Monday, April 22, 2013

A Bad Day For Voodoo by Jeff Strand

It is pretty obvious that my love for Jeff Strand is almost as frightening as the tales that occupy the pages of his fantastic books but even I, the devoted fanboy, was a little skeptical when I heard that the author of Wolf Hunt and Dweller was about to pen a Young Adult novel. Of course, (as with most things in life) I was completely off-base as Strand delivers and instant genre classic.

From Amazon :

When your best friend is just a tiny bit psychotic, you should never actually believe him when he says, "Trust me. This is gonna be awesome."

Of course, you probably wouldn't believe a voodoo doll could work either. Or that it could cause someone's leg to blow clean off with one quick prick.

But I've seen it. It can happen. And when there's suddenly a doll of YOU floating around out there—a doll that could be snatched by a Rottweiler and torn to shreds, or a gang of thugs ready to torch it, or any random family of cannibals (really, do you need the danger here spelled out for you?)—well, you know that's just gonna be a really bad day ...

The Young Adult genre suits Strand’s insane style perfectly. In A Bad Day For Voodoo , Strand uses the genre’s whimsical freedom to create a crazed tale of silliness gone wrong that will satisfy teens and horror-hounds alike. Strand balances the real life turmoil of being a 16-year-old boy with his signature flair for the gleefully macabre. Dismemberment and cannibals seem just as frightening as overbearing parents. Such is the teenage life in the wild world of Strand. The only reason all of this craziness is because the main characters are so grounded in reality. I felt like I had been transformed back to my teenage years and it was one heck of a ride. The story oozes with the authenticity usually reserved for a Stephen King story or a John Hughes film. It is that good, my friends.

Jeff Strand walks a very fine line in A Bad Day For Voodoo (and most of his stories, really). He keeps the tone extremely light without ever venturing in the dreaded world of camp, while providing massive amounts of unique (albeit gory) plot points that keep the reader interested and the pages turning. I have seen this blend attempted many times with cringe-worthy results but this never happens with Strand. I would say that Strand is the preeminent voice of literary horror-comedy but he may, in fact, be the only worthy author currently taking up residency in that particular subgenre. A Bad Day For Voodoo just goes to prove that Strand can extend his talents to any subgenre within the realm of Horror literature.

If you have or know someone with children in their teens, please make sure that those kids get a copy of this book in their hands. If you are looking for some finely crafted fiction that is so unique that it is sure to blow your mind, you should also make sure this finds its way into your library.

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