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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-02-11 02:20
Orbit, the Ways I Love Thee
American Elsewhere - Robert Jackson Bennett
“Oh, propriety,” says Mrs Benjamin. “We’re always so concerned with propriety. Even in total madness, we still stick to our hierarchies and chains of command.”
 
This one feels like if the Fallout game series was written by someone whose idea of fun is to write urban Clthulu-esque horror/science fiction.   I want to devour it, marry it, and make it my book husband, right alongside John Dies @ the End.  I want them to be my sisterwife-husbands.
 
This is an amazing work of almost unparalleled excellence, and I am shocked that I had to find this one on my own.  Guys!  There needs to be something for people to know that this one is one of the best that the bizarre genre has to offer.  Count on Orbit, the publisher, to distribute yet another piece of genius written by a relative unknown that, BOOM, blows other things out of the water like everyone else is writing goddamned candy grams on starburst wrappers.
 
Our main character is Mona, an older, bad-ass woman (yay!) who used to be a police officer and married.  She... is no longer on both counts.  Oh, she also has a grudge against her deceased father and she unequivocally dislikes the hell out of him.
 
She reminds me of Cybil Bennett and I want her gun and intimidation skills now.  Hey - maybe the author's ACTUALLY Cybil Bennett?  ..C'mon, can't a girl dream?
 
It is common, but oft-misunderstood that she settled for Harry's bitch-ass. Girl please, Cybil was FAR too fly to settle down with someone whose gun skills were so... poorly.
 
Mona discovers that she has to reach a town that is supposedly non-existent on every map ever made, and must decide if she wants to stay and live there, all ready for discovering her late-mother's roots and if she can move on from her own personal strifes.  Little does she know that Lovecraft got a hold of the script that is her life and wrote some... interesting additions to her simple plan. 
 
Wink, the town in question, seems like(since we're talking about Fallout here) the black-and-white level that looks like a Leave it to Beaver episode gone fucky.  And we all know where THAT goes.
 
Meanwhile, some people who run a drug ring are encountering some real issues with the podunk desert town that they get their supply from - the odd rituals that they have to do in order to get the okay from their mysterious supplier are causing more and more of a strain on the men and women associated with the drug trafficking.  When something catastrophic occurs, they are forced to wonder if all of the insanity is really worth that sweet, sweet, easy money.
 
This is all really just touching the top layer to the weirdness.
 
So, what's REALLY going on here?
 
S-s-s-spoiillerrsss:

 

Yeah, Mona had a family that she didn't even know about - turns out Mona's mom was an Elder God from another realm of reality.  Kind of a real bummer for her. 

 

So, yeah, remember how I was bringing Lovecraft into this?  I wasn't fucking joking.

 

 

Even for an Elder God, Mona's mom was, incidentally, a complete douche-canoe, an eerily realized narcissist who had many children - all of which she dragged from their homeworld when she got restless, destroyed the joint, then abandoned them in Wink like a true party-girl.  She promised them that she would return one day and planned to never do just that, up and until she could move onto the next big thrill.  Turns out, the one thing she cannot stand is same-ness, so she destroyed a lot of shit in the past and lied to her children about it.

 

Oh, and her children are, just like her, nightmarish, writing worm-monsters that inhabit the bodies of hosts - people in Wink.  You following me on this?  There WILL be a test, that I can assure you of.

 

Here's your teacher!  He looks like the trust-worthy type!

The "children" all reside in some form in the town of Wink, all shades compared to the horror-enducing real form of "Mother" - a giant fucking abomination that is, incidentally, the kaiju-looking-motherfucker that emerged from the abandoned science laboratory of Wink.  And then there's the son that she thought that she had left to die back in their homeworld.  He... REALLY loves Mother, and has more power than her, and the only thing keeping him in check?  A disturbing area that he's kept in that is not unlike the sort of a shindig that the SCP gents could come up with.  It is with his stolen power that his siblings can be murdered, which they are.

 

Mother issues is the secret ingredient holding this cake together, and, boy, is it a sickly delicious one.  Mother was going to take them somewhere else, and someone got sick of waiting for Mother to come back.

 

Mona, it turns out, is the youngest sibling, for the simple fact that her mother, the strangely haunted woman who committed suicide when she was a kid, was actually Mother in human skin.   This monster decided to try on the skin of one of the scientists at the abandoned lab and rode it all the way into a marriage with Mona's douche-canoe father and then got bored. 

 

This brings us to: Mona.  Perpetual outsider, meant to take the bitch down a peg or two.  Cue different dimensions, gun fighting and detective work - interacting with her bizarre siblings and meeting the poor, poor people who (unintentionally) live with the fucking things.   Oh, those poor people - the end of the book is sort of like a Slayer/Dethklok music video, and they're the blood in the raining blood.

 

Anyway, we also get to meet one of my favorite omnipotent gods of all time, Mr. First.  Mr. First has a weakness for a cute girl who works at the diner and he also has a weakness for being Gene Kelly - therefore, quite the flair for the dramatic.

 

Really, Bennett, I can only want to date a fictional god-monster SO much before I become an actual Nightmarekin for him.

 

 

If this does not get turned into a movie somewhere down the line, then I lose all faith in this dimension's people.  I really mean it this time.

(spoiler show)

 

 

I mean, the cover looks... well...
 
It's sort of just dumb and ugly.  I think it's, ah, growing on me, but it looks stoopid, if I can be clear.  In spite of that, just buy this one if you're a fan of the strange.  Thank me later for the good, solid read.
 
Flaws?  Get  that weak shit out of here.  I want to live in Wink, bitch.
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