Alex Hobbs is a man down on his luck. Summarily kicked out of the house by unloving parents at an early age, things aren’t getting any better for him now. He’s just lost his job at the video store, his girlfriend has dumped him, and a thoughtless neighbor’s cooking turkey exploded and burned down his apartment. To say he’s had a bad stretch of luck is an understatement. He turns to an employment agency to find work…ANY work. The strange man at the agency gives what seems to Alex as the best opportunity he’s heard in a long time; a research assistant for a brilliant scientist. Alex jumps at the chance, willing to do almost anything…
Enter Serene Necrosia, the brilliant if not completely eccentric scientist looking to fill the vacant research assistant’s job. Thing is, she’s kind of been killing off her staff in what has been an epic rate of attrition for quite some time…purely by accident of course. Alex Hobbs seems the perfect man to fit the bill. Necrosia, along with her Hunchback housekeeper, cook, and jack of all trades, the caustic female Quasimoody, will expose Alex to the crazy and magical town of Eville, where creatures of myth and legend walk around in broad daylight…and sometimes only at night. Adjusting to the strange, magical town won’t be Alex’s only problem. He’ll have grow used to giant spiders, disembodied brains who speak through Etch-Ah-Sketches and something not of this earth. A guy’s gotta eat, right?
Eville is one of the most imaginative and all-around fun books I’ve read in a VERY long time. Peterson has created a pocket universe in which the very extraordinary goes hand in hand with the very ordinary. He brings to life hunchbacks, werewolves, Elder Lords, vampires, the full gamut of the strange and archetypal supernatural creatures and gives them a place to go about their business. But that’s only part of it. The best parts, the parts of this book that shine the most happen right inside the Necrosia Mansion. Lab equipment out of a black and white horror movie, disembodied brains, strange noises, dark corridors…the bulk of the book takes place in the weird and wonderful setting of the generations’ old house.
It’s not the settings that make this book stand out, though. It’s the dialogue and the characters that make Eville such a fun ride. The interplay between Alex, ‘Moody’, Serene, and the rest of the minor players is nothing short of fantastic and make the book what it is. Moody is constantly busting Alex’s chops with witty and biting one-liners. Serene’s dialogue is so over the top campy and at times is flat out hysterical. In a word, the dialogue and character interactions in Eville are golden. So much fun it’s not even, well, funny.
Peterson’s style is overly flamboyant as well and tends to be wordy but it works for this book. When telling a story that involves such an odd and colorful cast of characters, I don’t think a bare bones writing style would have worked nearly as well. The passages are descriptive, the action flows well, and the scenes are all described in vivid detail.
It’s difficult to classify Eville. Is it a comedy? It IS laugh out funny, so I’d say yes. Is it an adventure of sorts? For Alex, the proverbial fish out of normal waters, I’d also say yes. It blends so many genres that I’d be hard pressed to stick a tag on it…except for this: it’s fantastic and as fun as anything I’ve ever read. As it turns out there’s a sequel and I immediately purchased it after turning the last page.
If you’re looking for a wild, fun, well-told ride, with great writing and some of the most interesting characters speaking some of the best dialogue you’re likely to come across, you shouldn’t overlook Eville. Non-stop fun.
Author: Holand Peterson
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Publication: CreateSpace (August 1, 2011)
Price: $2.99 (Kindle), $10.79 (paperback)
Author’s Website: http://www.holandpeterson.com/