Dead Town by Mike Chinakos – 4 stars
Every city has a Dead Town… A place where the supernatural creatures of nightmare live side by side with the dregs of humanity.
Misfits abound on the wrong side of the tracks:
A drug addict selling her blood to vampires for her next hit of Voodoo Dust; A zombie longing for release but too terrified of death to give up his undead existence; A bouncer in love with a woman he can never have; Powerful wizards holding the fate of humanity in their hands.
Welcome to Dead Town. Saving the world one misfit at a time.
Point number one: this is an urban paranormal horror novella. Point number two: it’s a little absurd in the good way. The author took three characters who should all be secondary and made them the stars of the show. They certainly shine. My favorite is Doug the zombie, whose existential crisis is overshadowed by his own dumb inability to escape bad luck.
I did find Maggie’s powers to be difficult to comprehend the limits of. At points, it seemed like she could do anything, which made some of the moments of peril seem a tiny bit contrived.
The characters embark on a Save The World quest which seems a tiny bit rushed in a few places, but overall is a wild, quick ride through an entertaining take on the whole undead/shapeshifter thing. It embraces cliches while mercilessly tickling them until they gasp and beg for mercy. However, be warned that it’s not laugh-out-loud funny; I smirked and grinned through much of it.
I recommend this story for folks who like a twist on their undead, and a little humor with their horror.
Being the lucky guy I am, I heard Mike read from Dead Town a few years ago. The first few chapters rolled nice. I should have bought the book then, back when my ‘To Read’ pile was only six months deep. Now I’m around the two year mark. Mike Chinakos tells fun stories.