I am really enjoying this book. Excellent narration aside, this is just a really good book.It's like a British crime drama in book form. I'm not sure if that makes sense.
The next two audiobooks in this series are coming out in October and I've already preordered them.
Also, Richard Armitage could narrate the phone and I'd be completely enthralled.
Battle at the Comic Expo's audience is difficult to easily peg: take dark satirical humor, blend in action/thriller sci-fi elements, and add the specter of a comic convention threatened by forces of evil that move from comic pages into reality and from a zany romp into a world replete with dangerously obsessed fangirls and explosive, emotionally complex relationships. But somehow author Richard Andreoli makes all of this work in his fascinating, dramatic and chaotic novel.
In the story, Ron Lionel has created a blockbuster comic series - The Enduring - that is a monster hit. He is hugely popular (and arrogant) but far less successful is his approach to life, which involves manipulating others to get what he wants. Nonetheless, Ron is realizing his dreams. Joe, in contrast, has long ago given up on his artistic ambitions and just lives to get by. His role as Security Chief at the comic book expo gets him close enough to his goal of supporting justice and fighting for the right side.
When these worlds collide, they do so with a bang that's heralded by an obsessed fan searching for answers Ron can't quite provide.
Readers familiar with comic convention culture and proceedings will quickly recognize all the trappings of a real convention in Andreoli's dark, satirical production. He is clearly familiar with this realm and its quirky, passionate participants (he worked as a marketing writer at Comic-Con for years), and this knowledge imbibes Battle at the Comic Expo's events with a real-world grittiness and humor.
References to this world (Dark Horse Comics, new ventures and industry partnerships) juxtapose with the passions of notoriously believable quirky fans to make for a vivid read that will be especially spot-on to anyone who has attended one of these conventions.
Another notable feature of Battle at the Comic Expo lies in its ability to take this bizarre-but-predictable setting and turn it on edge with larger-than-life events that are both mind-blowing and satisfying in their details. A fan's warped vision of what should be in the comics world may be the very force that destroys it, with only an egotist and a stalwart security guard standing between devastation and despair and the ultimate survival of the largest comic expo in America.
Can fangirl Velma discern between right and wrong? Can Joe prevent murder? And can he and Ron tap into Velma's obsession with Ron's fantasy world to draw her into different choices than the disaster she is careening towards.
Ron and Joe aren't friends; but they're about to share some of the same interests in a conjoined quest for survival not only of themselves, but the comic world that supports them both.
Take a highly successful egotist's irresistible fantasy creation, add a justice-believing outsider's quest to prevent disaster on his watch, and mix in underlying questions about good and evil, reality and fantasy, and good intentions gone awry for a powerful, multifaceted story that toes the line between fantasy, detective piece and comic world exposé.
Replete with tension, action, and anxiety, Battle at the Comic Expo's injection of dark humor permeates a gripping story that excels in the unexpected while remaining firmly based in comic culture. Readers will relish its ability to teleport at warp speed between various genres while retaining a sense of originality and drama that makes the story vivid, unpredictable, and nearly impossible to put down.
TITLE: The General Theory of Haunting
AUTHOR: Richard Easter
PUBLICATION DATE: December 2017
NOTE: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. This review is my honest opinion of the book.
"Every haunting has a design…
Winter, 1809. Lord Francis Marryman’s wife, Patience, is dying. In the madness of his grief, desperate to keep Patience’s memory alive, he’s compelled to build a memorial in the form of a remote country Hall. But as the plans move forward, Marryman Hall seems to become alive with more than just memories.
Francis, a brilliant mathematician and scholar, has built more into the walls than just bricks and mortar.
Autumn, 2018. Siblings Greg and Lucy Knights, owners of K&K Publishing Company, are seeking a venue to celebrate the 18th anniversary of their company’s inception. At such short notice, there is only one option that still has vacancies: Marryman Hall.
Winter arrives and as heavy snow falls, the guests drop out until a much depleted party of just 6 reach their destination and soon find themselves snowed in. As the guests’ private lives and demons are exposed in the increasingly awkward, claustrophobic atmosphere , the secrets of Marryman Hall and her history are also brought into shocking light from the darkness. In his grief, it’s possible that Lord Francis Marryman may have made a terrible mistake…
The General Theory of Haunting is the perfect ghost story to curl up with on the long winter nights - like Marryman Hall's guests, you won't know what's truly happening until it's way too late..."
The General Theory of Haunting is a nicely-written, paranormal mystery thriller that moves slowly at first, picks up pace, has great character development, several surprises, and an absolutely fascinating theory on... well, hauntings. Marryman Hall also manages to develope a personality of its own. This isn't a horror novel, despite the hauntings. But part of the novel make a beautiful love story. Watching the time-spanning mystery of Marryman Hall unfold was just as exciting as the more usual action packed murder solving mysteries. A lovely book. I'm looking forward to more work from this author.
Don Strachey uses his powers of snark and observation to help a pair of old women being targeted for hate crimes. Wrapped up in the mystery are some eccentric neighbors, a shopping mall tycoon, one of Don's old lovers and a gay advocate trying to put together a national gay strike. Part-time helper/part-time foil Detective Bowman, who drops homophobic slurs like they're going out of style (hey, it's the 80s and it's New York) but somehow still manages to do his job and take Don seriously.
I thought I had this figured out at one point, but I was so wrong, lol. There are plenty of potential suspects to go around. The snark was off the charts, the characters were fun and well-written, and even Bowman got some ironic chuckles out of me.
Timmy and Don are, well... Don's not the best boyfriend in the world. (These books are NOT romance.) Timmy finally puts his foot down but the conclusion of that was kind of confusing to me. It was left somewhat up in the air.
The formatting is again terrible. There are no page breaks between chapters. It goes into italics for pages or chapters at a time for absolutely no reason, and at one point even switched to a smaller font size. I'm not sure if that's because I got these first few books at Kobo and so they're not Kindle-formated, or if that's just how the books are no matter where you get them from. But it was annoying.
Oh, and the author does that thing where he constantly shoehorned the title into the dialogued and text, which is a pet peeve of mine.