Five suburban mall rats and a washed up Goth singer find themselves stranded in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey where they discover two horrifying truths: The Jersey Devil, hellspawn of folklore and legend, is real; and New Jersey (as many already suspected) is the gateway to Hell!
With the help of one lone witch, this small group must face off against their deepest fears and the most unholy monsters in a battle where their very souls, the world they live in, and any chance of returning to Hot Topic in one piece is at stake!
The first novel by musician and horror media personality, Aurelio Voltaire, Call of the Jersey Devil is a hilarious and terrifying homage to 80s horror and genre films. Like a mad doctor, Voltaire has Frankensteined together elements of Evil Dead, The Breakfast Club, Poltergeist, and This is Spinal Tap to create a creature feature that will have you laughing out loud when you're not glancing nervously over your shoulder.
Early praise for the book:
"Aurelio Voltaire continues his reign among the pantheon of Goth gods. CALL OF THE JERSEY DEVIL is sly and sweet, nasty and naive, sulphurous and charming, witty, wooly, crackling with evil and stunning in its sincerity. What a read! Long live Voltaire!" - Caroline Thompson (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Corpse Bride, The Addams Family)
"I LOVE it! It's mental, and hilarious, and brilliant, and *kind of* gross" - Joanne Harris (author of Chocolat, Runemarks, Runelight, Blue Eyed Boy)
Five mall rats: AJ, Prudence, Aleister, and Ari find themselves stranded in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey with the washed up goth singer Villy Bats only to discover that the legendary Jersey Devil is real, and he's here to bring Hell to our world! With the help of the witch Caroline, they fight to close the gates before it's too late. Will they succeed in resisting the calls from Hell and close the gates? Or is the world doomed to be consumed by evil crawling out from New Jersey?*
*Excluding Jersey Shore
Okay, let me just say right now that I freaking love this book. I cannot express it enough. It's just this wonderful blend of hilarious and weird that I expect from Aurelio Voltaire. It also has a generous amount of very detailed gore that had me reading half the book with this face. It was great.
The detail of this book was fantastic, I could easily see everything playing out in my head like a movie. The characters were all well written and I could connect to them all in someway. They're also hilarious, the humor was well balanced and just what I expect from Voltaire, I laughed out loud all throughout this book.
I would also like to mention that I found a few references to some of Voltaire's other songs in the book, two that stuck out to me the most were Bomb New Jersey, and Headless Waltz. Whether or not these were intentional as a sort of wink to his fans, I got a kick out of reading it and thinking "I understand that reference!"
So if you're a fan of horror and gore mixed in with your Hellish hilarity, or just a fan of Voltaire's music, definitely pick up this book.
I absolutely loved Call of the Jersey Devil, by Aurelio Voltaire. It actually made me miss being a teenager. I identified so much with the character Prudence. It was a wonderful read...
Five goth kids head over to a poorly promoted festival/concert featuring a washed up goth singer, Villy Bats. When they arrive, they realize that besides the arrogant singer, lack of a stage, or any sign of a music festival... they are the only ones there. Unable to return home due to their totaled van about a mile or so down the road, they try to make the best of it, and take shelter in a cabin on the property.
Villy gets off his high horse and comes down to earth, and just in time too. It turns out the mythological Jersey devil is very real, and he is right outside their cabin door. Unfortunately, the music festival happens to take place over the entrance to hell, and tonight the gates are open unleashing hoards of demons, and foul ghouls.
The owner of the cabin, who happens to be a witch, comes home surprised to find a bunch of goth teens and a singer in her cabin. With her help and leadership, they venture out and face off against the evil that awaits them...
Call of the Jersey Devil is a page-turner! Loved it from the first page to the last. 5 stars!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
This book was lent to me by my Voltaire fan friend Joe - as I also like Voltaire and I like mythology of all sorts - with the comment; “It’s not very good.” They were correct in my estimation. The only thing really to recommend it is Voltaire’s name and authorship, and I’m sure hardcore fans of his will probably love it (judging from the reviews on here I guess I’m right). He seems to have a knack for creating diverse yet cardboard stereotype characters and giving them interesting back stories, as well as his standard way with words. The prose is definitely purple, with a deliberate comedic overblown aspect. Yet, despite the ridiculous, Voltaire nature of it all the only bit of amusement I got was when I spotted that a character was "ripped into sheds". I guess his editor was more interested in policing his flowery language than picking up on actual mistakes, given his anecdote in the acknowledgements.
In short, if you’re a rabid Voltaire fan you need to read it at least once. If you’re anyone else you can probably give it a miss. It won’t be the end of the world.
I want to thank Spence City/Spencer Hill Press for providing me with an ARC of this book. I was very excited to be chosen to read this early. Receiving this book for free has in no way influenced my opinion or review.
Blurb from Goodreads: Five suburban mall rats and a washed up Goth singer find themselves stranded in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey where they discover two horrifying truths: The Jersey Devil, hellspawn of folklore and legend, is real; and New Jersey (as many already suspected) is the gateway to Hell! With the help of one lone witch, this small group must face off against their deepest fears and the most unholy monsters in a battle where their very souls, the world they live in, and any chance of returning to Hot Topic in one piece is at stake! The first novel by musician and horror media personality, Aurelio Voltaire, Call of the Jersey Devil is a hilarious and terrifying homage to 80s horror and genre films. Like a mad doctor, Voltaire has Frankensteined together elements of Evil Dead, The Breakfast Club, Poltergeist, and This is Spinal Tap to create a creature feature that will have you laughing out loud when you're not glancing nervously over your shoulder.
