Book Review: Dead Jack and The Pandemonium Device By James Aquilone

Dead Jack and The Pandemonium Device
Dead Jack Book 1
Paperback | Kindle
By James Aquilone
Homunculus House
Release date: November 19, 2016

What’s better than a zombie novel? How about a zombie novel about an undead, foul-mouthed, junkie private eye, his homunculus sidekick, Oswald, and their outlandish adventures through the otherworldly Pandemonium? I’d say that’d do it! I first discovered the Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device Kickstarter via John Denardo, the former head of SF Signal — and I’m glad I did. Written by James Aquilone, this is not your typical supernatural romp.

It all starts when Dead Jack and Oswald have a run-in with a group of vicious, hard-nosed leprechauns. Forced to run for their lives, the partners are thrust into a mysterious case — which of course involves an array of colorful creatures like ghosts, krakens, man-bats, demons, and faces from the past — and must engage in an all-out, raucous journey through the very worst areas of Pandemonium.

Sound like fun yet? Well, it is! Though a fast-paced, entertaining story is not all Aquilone manages to pull off with Dead Jack. Some of the best moments of the novel are when Jack has time to think — and you’d be surprised how much goes on in a zombie’s head! As the story progresses, along with the relationships of the characters, Aquilone expertly reveals deeper layers to the titular protagonist and offers his readers something most wouldn’t consider finding in such a tale: glimpses of humanity.

Whimsical, witty, and full of adventure, Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device is an exciting supernatural experience. But at its heart, readers will also discover a beautifully crafted, character-driven tale, propelled by past trials and deep bonds. With enough closure to be extremely satisfied, and some brilliantly opened doorways to future stories, I can’t recommend Dead Jack enough.

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