters swore way too much (that's actually one of the reasons why I hate the House of Night series so much), I just find it highly unrealistic.Some cases were perfect for it, like when the Jersey Devil killed someone in the beginning. There were also parts when they swore that made me laugh. Another thing is when they found the ***** in the cabin, I felt like that was unnecessary. I didn't like when in the beginning the guys just assume that all girls are like Prudence, not all of us try on 50 different outfits and lots of make up before leaving the house, some of us just put on some lip gloss and mascara and that's it.
The first few chapters leading to the Pine Barrens are a little slow, but it picks up after that. That's fine since many books and movies start out slow because of introducing the characters and to show the events that lead to the climax. Although, some parts after those creatures were attacking, it seemed like the story was dragging a little bit, some parts seemed like filler to me. I would have enjoyed the story more if some of the pages were cut from it. Still, I loved the action and that we got to learn the past of some of the characters and why they are the way they are, although I would have loved to know Aleister is so annoying and why he's a Satanist. Then again, maybe he just got interested from pop culture or something.
The ghouls or whatever they called them, made it seem like a mini zombie apocalypse, since they were kind of like zombies, although they were way more disgusting.
It was interesting seeing Voltaire's version of hell at the end and it was funny too.
Despite some of the problems, I still enjoyed this book and I kept wanting to turn page after page. I'm looking forward to reading more from him.
Overall, Call of the Jersey Devil is creepy, disturbing, action packed, entertaining, has some interesting characters and zombie-like creatures, and it's basically like a horror movie.
By Amy 30 May 2013
I was given an Advanced Reader Copy by the publisher.
Call of the Jersey Devil tells the story of five "mall rat" teenagers who travel to the New Jersey Pine Barrens to see Gothic singer Villy Bats perform, however things are not all they seem, and when all hell starts to break loose (I love that this has become a literal phrase), they are soon faced with an entire underworld itching to get out through the gates of Hell. Enlisting the help of a witch, the teens and Villy must fight to stop the gates from opening further, and flooding the world with demonic incarnations, one of which is the legendary figure known as the Jersey Devil.
While Voltaire is a good storyteller, there is no doubt he is also a good writer. There are sentences and phrases in this book that are wonderful, all nestled in amongst the joking and the teenagers, and the whole ordeal of this demonic spawn and an opening underworld. The descriptions are excellent as well, whether they are of people, demons, or the environment around them. The way Voltaire writes you can immediately conjure up images and feeling of people and events; especially the scenes in the woods, not to mention the ominous feeling of uncertain darkness and the monsters it hides.
What I enjoyed about Call of the Jersey Devil is the fact that is has so much in it, but it never seems crowded, nor does it jump and feel fractured as you read. And while it is grotesque in some parts, you cannot ignore the humour, this almost balances out the unpleasant details and descriptions Voltaire gives to the demonic faction within the woods. There is sarcasm, and amusing moments that sit either side of the "horror" aspect, but there is also some that cuts through the horror and breaks up the unpleasant scenes. What was wonderful was the fact that Voltaire keeps you engaged and laughing throughout and until the end, which is very hard when you have demons, teenagers, witches, and the paranormal to contend with.
Voltaire says he is a storyteller, and he is; but there is also novel here. Within this story there are glimpses and hints of beauty and art, hiding amongst this "storytelling". So while when you hear storyteller you may think casual conversational tone, there will be a lot that will surprise you with this book. For someone who says he does not read, Voltaire can write. But we already knew that. You only need to look at his songs or his other works to know he is talented, and know that reading does not always equate to talent or skill in writing.
An extended review can be read here: http://lostinagoodbk.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/call-of-the-jersey-devil-by-aurelio-voltaire/