(Half/Life Chronicles, Book Four)
What do you get when you mix a squid-headed Ancient One, a mystical force-five hurricane, Rasputin’s privates, un undead Voodoo Queen, the city of New Orleans, a demonic Captain Nemo and, not one, but two immortal Elven Princesses? Christopher Cséjthe, the reluctant hero stuck halfway between being undead and alive, is back, and is going to find out, whether he wants to or not! But now he’s in for an underwater Mardi Gras of epic proportions complete with a battalion of drowned vampire zombies battling an amphibious army of Frog-men—and we’re not talking the “scuba” variety here! H.P. Lovecraft meets Gidget meets The Creature from the Black Lagoon! Many brave hearts are asleep in the deep, and Christopher may be about to join them…
Apocalypse Pretty Soon!
The portents are lining up for the biggest supernatural showdown of all time and—as if the Big Easy didn’t have enough problems with another hurricane on the way—New Orleans is due to be the epicenter. Or, more precisely, the storm is vectoring in on half-vampire (but fresh-blood-eschewing) Chris Cséjthe and his rag-tag coterie of outcast monsters. It seems Cséjthe’s epic mating with a werewolf lover has produced a child who holds the destiny of several worlds in the balance. And everyone who is anyone—vampire lord, were-pack leader, and the odd sea monster god and immortal elven princess—wants to twist this fabled progeny to his or her own power-hungry purposes.
The latest thrill-packed, wisecracking entry in the popular “Halflife Chronicles” by witty (and nitty-gritty) goth master, Wm. Mark Simmons!
This is the fourth in what is now being called the “Almost a Vampire” series, which started with One Foot in the Grave quite a few years back now. I’m tempted to characterize them as the dark fantasy equivalent of Xanth books, because the brand of humor they employ – puns, absurd situations, farce – are common to both. But where the Xanth books are often recapitulations of one another, each of the books in this series is distinctly separate. Christopher Csejthe (I have no idea how this is pronounced and my eyes stumble over it every time) is undead, sort of, but not exactly.
Alienated from his friends, Chris is hardly the person to be cast in the role of savior of the world, but that’s what’s about to happen. There’s a monstrous squid god (think Lovecraft), ghosts, werewolves, vampires, zombies, a supernatural storm, ancient mysteries, and present dangers. As with the previous books in the series, there are lots of references to other books, movies, and so forth, and picking them out is fun in itself. The tone in this is considerably darker, an odd contrast to the puns, witticisms, and jokes, but somehow it all manages to work. If Simmons was more prolific, he’d be a best selling author, but if he was more prolific, he probably wouldn’t be as good.
William Mark Simmons’ Dead Easy tells of Christopher, who has survived a blood transfusion with a vampire only to discover he’s infected – and wanted by government agencies and those interested in his changed blood. Add here a group of drowned vampire zombies and a healthy dose of humor and intrigue and you have a fast-paced, moving plot.
–Midwest Book Review