When I first read the blurb for this book, I got super excited. You see, I live in NJ, so reading about the Jersey Devil was something I wanted to experience. It's been a myth I have been wondering about since I moved here in 2000. There was no doubt in my mind I wanted to see where a story about it would go. And I was not disappointed in the least!
I love the art for the cover of this book. It really depicts a beast I would truly be terrified to come face to face with. And it makes me think of all those urban legends I heard about growing up and what reality they all might be based in!Oh, and if you live in NJ or are familiar with the state at all, you will totally understand why the words "Jersey Devil" are framed in what looks like a green highway sign! If not, do a little research and you'll get it!
This book reads like a film. Not surprising since Voltaire originally had this planned out as a screen play! This wasn't actually something I knew when I agreed to read the book. I learned this only after having interviewed Voltaire. And if you read this book and are familiar with 80s horror flicks, then you will totally get what I mean: Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween all fit the mold. So take one of those movies and expand on it to make a novel and you have what Voltaire has so expertly created!
I wasn't expecting the humor in this book, for sure. I am not usually one to read horror. It gives me bad dreams. But the grotesque pictures Voltaire paints are well set off by the humor he uses from his characters. I have to say there wasn't a chapter through which I read that I didn't find myself laughing at some point or another. His humor is sarcastic and sometimes a bit over the top but it fits so well with the story line you just can't help but love it.
One thing that really impressed me was that this book is written in third person. I haven't read many novels written from this perspective and I know how hard it can be to get the personalities of the characters across without actually coming from their point of view. Voltaire does a great job. You see the goth sarcasm from AJ and Prudence, the nuttiness that is Alistaire, the geekiness that is Stuey, the shyness of Ari, the badassness of Caroline, and the dried up has-been that is Villy. I love how all the characters interact. And they are not afraid to speak their minds, which makes me happy because I hate characters that hold back. Throughout the book the characters really did speak to me, and it was so easy to connect with them. And there wasn't one of them that did not make me laugh, which I loved.
Voltaire is also not afraid to use some vulgar language. Most young adult books steer clear of this. But it's totally appropriate for this book. It really helps bring across the harshness of the situation the characters are struggling to resolve. And it helped me to form a picture of just how horrifying their experience was. A few examples of this language being used in such an appropriate way is this: "You're an asshole, Jersey Devil!" coming from a character having fought this horrible being. It was perfect and really made me laugh out loud.
I think my favorite character in this book was definitely Villy Bats. He starts out as a total jerk who is quite full of himself, despite being a has been. He gets easily annoyed with the other characters and expects a lot more from them than he should. He starts out as a total ass and I just wanted to belt him in the head. But he slowly realizes he really needs to rely on these people to help him get through a tough situation and it's great to watch him develo, become a better person and even begin to form friendships and care about others. I also had fun picturing him in my mind because I could totally see Voltaire playing this part. Since I know he originally pictured himself doing so, it just made it even more concrete in my mind. AND having just interviewed him for my blog, I know his sarcasm and snarkiness, he would be a perfect Villy Bats!
If you have never been to the Pine Barrens of NJ, have no fear, Volatire describes it perfectly. It's very easy to picture what I know as the dense forests and grassy swamps, the soft sands and the eeriness of being out in the middle of nowhere. Ok, so I haven't been there at night, but having heard numerous times about the Jersey Devil, I'm pretty sure I never want to be! I also love how Volatire describes Villy's reaction the leaving New York City and entering NJ. I can so relate to him calling NJ the "gateway to hell." Having grown up in Brooklyn, NY, I vowed never to live in NJ because it was "smelly". And this is the picture that most people who travel through the state get, because their experience is of driving by the many refineries that line our turnpike belching filth and smoke into the sky. But NJ is actually quite beautiful when you move west of this highway, something someone who lives in NYC usually doesn't get to experience. It was totally relatable to me and I loved every minute of it!
I did find the first few chapters to be a bit more slow than I would have liked. I understood the need for world building and to show the different characters, but I was looking for action! The second half of this book, however, more than made up for it because once you hit 50% it is non-stop! So, if you're looking for a horror read that is funny and really leaves you wanting to continue to turn the pages to find out what happens to the characters, this is the book for you. It's a mix of Stephen King, Koontz and your favorite comic all rolled into one! A wonderful debut novel for this author! I'm looking forward to reading more from him in the future for sure!
There are no words to explain just how excited I was when I heard about this book. I instantly wanted to read it because of the publisher it was coming from. The book from Spence City, the new imprint from the best publisher in the world Spencer Hill Press. I will admit that I had never really come across Voltaire before. I had heard his name around the web and stuff but didn't really know who he was and what he did. Let me say that now I am a fully converted fan. He is seriously one of the coolest, most hilarious people I have ever come across. I have so much love for him and his book.
