Cameron's Reviews > The Wicked

The Wicked by James Newman
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Aug 16, 2012

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Read on August 16, 2012

An enjoyable faux-retro 1980's style pulp "small town vs. ancient evil" tale. Perhaps the best marriage of cover art and subject matter of all time. "The Wicked" is fast paced but marred by a clunky ending in which, despite all evidence to the contrary, the sense of real danger evaporates, and our protagonists have little trouble overcoming all odds. I also never got a sense of the "town" like the best examples of this sub-genre. The focus seemed to tight on the family at the heart of the story, with only a few digressions to other characters. This makes the ending more problematic, when literally the entire town is on stage, and acting strangely. But we don't know half of them, and it undercuts the moment.

There's also odd conservative undertones. Not politically "conservative", but conservative sensibilities. The elderly having sexual desires is not as disturbing as the book thinks, as evidenced by at least three scenes where the reader is supposed to be shocked, not by the sex, but the age of the participant. Ditto for homosexual acts, which, despite the book having a believable, non-stereotyped gay main character, is still presented frequently as a frightening or disturbing event.

Still, it's undeniable fun, and the rocket pace will blast you right by any pesky doubts or thoughts.
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