Nana Devourer of Tomes's Reviews > Junkyard Druid
bookshelves: 2017, bad-urban-fantasy, eugh, dnf, urban-fantasy, not-even-for-my-worst-enemy
HERE BE SPOILERS: 1% The book starts with a preface by the author basically flailing about how he wanted to write about an urban fantasy druid and he had this amazing idea but he's a piece of shit and never finishing anything he writes. Being a piece of shit who also never finishes what she writes I sympathized. Then he goes on about how DAMMIT WOE IS ME WHEN I GOT OFF MY ASS KEVIN HEARNE WAS SUDDENLY OUT THERE WRITING ABOUT A DRUID (pause to say he's not salty he read it and found it excellent, cue me squinting). Cue his decision to write about this druid as YAlit and FOLLOWED BY HOW MUCH HE HATES WRITING YALIT AND HOW HE WANTED TO WRITE DARKER GRITTIER STUFF (newsflash: you don't have to be dark&gritty to write UF--see the aforementioned Kevin Hearne). Then plugs his other series like 4 times
and then says that "Colin wrote himself into that story" and readers wanted more Colin so he wrote this book. The druid is named McCool. Given how often Massey likes to use the word ‘cool’ while writing I’m calling Awesome McCoolname (like come on dude there’s even a trope about it) 4% Oodles of male gaze and Manpain™ 16 minutes in. There's almost a page describing his girlfriend Jesse and how she's the love of his life and how he's planning to tell her he loves her and show her the key to a flat to move in together and all the standard genre things of curves and athletic muscle and shit
And then!!!! "that was when my life turned to shit"
Boom dead spunky girlfriend
Seriously Mr. McCool I don't know either you or your gf enough to give a shit. Hopes still up even though rapidly diminishing. Please don't disappoint me I was so hopeful.
6% What the fuckin sort of shit therapist would ever say "Not a single soul has the right to blame you for not wanting to go on"? Wtf
7% "journal entry. 8 months 3days a.j. (after Jesse)" Kill me. All the chapters begin like this from here on. 16% Describing his fae or half fae friend, Sabine (sorry I am literally ready to chuck the book so I wasn’t paying exact attention to her species) 16% This is really disjointed in writing. It goes from a promising scene to awkward high school fanfic level. Also there’s a bit where he's trying to prove he's not a chauve and it's way too awkward. 17% I swear to GOD I am going to buy this book so I can set it on fire.
20% Where I stop giving fucks about percentages or where I am in this book and only wish I can set it on fire.
“Here we have this bar that is a supernatural hangout where I go bc they have very cool cold brew even though I want to avoid the supernatural like the plague. I also regularly hang out with a half-fae (who probably fancies him) and two vampires, one of which is hitting on me p badly. DID I MENTION IT’S AN LGBTQ HAVEN AS WELL? ARE YOU READING THIS TUMBLR? THIS IS HELLA REPRESENTATION EVEN IF I STEREOTYpED THE FUCK OUT OF THIS GAY MAN I PUT IN CALLING EVERYONE SUGAR AND HONEY! I’M ACCEPTING! LOOK AT ME!”
EVERY WOMAN WE’VE MET SO FAR IS A HOLE FOR COLIN MCCOOL.
Then Colin McNotCool refers to the LGBTQ community as “alternate lifestyles”.
Luther was a vampire and the de facto leader of the vampires in Austin. He was also a fixture in the local LGBTQ community so 'La creme' was pretty much a place where everyone was welcome to hang out. And like a lot of older Vamps, he might have swung either way depending on what century it was. Most old Vamps like to try new things which meant a lot of older bands were pretty accepting of so-called alternate lifestyles society in Austin.
Luther had become heavily involved in the gay and lesbian community in the last several decades. And just why would a 300-year-old vampire choose to blend in among the LGBTQ community?
Here it would have been sufficient to say Luther's gay.
BUT NOPE. Mr. Massey instead of just telling us why, he's quoting Luther, probably to increase his word count.
"Well to put it in Luther's words "Nobody screws with the Velvet Mafia, no one. I'm a gay black man and a vampire. That gives me a lot of enemies but for the first time in history I can live a public life and not have to worry about being singled out for being gay or found out for being a vamp. So hooray for strength in numbers. "
YEAH.Redundant Paras R' Us
Then the other vamp who's been hitting on Colin turns to Luther and
"You sure you don't swing head around every now and again, babe?"
He looked her up and down and gave his best Mae West grin "Not in the last hundred years or so but in your case I might be tempted sweet thang."
Sooooo not only Luther’s at least bisexual, it’s obvious Mr. Massey has the idea that all gay men talk like an Alabaman grandma.
Then, Colin decides to go to his classes and whatnot where he meets Sabine. There we are told, not shown, that his friend Sabine has "agoraphobia and social anxiety" however Sabine not only had been waiting for him alone in a crowded classroom but also proceeds to face down a bitchy fae with snark worthy of Chandler Bing.
The book keeps being uninteresting and gross at points And then we have this, about Queen Maeve (Fae)
"Like Martha Stewart in her pre-prison days, Maeve’s glamour had been designed to radiate a subtle vibe of the ultimate milf. [...] to most humans she seemed simultaneously sexual and motherly. A combination that few men can resist."
There are several gems like that throughout the book. Mr. Massey obviously assumed that making the McCool books grittier and darker meant he had to include lots of juvenile jokes about sex, sex mentions, and mea culpa to put even a very known Chicago Wizard to shame.
"[something something] I didn’t want to deal with those Circle jerks. Circle jerks, hah, see what I did there?"
Yes, Colin, I saw. I’m trying to pretend i didn’t.
There was a also bit like "dad had learned not to enter into the bathroom without knocking after he walked in on me... I know gross, but everyone's doing it"
a) I would have felt better about this sentence if he had ended it at 'walked in' b) If you think a natural process that most creatures engage in is gross then idk what to tell you. c) I didn't need to know that
There are several more examples of why this book is definitely something to avoid but I hope those points above, along with the childish plot, the cardboard characters, and the minimal to zero worldbuilding, are enough0/10
Rating: I haven’t ranted like that about a book since the “Iron Fey”
Yes, I saw and I'm trying v v v hard to ignore it."