I didn't really know what to expect when I started to read Call of the Jersey Devil but I was lucky enough to hear Voltaire read the first 50 pages of the book at his first ever UK reading and it was just epically awesome. Voltaire's writing style is so different to any of the narratives that I have read before and that's what made me love it. It made the book refreshing and is one of the great things about it. Voltaire did an epically fantastic job of world building in this book. The amount of depth into the backstory was brilliant and I loved it. I had never really heard any of the legends of the Jersey Devil with me being in the UK and all so to hear the back story and just the dialogue between the characters when they are joking about the legends was awesome. It really gave me a sense of the legends about it and prepared me for the coming events in the book and it was all down to Voltaire's fantastic writing.
The characters in this book are seriously some of the most awesome characters I have ever read about. I won't go through all the main characters as I usually do as it would make this review enormous. The Mall Rats are just so incredible and they made me laugh so much... particularly Alistair. He is one of those characters that is crazy and insane and if he were real you would completely be backing away slowly which thinking 'what a weirdo' but he is freaking hilarious and had me laughing out loud so many times in this book. Villy Bats is epically awesome and I completely pictured Voltaire himself as Villy when reading. There are many similarities between them, including their epic coolness. I love him but Villy is way more of an ass than Voltaire is.
Call of the Jersey Devil was such a fantastic book and I loved every second of it. I loved the horror/paranormal in there when we came to face the 'legend'. I loved the characters and how they reacted to everything and I loved Voltaire's writing. It was just genuinelly fantastic. I could not put this book down. The only problem I had with the book, which is minor and tiny compared to how much I loved it, is that the beginning of the book was a little bit slow. I completely understand why it was as there was so much world building and history of the Jersey Devil needed but for me it seemed like it just took to long to get to the point where the Jersey Devil was introduced. I mean the Jersey Devil is in the title you know it's going to come into it and it just took a tad too long to get to that point.
Call of the Jersey Devil is a fantastic book that will have you laughing so hard you are in stitches and holding your sides from laughing so much. It was such a fantastic start to the epicness of SHP's new imprint Spence City and it has converted me into such a huge Voltaire fan. I will be looking out for any other books that he may be writing. I can't wait to read other things by Voltaire. He is awesome and I loved every moment of Call of the Jersey Devil. It's a fantastic read that you don't want to miss out on.
There are far worse things lurking in New Jersey than The Situation. Like for instance, the gateway into Hell. A witch who has taken to resealing this gateway when needed finds herself in the woods with a motley crew of assistance: five misfit teenagers and one bitter has-been Gothic singer. It will take all the strength they have to get rid of the worst thing to come out of New Jersey since the Real Housewives- the infamous Jersey Devil- and not everyone will make it back alive.
This book is exactly the kind of writing that I expected of Voltaire, who is one of my favorite (if not favorite) musical artists. This books caters to the goth kids that grew up reading things like Goosebumps and watching Lovecraft films but never outgrew the need for creepness. Creepdom? Ah well. This book turns the goth kids into the heros instead of just the side freaks or the venomous, judgemental bad guys that they're normally portrayed as. This alone makes the book stands out and gains my favor.
This book is an equal mixture of urban legend, horror, comedy, and what the fuckery. The descriptions, while very well written and graphic, are disgusting in the best possible way. The creatures that emerge from the pit of hell are putrid, and Voltaire makes sure that you know it. I often found myself making a facial expression not unlike a first grader talking about cooties- tongue out and nose turned. But, these horror elements are well broken up with bursts of dark comedy that people with strange senses of humor, like myself, will find hilarious. I also really enjoyed a lot of the song and movie references that this book contained. (I also secretly got really excited when I read the title of the book in the prose. It doesn't take much.)
For me, the characters are what make this book one that I'd read again. AJ is a black kid who plays it smart and gets the hell out of there (no pun intended) when demons and devils start rearing their ugly horned heads. Prudence is a very pretty gothic girl who struggles with self image. Stuey is the pudgy type who worships an obscure goth musician. Ari is a girl who never speaks. Villy is the aforementioned obscure goth musician. And Alistair is a loud mouthed, foul, hilarious Satanist who tries to open Hell in the back of a Spencer's Gifts. Villy was probably my favorite character, since I felt he had the most history and the most character development throughout the story, but Alistair wasn't far behind. I admit, he made me laugh (sometimes at him, sometimes with him) for different reasons entirely than Voltaire had planned. I had a boyfriend who was a loudmouthed not-very-educated-about-Satanism-Satanist who was also an asshole. So when Alistair loses his head, I couldn't help but to applaud.
This book contains a few illustrations as well, helping to show off more of Voltaire's well-rounded artistry. My personal favorite is of Alistair (page 171).
My only real negative point about this view is that the ending left me wanting a bit more. I'm not really sure what I would have changed or ended, but I was left with a bit of disappointment when I saw that the story was over.
All in all, I think that this is a book that horror comedy fans will eat up. Be warned that this book contains graphic descriptions of monsters and anatomy, and contains adult language. If sex, gore, or Goth kids bother you, than it's probably not for you. This debut book from Aurelio Voltaire definitely delivered, and I look forward, as always, to his next project. If you haven't checked out his music, I sincerely hope that you do so.
Thank you to The Little Pink Book Boutique who gifted me a copy of this book. This review can also be found on my blog, Bitches n Prose.
