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John Dies at the End [spoilers!]

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:28 pm
by mondu_the_fat
Just finished this.

The plot is about two friends who are into the supernatural-busting business. Think Supernatural, except it is a comedy. The monsters aren't werewolves/vampires/etc, but more like John Carpenter's The Thing. The novel prefaces with a ghost bust gig, then the rest of the story appears as a flashback as David Wong (the narrator) tells his story to a reporter.

The plot can be roughly divided into arcs, each arc dealing with a specific creature, up until they meet the big bad.

First half of the book (and longest arc) deals with David and John getting a hold of drug called "soy sauce". Soy sauce gives them what is practically psychic powers -- read people's minds, see the dead, sporadic time travel, impossibly genius level intellect, etc. Turns out taking soy sauce makes one susceptible to being a host to alien insects. Eventually they open a gate to hell which sucks in all the aliens and infected people.

Second half of the book deals with "Korrok", which is revealed to be an entity which already has control of half of the universe. At the end, the dimension where Korrok is launching at the attack is turned into an inhabitable wasteland (thanks to the insect aliens in the first half of the book).

The first half of the book is fairly well written and funny. Second half and climax of the book, though, the quality of the writing takes a sudden nose dive and doesn't really pick up until the epilogue. There are plot holes you can drive a truck through. For example, supposedly soy sauce marks one as a host for the insect aliens, but in the second half of the book it appears tha the aliens can infect anyone they goddamn want. So why did they have to introduce "soy sauce" to humans, given that the substance turns humans into Charles Xavier+Reed Richards? There are two plot twists in the end, the second being a Sixth Sense Bruce Willis type of plot twist (where Bruce Willis turned out to be dead all along, and he didn't know it), the first where a monster/clone kills the protagonist, but his best friend and girlfriend apparently have no problems accepting the clone as a replacement (and yes, they even have the protagonist's body. which they don't even bury properly). The aliens insect were created by humans from another dimension (with the help of Korrok) and yet all the aliens and all the humans are _extremely_ affected by religious objects -- touching a crucifix or a candy with a bible verse will cause them to explode. In the first half of the story, the aliens/demons are heavily affected by music, because, according to one character, they come from a chaos dimension and music causes them pain because chaos is their natural state. Except in the second half of the book, it is revealed that the other dimension is Earth with a history identical to our earth until the late 1800's where their technology became biological rather than indutrial-age, not some chaos dimension/hell. David reads Amie's mind and tells him his dream last night, but Amie has been dead for 4 days (and David doesn't realize this, despite reading his mind).

Overall, I enjoyed the first half of the book. The second, I found myself skipping pages and pages just to get to the next scene.