First of all, look at that cover. On second thought, if you’re afraid of spiders, cover your eyes and scroll on by. I really like it, and I don’t normally take much notice of book covers. Pictures don’t usually do much for me; I’d rather have 1000 words. But apparently I like pictures of books with holes that have book-page-spiders crawling out of them. Who knew?
This book is the sequel to John Dies at the End. Each book tells a complete story that stands on its own, although there are some fun references to the first book that would go over somebody’s head if they hadn’t read it. This second book has the same crazy humor combined with goriness, crudeness, and silliness, but I did think it was toned down a little bit as compared to the first book. On the other hand, I’ve now read almost 900 pages of this author’s writing, so I may have just built up an immunity. Or brain damage.
I didn’t think this plot was as unique and strange as the first one, but it still had its own unique flare and it was told well. In fact, I may have been more absorbed by this story simply because it wasn’t quite so bizarre. It definitely wasn’t devoid of craziness and fun, though. With this book I don’t see much harm in a brief synopsis, as long as I leave out all the juicy details: The story is basically about the zombie apocalypse coming to a small town in the Midwestern U.S., but with the not-really-zombies caused by not-exactly-spiders. Normally I hear the word “zombie” and reflexively reply with the word “ugh”, but this isn’t one of those tedious types of zombie/monster stories. I get bored if a story primarily consists of characters running from scary monsters, finding a temporary refuge, getting found by scary monsters, and running from scary monsters again. This book has an actual story, and it never once felt tedious.
The first book had been told primarily from the first-person perspective of the narrator. In this book, our main characters aren’t together for large portions of the story so the reader gets to spend some time in the heads of the other main characters. I enjoyed that because I felt like I got to know those characters better, and I enjoyed not being confined to a single viewpoint and a single chain of events. On the other hand, I wished the characters were together more often because I think they’re more fun that way.
One semi-spoilerish comment:(show spoiler)
In summary, there were some things I liked better about this book as compared to the first book, and some things I liked less. On average, though, I think I enjoyed them about equally. I may have to check out some of the author’s other work someday.