Well, I finished it, sort of. The last few chapters I more or less skimmed. But this book is just... really bad.
I had sort of hoped for better from Voltaire. I love his music, and the brand of humor he brings to it. I hoped to find that in his book, along with a thoughtfulness that comes from being a long time victim of bullying, which he speaks of often, including in the afterword of this book.
But no. He descends into the same brand of nastiness he says he was the victim of. Can he do no better than having his characters use "gay" and "retard" as insults? Are fat jokes, not as dialogue where it could be used to build empathy for a character, but in descriptions, in the prose itself, are they really necessary? And rape jokes are never funny and should not exist. A good book would lose at least 2 stars for containing a rape joke. Sadly, -2 stars isn't an option.
I was given an Advanced Reader Copy. This book is due to be published May 28th.
The idea that the gateway to hell is in a forest in New Jersey is a pretty enticing way to base a novel. As soon as we begin the story we are thrown into the world of this creature and what it is capable of doing, then as we move on to a different world entirely we know it is just a matter of time before two worlds collide and creates the trouble this causes for those involved.
Call of the Jersey Devil tells the story of five "mall rat" teenagers who travel to the New Jersey Pine Barrens to see Gothic singer Villy Bats, however things are not all they seem, and when all hell starts to break loose (I love that this has become a literal phrase), they are soon faced with an entire underworld itching to get out through the gates of hell. Enlisting the help of a witch the teens and Villy must fight to stop the gates from opening further, and flooding the world with demonic incarnations, one of which is the legendary figure known as the Jersey Devil.
After looking forward to this book for so long, and having now finished it, almost unable to put down unless I had to, I am so glad it lived up to my expectations and went beyond what I ever thought it would be. It seems wrong to seemingly praise Voltaire for somehow writing such an excellent book as a first time novelist, almost as if it were unexpected, but not only do I know many first time authors who write excellent books, but Voltaire has a long successful creative and storytelling history behind him, this time it has simply descended on the page rather than in a graphic novel, a song, or a film.
But while Voltaire is a good storyteller, there is no doubt he is also a good writer. There are sentences and phrases in this book that are wonderful, all nestled in amongst the joking and the teenagers, and the whole ordeal of this demonic spawn and an opening underworld. The descriptions are excellent as well, whether they are of people, demons, or the environment around them. The way Voltaire writes you can immediately conjure up images and feeling of people and events; especially the scenes in the woods, not to mention the ominous feeling of uncertain darkness and the monsters it hides.
Along with descriptions there are also some very insightful moments in this book, as well as evoking one-liners and entire ideas expressed eloquently, often needing very few words attached to them. Voltaire has a way with words that is very beautiful; perhaps this is the long established creator within, or simply an observant and insightful personality coming through on the page, or perhaps both. Whatever the case it is certainly a talent to create a compelling and engaging story that can make you think, feel, as well as be fearful and grossed out all at the same time.
What I enjoyed about Call of the Jersey Devil is the fact that is has so much in it, but it never seems crowded, nor does it jump and feel fractured as you read. The opening of the book and early chapters are definitely designed to set up our characters and lead us into the oncoming events that connect you to the title. This beginning I feel is needed because it impacts on the remainder of the story, as well as how you perceive and assess the characters themselves.
Whether this was my own over thinking or not, but I felt that we were introduced to these "mall rats" as we were to give us a chance at creating our own preconceptions and assessments on them as people. Certainly other characters and they themselves fed this opinion, but in doing so it gives a lot of power to the rest of the novel which then begins to break down these initial judgements.
Voltaire changes point of view throughout and we are able to see the unfolding events through almost every characters eyes and thoughts. In doing so we are also given the opportunity to gain an insight into their history and back story to show you who they are and how they came to be that way. Aside from providing histories, it is interesting to see how each character treats the circumstances they are in, some relish it, some fear it, while others hate it.
Villy was an interesting character, if not complex. I enjoyed his character more I think because of his complexities and imperfections, that is what makes him real. The same can be said for the others; these characters, especially the mall rats: Stuey, Prudence, Ari, AJ, and Aleister, are portrayed as real people, all with the quirky, obnoxious, selfish, vain and adoring aspects that is within anybody. Voltaire is very good at showing the readers that there is certainly a 'group persona' that is separate from who someone really is. This is why having alternating points of view and providing back stories helps you understand these characters a lot more, you see them as who they are, not only as the face they put on for the public.
You do get to see these characters behave separately from their group persona. This helps you not to instantly dismiss them as selfish teenagers who are loud and obnoxious and rude to one another, they all have a reason and Voltaire shows us, giving us a little more understanding, and yet almost not enough to excuse everything that they do, more to show how it has shaped who they became. This doesn't always change any opinions or add much sympathy, but we are given an explanation.
Towards the middle of the book the story settles in nicely and it is now that everything begins to unravel, and it isn't long before it is strange, and is possibly grotesque to some, but it is brilliant. There is a strange absurdness about it that is compelling and wonderful. You can certainly see where the influences came from of the genre films, and yet it does not read as cliché and over done either. The additional elements Voltaire added makes it humorous, and yet still terrifying and clever at the same time.
