Resurrection by Tim Marquitz
Review by Ryan Lawler
Fantasy Book Review Adult Book of the Month, July 2011
Armageddon averted, the world returns to business as usual. Unfortunately for Frank “Triggaltheron” Trigg, business as usual sucks.
His night out interrupted by a horde of kidnapping zombies, what could possibly be worse? The resurrection of the Anti-Christ, that’s what. Caught in the middle of a supernatural pissing match between the Devil’s wife, a legion of undead, and an overachieving necromancer, Frank must survive long enough to stop Hell from being unleashed upon humanity; Again.
Synopsis sourced from the authors website (http://www.tmarquitz.com/Res.html)
Some people say the first book you ever write is the hardest, some say that the sequel is much harder. There are a lot of reasons for why people say the sequel is harder, from realisation that you have to start things all over again, to the unrealistic expectations you place upon yourself to better the reception you got for your first book. For me it seems like Tim Marquitz must have found the first book the hardest because my reading of Resurrection, the sequel to Armageddon Bound, was so fluid and natural that it could only have been done by someone who has found their writing groove.
I enjoyed the first book, it was charming and funny but it had a number of issues of the type that you would expect from a first time writer. In my review of Armageddon Bound I stated a few things that I thought the author needed to improve for the next book, and after reading Resurrection I can tell you that all the issues I picked up have been addressed and that a number of other areas have been fine tuned to create one of the best reading experiences for me this year. This book is funnier than the first, the sexualism is still there (Frank is obsessed with it after all) but it has been reigned in significantly so that it is not the only thing we think of when describing the story. We get some much need world building, we get to see some growth in the support characters, and we get to see how the actions of these supernatural creatures affect everything else that is still occupying the earth after the departure of God and Lucifer.
One of the biggest differences I found is the improvements to the writing. In Resurrection the writing is smooth, very smooth, making this book so much easier to read. Gone are the masses of product placement and occasional breaking of the forth wall, and instead we get some really streamlined writing with a dry wit and snappy dialogue to match. It is well paced, well balanced, and really showcases the type of writing that Marquitz is capable of. The humour has also been kicked up a notch in this book, gone is the sporadic jumping from punchline to punchline and in its place is some structured humour with Marquitz spending a lot of time setting the scene and creating plenty of tension and suspense before delivering a hilarious punchline that often had me laughing out loud.
The characters are much tighter, they act far more consistently, and we get to see far more depth in the support characters than we saw in Armageddon Bound. One of the biggest changes is with Baalth, we get to see him in a very vulnerable state, crippled by the over abundance of power he attained in the previous book.
The book is not perfect, it is not yet a game changer in the paranormal genre, and there are some slight issues that I think need a bit more work for the next book. I would have preferred a bit more world building in this book. The end of the world is happening on Frank’s turf and everybody who is anybody is there to contribute, but surely the surrounds of El Paseo are not the only place for supernatural creatures to declare the coming of Armageddon. Also, I think the consequences of some actions are not as realistic as they should be, they are still contained within the supernatural world when I think it would have been cool to see how they affect the non-supernatural entities who live in El Paseo.
The overt sexuality has been reduced in this book, but there are still some cringe worthy moments where you are just saying to yourself “Frank you really need to get your head out of the gutter, didn’t you learn from last time you thought with only your penis…” Finally, I found myself a little disappointed that Frank did not play as much of a role in the finale that I thought he should have. The climactic battle scene involved a number of beings so powerful that Frank, even with his own substantial powers, was reduced to bystander (despite getting a sizeable increase in power). I am not sure how much he learnt from this except that he is woefully underpowered amongst the big hitters of the supernatural world.
This is one of the best supernatural books that I have ever read, it is set in a world that really appeals to me and has characters that are consistently able to make me laugh. Marquitz has significantly lifted his game for this book, and I think it is a safe assumption that the next book will be even better. While it may not be the best book I have read this year, it is by far the most fun I have had reading a book this year, and it thoroughly deserves this high score. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
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