Friday, May 20, 2016

Demon, Book 1 by Jason Shiga

I've never been able to read Meanwhile by Jason Shiga because my mind just doesn't work that way--thousands of endings and plot options make my brain hurt.  It's extremely popular with the kids at the library, though.  We replace it at least once a year due to extreme use.


As he explains in the forward, although Demon features the same character as Meanwhile, Jimmy, it is most emphatically NOT FOR KIDS.  And this isn't like a tee-hee-don't-read-it-kiddos-but-really-go-ahead thing: the main character commits suicide five times in the first few pages.

Wait, what?  How can you commit suicide multiple times?  You can if you're Jimmy, former actuary, grieving dad and husband, and newly-minted bank robber.  After his first heist goes very wrong, Jimmy hightails it to a seedy motel, where he commits suicide by hanging himself.  Except ... he wakes up in bed.  Totally alive.  Exasperated, he troops off to the bathroom to slit his wrists in the tub.  And wakes up.  In the hotel.  Again.

Now Jimmy's ticked off.  Gunshot to the brain? Nope, still alive.  How about an overdose?  Nope.  FINE.  HE'LL JUST JUMP IN FRONT OF A TRUCK.

Sorry, Jimmy.  You're still among us.  Only, there's a little catch.  Every time Jimmy kills himself, his soul hops to the nearest waiting body and kicks that person out.  As he slowly figures out what his abilities are, Jimmy begins to realize just how much death and destruction he can wreak.  For a man who is supremely ticked off at the world, this is everything he could have ever wanted.

This comic is not for the faint of heart, and definitely requires a black-as-night sense of humor.  The blood and gore manages to be both cartoony and gross: stumps that look like human ham, brains everywhere, heads falling off.  But what's even scarier is Jimmy's worldview: instead of feeling bad about all the people he's killing by hopping into their bodies, he relishes it.

Demon has a very specific audience, but it's there, waiting.  And meanwhile, I'm waiting for book two.

I received an ARC of this title from Netgalley.

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