While it is grotesque in some parts, you cannot ignore the humour, this almost balances out the unpleasant details and descriptions Voltaire gives to the demonic faction within the woods. There is snarky sarcasm, and amusing moments that sit either side of the 'horror' aspect, but there is also some that cuts through the horror and breaks up the unpleasant scenes.
There were events in this book that took me by surprise in some cases, and not in others, but all were engaging, and in some cases saddening, all contrasting within a single chapter at times. There are also some very heartfelt moments in this book which was certainly a surprise, but certainly well placed and executed. There is the correct balance between the parody, the horror, and the realism to make it work very well. It isn't even an equal balance, that is not what the story requires, but where these moments happen and by whom are perfectly placed to suit the character and the narrative.
I loved the ending of this book; I thought it was perfect for where the story began and how it played out. I think the way Voltaire established his characters and how we get to know them, not to mention the situations they get themselves in, helped explain and make the ending scenes and epilogue ideal. What was wonderful was the fact that Voltaire keeps you engaged and laughing throughout and until the end, which is very hard when you have demons, teenagers, witches, and the paranormal to contend with. There is also amazing and detailed artworks that accompany this story, certainly not required as the descriptions do them justice, but by having a startling sketch to illustrate a scene create an impressive impact on the mind when you continue reading. And entire idea can be captured in one of those drawings, there are just the right amount to suit just the right needs.
In his interview Voltaire said he was a storyteller, and he is; but there is also novel here. Within this story there are glimpses and hints of beauty and art, hiding amongst this "storytelling". So while when you hear storyteller you may think casual conversational tone, there will be a lot that will surprise you with this book. For someone who does not read, Voltaire can write. But we already knew that. You only need to look at his songs or his films, or his other works to know he is talented, and know that reading does not always equate to talent or skill in writing.
Note: I was going to review this book yesterday, but I still had 30 pages left, so I figured that instead of a early review where I didn't finish the book is not fair, even if it is only 30 pages, so I decided to finish the book today and post a release day review.
This review will be a bit different than my other ones.
When I first read the synopsis, I was really intrigued, since I've never read a book like this before, I've seen horror movies, but not many books. Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as I hoped it would be, don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad, it just had a few problems, which I'll talk about in a bit. What I didn't know was that the Jersey Devil myth is actually a legend in New Jersey, I thought that Voltaire made it up, but then I was curious so I searched it up and found that the tale does exist since I've never heard of it before, pretty spooky.
It's hard to think of where to begin. This book is like a horror movie and it felt like a zombie apocalypse (although it was only in a forest in New Jersey, not the whole world, I don't think anyone else in the world had any idea about any of that going on).
This story was refreshing since there was barely any romance in it. The reason why I'm talking about romance is because in many paranormal novels, there's way more romance than there is paranormal, sometimes it's ok but since I'm not a romance story kind of girl, I was really happy that this paranormal story doesn't have romance in it, although they do make a lot of jokes about doin' it.
What I loved most about this book is the humour, I didn't expect this much would be in the story, which is a good thing, since I love comedy. I loved the humour of most of the characters, although Alistaire was a bit much at times, but I think that was because that's his personality, he always speaks his mind, regardless of the consequences, and he's obsessed with hell and the occult.
I'm not sure who's my most favourite character from the book, but there is something I liked from each of the characters: I liked A.J's easygoing nature especially when he hangs out with Prudence and Aistaire, Prudence isn't as mean and shallow as I first thought of her as (she's one of the people who sticks up for Ari when Alistaire is being a jerk), Stuey always being optimistic was kind of annoying, but despite all that happened to him, he still didn't regret anything, Alistaire's craziness (he was really annoying and sometimes mean, yet he's not afraid to speak his mind), so I liked his wacky nature at times, even though Ari is sweet and still recovering from her dad's death, she was one of the surprising characters (I can't reveal how because that might spoil the story), Villy is also one of the characters that changes a lot from our first impression and he ends up becoming really close to the group (he was a jerk full of himself, but then he becomes a better person), especially Stuey. And finally Caroline (I hope this is not a spoiler) joins the group and helps them fight off the zombielike creatures and the Jersey Devil, gotta love her badassness and that she deals with Alistaire's crap even though she just met him and is tempted to throw him to those creatures. I love the interactions between the characters and that they're not afraid to speak their mind on many things instead of holding back, and that there's a small cast of characters instead of a large one. I like it when there are many characters in a book, but it's nice to sometimes only have a few characters in a novel sometimes.
Even though I enjoyed this book, there were a few problems I had with it. The third person narration was confusing, I've only read a few third [person narrated books like: Charmed (the books from the TV show that is about the Halliwell witches), and The Mortal Instruments series, etc, and it was easy to tell who's point of view it was, but in this book at some parts it switched to another POV so quickly and without warning (in the books I read, for ex: when it switched from Clay's POV to Jace's in TMI, sometimes it would be a new chapter and sometimes there would be a double space). Another thing is that there are too many swear words, I don't mind some because in real life teenagers and even some adults swear quite a bit. I remember walking down the hall many times at school and hearing the f word and the s word (I graduated high school two years ago so it hasn't been really long), I swear to sometimes, especially when I'm angry, but I've never said the f word. But I feel like the characters swore way too much (that's actually one of the reasons why I hate the House of Night series so much), I just find it highly unrealistic.Some cases were perfect for it, like when the Jersey Devil killed someone in the beginning. There were also parts when they swore that made me laugh. Another thing is when they found the dildo in the cabin, I felt like that was unnecessary. I didn't like when in the beginning the guys just assume that all girls are like Prudence, not all of us try on 50 different outfits and lots of make up before leaving the house, some of us just put on some lip gloss and mascara and that's it.
