“Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness, simple reviews from a simple reader…”
Zakk reviews Scapegoat by Adam Howe & James Newman, 215 pages published by Honey Badger Press, Oct. 5th, 2018.
Kindle review copy provided by the authors for review consideration.
Entertainment Value (Because the kids like numbers)
March 29, 1987… For metalheads Mike Rawson, Lonnie Deveroux, and Pork Chop, an RV road trip to Wrestlemania III becomes a one-way ticket to hell. While delivering an illegal shipment of counterfeit wrestling merchandise, an ill-fated shortcut through the Kentucky backwoods leads them to a teenaged girl carved head to toe in arcane symbols. Soon our unlikely heroes are being hunted through the boonies by a cult of religious crazies who make the Westboro Baptists look like choirboys… a cult that will stop at nothing to get the girl back and complete a ritual that has held an ancient evil at bay for centuries… Until now.
Great Expectations (judging the book by it’s cover)
It’s Adam Howe & James Newman… at the same time. Expectations couldn’t be higher.
Final Thoughts (judging the book by it’s content)
I’ve been a fan of Adam Howe and James Newman, on their own accord, for a while now. With James, it was The Wicked that sold me wholeheartedly followed by the immediate affirmation of Animosity and Ugly as Sin. These were three books that I needed at the time. With Adam it was the short story The Mad Butcher of Plainfield’s Chariot of Death that rocked my world. I experienced that particular nightmare, fittingly, in Nightmare Magazine. It was years later while reading, and loving, Black Cat Mojo, when Mad Butcher popped up at the end as a bonus that I made the connection.
So it probably goes without saying that a Howe/ Newman colab piece gets fast tracked. It did, and damn. I said GODDAMN!
Scapegoat is a riot! I thoroughly enjoyed the romp of three longtime friends, not as close as they used to be, on a sojourn to Wrestlemania III. A Judgement Night if you will, a connection I made before it was mentioned in the book, honest, I did. Take an Irish Whip + Boot to the head + Leg drop, add a dash of Westburow Baptist, and a pinch of Reign in Blood and what you walk away with is a hell of a good time.
The trio of main characters are fun, the dynamic between these friends who have grown apart feels honest. And for me, relatable. Add in the “fanatical” church faction, a subject I find fascinating as it is, and the story adds depth. I was so drawn in by the narrative that when the angle dropped my excitement launched off the charts.
50,000 fans chanting Scape-Goat, Scape-Goat!
So, yeah, I dug this book a lot, and I think you will too. Just know going in that with Scapegoat, you’ve paid for the entire seat… but you’re only going to need the edge.
Put this Book on a Playlist With
Tijuana Donkey Showdown & Ugly as Sin
What I Need to add to my TBR pile
Dog Days O’ Summer
Zakk is a big dumb animal!
**Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and I am choosing to review it voluntarily. These are my honest, unbiased feelings. I did not receive any sort of compensation.
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