Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wicked Hungry by Teddy Jacobs

Title: Wicked Hungry
Author: Teddy Jacobs
Length: 6112 Kindle units
Rating: 3.5 stars

The Plot
Stanley used to be on the cross country team, but since he hurt his knee, he’s had to accept that his running days are behind him. Then his friend Zach recommends that he take some new all-natural supplements that can solve all of his problems. Zach’s ex-girlfriend Karen warns Stanley not to take them, but when the pills mysteriously show up on his front porch, he decides he’s willing to do anything if it means he can run again. But he soon learns that there is more to these pills than meets the eye, and he is consequently in for a strange time this Halloween.

The Good

The mythology in Wicked Hungry was very interesting. I don’t want to say exactly what it is because the whole first half of the novel consists of Stanley trying to piece it all together. Suffice it to say that I’m okay with any world building that can combine werewolves, fae, vampires, and zombies in a convincing manner.

Some of the bad guys were psycho vegans. I don’t have anything against veganism, per se, but extremists of the ilk make for very entertaining nemeses.

The Bad

It took me awhile to put my finger on what bothered me about Wicked Hungry. At first I thought that maybe the problem was that I couldn’t really follow what was going on, but I was able to repeat back to myself a coherent series of events. Then I thought that maybe what was going on didn’t seem plausible. But, again, I find it perfectly believable that a boy who really wanted to be able to run again would take mysterious pills even though he didn’t know what was in them.

Eventually I decided that I was very uncomfortable with Stanley’s emotional distance from all that was happening to him. I felt like I was in a dream, where totally absurd things can happen, but it all gets taken in stride. Stanley’s inner monologue seems to go something like this: “My friends break up and start having a public fight about the evils of eating meat in the middle of the road? Meh. Someone leaves mysterious pills on my porch? I’ll just start taking them and see what happens. I turn into a werewolf and eat my girlfriend’s pet rabbit? Well, I’ve done weirder things.” Except, no, he probably hasn’t done weirder things. Or at least I hope not.

At least he saves the cat. I was going to be upset if there was horrible kitten torture along with the fluffy-bunny eating.

The Romance

Stanley had a pretty exciting romance life for someone who claimed to have as few friends as he did. First, we meet his friend Karen, who recently broke up with Zach and who may or may not be a vampire. She manages to send some signals that she might be interested in Stanley, but it’s hard to tell, since she always seems to be plotting something during her nocturnal ramblings.

Stanley also discovers that if you wear a Halloween costume that can conceal your identity – like say a mummy – you can go hang out at a party with the popular kids, and no one will mind. And then if you are nice enough to the pretty-but-insecure Meredith, who made the understandable mistake of dressing up like a potato, she might decide she still likes you when she learns who you are. Of course, he is then subjected to the crazy whims of an insecure girl, which can interfere with one’s efforts to save the world.

And thus we are left with the eternal quandary – Who will Stanley choose? And does he even really have a choice, or will fate and/or the girls decide for him? Only time will tell. (Or, you know, reading the whole novel.)

Will I read more?

I don’t see myself reading more in this series, if indeed there are more, as the ending suggests there might be. Wicked Hungry wasn’t bad, per se, but it was very strange. And Stanley’s lack of emotional engagement with what was going on around him led to me having even less emotional attachment to the story

Also, it appears that I am once again reviewing a book only available on Kindle. I don't know what the circumstances are here, but I promise I'm not trying to be biased in the availability of the books. 

See Details for Book on    Amazon


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