The first few chapters leading to the Pine Barrens are a little slow, but it picks up after that. That's fine since many books and movies start out slow because of introducing the characters and to show the events that lead to the climax. Although, some parts after those creatures were attacking, it seemed like the story was dragging a little bit, some parts seemed like filler to me. I would have enjoyed the story more if some of the pages were cut from it. Still, I loved the action and that we got to learn the past of some of the characters and why they are the way they are, although I would have loved to know Aleister is so annoying and why he's a Satanist. Then again, maybe he just got interested from pop culture or something.
The ghouls or whatever they called them, made it seem like a mini zombie apocalypse, since they were kind of like zombies, although they were way more disgusting. It was interesting seeing Voltaire's version of hell at the end and it was funny too.
Despite some of the problems, I still enjoyed this book and I kept wanting to turn page after page. I'm looking forward to reading more from him. Overall, Call of the Jersey Devil is creepy, disturbing, action packed, entertaining, has some interesting characters and zombie-like creatures, and it's basically like a horror movie.
From start to finish, Voltaire's novel was a wondrously irreverent romp through the, as he essentially put it, cultural wasteland of New Jersey. He made this clear by pointing out that there is no toll to get into Jersey, unlike trying to get into New York.
From there, it becomes a very goth, hilariously dark adventure in the deep woods of the Pine Barrens, with the protagonists fighting for their lives against undead pilgrims while trying not to fall victim to the predations of the Jersey Devil.
Like a fun b-horror film. Pacing felt a bit weird at points which is my only real complaint. Voltaire does a great job of creating characters and some pretty great jokes that had me laughing, except for when I cried.
Full disclosure I've known Voltaire for 15 years and worked for a company that worked with him for the past 6 years. I was a fan of his comics before I met him and I've been a fan of music since I first heard him play live. I own a lot of Voltaire memorabilia including rare stuff like a Oh My Goth clock and a Chi Chan hot wheels car that was only sold at a trade show in Japan. I've read his previous nonfiction books about the goth lifestyle "Paint it Black" and "What is Goth?" and I enjoyed both of them. I was happy to see he was returning to creative fiction with his first novel (and of course my copy is signed) and I had high hopes for the work. But unfortunately if I am going to be honest I did not enjoy this book as much as you might expect considering my devotion to so many of his other works. I think for me part of the problem is that the characters in the book remind me too much of the other work of Voltaire's which I never really liked, the comic "Oh My Goth." Too many of the characters in this book could have stepped from the panels of that comic in my opinion. And having spent some time in the dark ooky spooky gothic scene of Tampa Florida (cue Azrael Abyss lord of sorrows) I know too many of these people to like them as characters in this work. I do appreciate the choice to write a story about the urban myth the Jersey Devil, I did find the descriptions of hell and the grossness of the rotting witch zombies to be well written and described... but again with the Oh My Goth complaint, I felt like Voltaire was doing an author insertion with the character of Villy Bats and it made the story a bit too Mary Sue for me, which is silly since it's not fan fiction but an original work... but I guess that happens in original works sometimes too... didn't the woman who wrote Twilight say that it came to her in a wet dream, or something similarly gauche? Anyway, I'm not giving this a bad review because I want to hurt Voltaire's feelings, he's a great artist and I strongly recommend that everyone check out his music and stop motion animation and his other comics Chi-Chan and Deady, just for me, the Oh My Goth stuff and this book are not 100% his best work and I guess that's why I didn't like it. For someone who isn't a big fan they might have a different reaction, I'm not sure. If you like modern gothic horror, consider yourself a bit spooky, or just like stories about teenagers being ripped apart by creatures from hell... then by all means pick this up. As for me, I'm more interested in getting a copy of his children's book "Raised By Bats" the next time I run into him at a convention. I got to see him do a multi-media presentation of that last Dragon Con and I know I'll be giving it a good review once I have a copy.
Review: AJ, Prudence, Stuey, Ari and Aleister are on their way to a Goth festival they see advertised at the mall. Villy Bats, the musician is stranded there. As the Goths' minivan crashes, they get stranded in the Pine Barrens and soon discover that the Jersey Devil is real, and that in New Jersey there is a gateway to Hell. As monsters start to pick them off, it's up to the Goths, and witch Caroline, to battle their way out. Having been a fan of Voltaire's music, I've been waiting for this since the moment he announced it existed. It starts off well. Chapter one is a flashback in which young girl Caroline is called upon to banish the Jersey Devil. And then tells it it is an asshole(justifiably). Chapter two sees a (I think theistic) Satanic ritual being interrupted on the basis that a gift store is no place for it, introduces characters and has a lightsaber fight. Excellent opening. The characters were mostly rich and full. Aleister, the devil-worshipper, is an irritating dick throughout- his throwaround of homophobic and demeaning slurs and just him made me really hate him. AJ is really really cool! He's sassy and funny. Random aside- I'm wondering if these two characters are named in honour of Crowleys (the infamous occultist and the angel who sauntered vaguely downwards). Prudence was ok. Stuey, I loved-he was cute in a puppy dog ohmygoshyouneedahug way. Ari had a sad backstory making her what she is, and I think developed most. Caroline and Villy the for most generally awesome. You also feel at some point for the Jersey Devil. Villy and AJ and Aleister are beautiful masters of sarcasm. The first third is learning more and more about the characters. The middle is setting up the threat. The last half is dealing with it, mainly with a spade. I love the writing style. As promised, it's facepalmingly funny-see earlier juxtaposition of Satanic ritual and lightsaber fight. AJ and Villy are the funniest. Even when there's the serious backstory parts, there's soon something to make you laugh. The first bit in particular is filled with multiple nods to Gothic subculture, so I was just sitting there all I understood that reference!
The latter part of the novel, the bit with everything and the spade, went really really quickly. The ending tied things up nicely. The epilogue, all I can say is-HELL YES.
Overall: Strength 4 tea to a goth fantasy story that is very definitely on my "books to read when I need a good laugh" list.
I was so not thinking this book was going to turn out the way it did. HEH, you know, when you sometimes have expectations, you are slightly blown away when it’s not that, but better. I had that here. There are so many great things about this book, and I will have to say, one of my favorite parts is the fact that everything was so easily believable. I could literally picture everything that was happening as it happened. Plus, it’s very detailed, so you never feel like you are missing something from the back story, or why things were happening now. I will say some details make it a little slow, but not boring, and only in the beginning, so PLEASE don’t stop. Plus it’s hilarious.
The writing is quite fantastic. It’s very different and unique, and I happen to enjoy that. Plus, I giggled alot, which means you’ve entertained me, which is exactly why I read any book! I am not sure if it’s considered a paranormal horror comedy, but that’s how I shall label it, because there’s each of these. Sometimes you are freaked out, then you can’t help but laugh, then you are thinking “cool…”
I also love that the feeling of all those horror films when I was a kid. You know you guys all watched the Jason’s and Freddy Krugers, and the likes, and this book feels like those films. Plus I am a huge horror fan. I totally enjoy horror movies… And yes, I am the kid who turns off all the lights, gets popcorn and candy, and piles my dogs around me to watch, just me and the doggies- and only because everyone I know is SUCH A CHICKEN! LOL nobody ever likes a horror movie, except my aunt, so we sometimes watch together. This literally made my day to read the book, and feel like I was watching one of those films
I am really hoping that Voltaire comes out with more of these types of books because I am now a fan. I seriously enjoyed this one. The ONLY reason this one doesn’t get the full 5 Paws is that it took a little bit to get all the great action going on, but I am still giving it a 4.5 AWESOMELY HORRIFIC PAWS because it deserves a great rating! I am definitely ready for more!
Aurelio Voltaire's Call of the Jersey Devil tells the story of a couple of mallrats who crash their car on their way to a non-existent goth festival; there they discover that the horrifying legends of the Jersey Devil are true and that the gates of Hell are in fact, located directly beneath New Jersey. The teenagers run into washed-up goth singer named Villy Bats and a strange woman who claims to be a witch; in the end they all need to work together if they want to survive.
If you immediately think of some B-horror film while reading the short summary, you wouldn't be entirely wrong. The horror vibe is definitely present throughout the novel, more clearly at one point than another, but it wouldn't be Voltaire if there weren't a sufficient amount of humour included. The macabre events often seem much more lighthearted because of the satirical descriptions and the cynicism of some of the characters. The mallrats are delightfully stereotypical and Villy Bats is so sarcastic that you can't help but chuckle at his thoughts. Beside Villy's supposedly intelligent cynicism, Call of the Jersey Devil does not lack in slapstick; some situations are simply laugh-out-loud funny. Finally, a couple of (pop culture) references make the reader chuckle in recognition, from Lovecraft and Alan Rickman to Star Wars. However, the novel is not all fun and games; there are some rather sinister moments in the story, and some heart-breaking ones as well. Some aspects of the storyline remain unpredictable, even though you might think you've got it all figured out. To top an already interesting story off, Voltaire's writing style sucks you into the story and makes it impossible not to sympathise with the characters. This combination of writing style, plot and atmosphere will make sure you won't be able to put the book down before you've read every last page.
Aurelio Voltaire describes himself as a “musician, filmmaker, author and gothic horror personality.” While I am not sure what a gothic horror personality is, I suspect it involves large quantities of black clothing and makeup. This assumption is based on the very heavy-laden prose in his debut novel under the author moniker. Call of the Jersey Devil centers on a group of teens off to see their favorite band. This venture turns into a nightmare when, stranded in The Pines of New Jersey, they find that the myth of the Jersey Devil is real and said forest is really the gateway to Hell. Although the premise did not hold much on originality, I nonetheless began with an open mind.
The prose style is dense. It felt as if Voltaire kept consulting a volume of Poe as he wrote. While Poe’s words and phrases are elegant, Voltaire’s are clunky and cliché. “In the center of the clearing, in the maelstrom of the storm, was the only soul who could hold it back.” “War-weary and battle-scarred, she was once again answering the call.” Poe-esque yes. It just feels like we’ve read this elsewhere far better. Amulets, ancient books, portals to Hell—Voltaire treads no new ground here. He got so wrapped up in Gothic that he forgot about character development and thematic development. A lot of chanting, dark and spooky descriptions, but nothing of substance and depth in the true Gothic literary tradition.
I am not familiar with Voltaire’s music, but his foray into literature left me cold. AJ, Prudence, Maplecreek Mall—none of it resonated. Chants of “Bring forth the Beast” sounded like something from an Iron Maiden album. “Silence mammal, you’re disturbing the dark Gods” made me snicker a bit at the absurdity of it all. Teens may find it interesting as it’s about their world, but I chuckled, shook my head, and hit delete.
It was great!... for a book that Voltaire gave me free of charge. Seriously, though, it is fantastic. This book was much better than a misadventure in a Mos Eisley cantina involving a lot of angry, sex-starved outlaws. However, for those looking for a scary book, I should mention that when I opened it for the first time, not a single bat flew out of it. Not a one. "Ooooh, sca-ary!" Pfft. The reading material printed in it, though, was quite spooky and, at times, chilling. There's a good bit of humor in there but it's quite real, believable, and well-placed. The story comes along visually, which can get very interestingly descriptive, from the gore-covered ghouls to the makeup on a self-obsessed girl's temples. It is indeed a teen book but I wouldn't buy this for any teen who can't handle gore or sexual references or intense situations. Personally, I'm considering buying some copies for a few horror fans among my circle. I'm a Hostel II kind of horror fan personally so I do like that intense psychological evil horror of a hero gone bad, even villainous, which can be found in this book as well as the "Holy crap his head just came off," almost slapstick horror that you get in material made for young adults. Lastly, if you've ever felt out of place in a social situation, if you've ever called yourself an outcast, you will find a sense of community among the characters. They stick together despite their own failings because they've been cast off by everyone else. They go to Spencer Gifts because the clerks don't hate them just because of how they look. The book has good will, and I think that's probably the most important thing it has to offer. You are not alone in the world, dear reader, by the way that guy behind you totally just died.
Overbloated, could have been 150 pages shorter. Most of the characters were unlikable, and the story was a fun idea at first but quickly loses the magic of it. Would be great as a SyFy horror movie, filled with a bunch of cliches, character death and strange choice for an ending. Hopefully if they did do that they would forget the creepy part where the older adult character fantasizes about one of the underage teen goth kids.
A really quick read. I quite liked Voltaire's writing style, it's flowery without going too over the top.
The book has quite a lot of vulgarity and dark comedy, but I found some parts quite funny. I especially LOVED Aleister. Yes, he was a creep, but not once is it implied that he isn't. Although there were some parts that were a bit TOO vulgar for me. I was like OMG what am I reading.
I don't know if it's because I recently got into modern feminism, but some of the things I didn't like are...
Feminism rant in 3...2...1...
Those issues aside. There were some other gaping plot holes, like
I know it sounds like I'm totally trashing it, but it was a fun read. It was just one character relationship that really bugged me. There were some funny parts, the characters (whilst somewhat stereotypical) were all likeable in some sort of way, and as I said, Voltaire can write quite well.
Also kind of wasn't expecting that ending? I'm not sure how I feel about it. My expectations where definitely subverted.
I´ll admit, it took me two tries to get started on this book. I simply wasn't in the right mindset the first time, but once I was ready I finished it in what? Two days? And every moment I was forced to do something "productive" instead of inhaling this book was painful. I decided to buy this book because I'm a fan of the authors music, and I'm not Goth although I am very much fascinated with this sub-culture. (Alternative-culture? Underground-culture? Who-cares-culture?) AND I'm not the biggest fan of horror movies - I get scared too easily, and I don't like gore, and I tend to think too much about the plot and story ... This book is somewhat like reading a black-comedy horror flick, with characters we've all seen before but more REAL, more vulnerable, more present. There's pop culture references all over the place, horror-movie cliches examined and kicked into bottomless pits, and lovely descriptions of sugar sand. (Which I kept waiting for something to HAPPEN regarding it, but SPOILERS! It ain't Chekhovs gun.) Anyway, if you're a fan of Aurelio Voltaire's other works, be it his music, comics, animation, or simply the man himself, you'll probably like this book.
I can't say much that hasn't already been said. This was a rollicking fun read. If this were a movie it would be the brain baby of Kevin Smith, Wes Craven and Tim Burton. With Bruce Campbell as Villy (sorry Voltaire) and Jay Mewes as Aleister. It was just the right mix of comedy and horror with a few touching moments to round out the experience. I'm glad this book was good because I had the chance to meet Voltaire at BEA, where I got the book and he was a terribly nice fellow: I would have felt really bad if I'd had to write a bad review. I can't wait to see what he has up his sleeve for the future.
This is more a 3.5, but since they don't have that as an option, I'm giving it a 3. I liked the book for it's subject content and I thought the characters of Villy, Ari, and Caroline to be interesting. I think what bothered me though was the (in my opinion) overuse of similes. Yes, I realize that is something odd to be picky about, but it did get to me. Don't let that deter you from reading the book though. If you're in the mood for B grade horror mixed with touches of comedy, then this is the right book.