I've been putting off this review for quite a while since I just can't seem to find the right words to describe this one. I actually finished it over a month ago and have read two more books since that time so it's not really fresh on my mind, but it's too long and wacky to actually forget. Maybe I should start with some basic info?
John Dies in the End is a story about a demonic apocalypse and two guys trying to prevent it. The main characters are David and John who are quite the bums of society at the start. It was written by David Wong (a pen name) who is also one of the main columnists at Cracked.com, one of my favorite internet satirical site. A movie has been made based off of it release in 2012.
I think that's all there is to say without going into the absolute batshit crazy details.
Also, as you could probably tell someone told me that it might be better to drop the formal tone and since this is such a crazy story, I've decided to make a more casual review.
Onto the review!
The book starts out quite hectic, jumping in with a common philosophical question explained with a completely insane scenario which threw me off of what this story was going to be about but caught my interest. It was pretty clear that this was going to go into a very odd story. Then they introduced the main characters and the world they lived in. I have never been really into the supernatural/fantasy genre as they tend to drag on with exposition just to set up the story which loses my interest immediately. However, John Die in the End does the exact opposite and jumps into the story with no explanation whatsoever but somehow by the end of the first story, I had a clear idea of who the character was and what kind of world I was in. They established this not through long paragraphs of boring descriptions but by spreading out the little details throughout the miniature story. By doing this they created a separate interesting story that also acted like a prologue of what was the come. Before even getting to the actual story, I understood that these guys were well known supernatural "investigators" of sorts and they were used to wacky investigation. I understood that these creatures were the dark, evil things that normal people tried to ignore that these two characters could see. I understood that demons and religion was involved by them calling the "priest" and that there was an incident that caused David and John to become so heavily involved in this world. They also made it very clear that although David and John were well-versed in fighting "evil", they were in no way a typical hero and that they were wack jobs who did not have a stable life or career. So by the end of the first chapter, I was well informed of the type of people our main characters were as well as the world the story was going to explore, while still holding my interest. It was a pretty great start.
Then the book splits into two different books, so let's start with Book I: They China Food!
The story opens up with David, our protagonist sitting in a restaurant in Undisclosed (place names that cannot be revealed to the public) waiting for a journalist. Through their interactions, you confirm that David indeed has supernatural powers, and that he wants to get it into the public (the reason this book exists). The journalist just as anyone sane would listening to David's batshit insane story: with disbelief. Then we go into the details of their beginning. Basically Book I is sort of the prequel, detailing what exactly happened to David and John that gave them their powers and the people who surround them. It's their first journey to save the world joined by hot Jennifer, preaching Bryan, and weird Fred. This part is the more "normal" part of the journey that follows the typical heroic journey formula. There's the group of oddballs mixed together, the main character has a crush on the hot girl, they know the enemy, and their off to save to world. However, the way they freak out in situation and the whole mess of the situation seems a bit more realistic than the typical go-getter heroic characters.
Book II: Korrok is the actual climax of the story were things actually start getting explained. This is the aftermath of saving the world, what happens to the relationships and we get the feeling that things are not actually over yet. We learn about what the great evil is and it starts going into territories such as parallel universes and really, just a lot of shit happens. Also you meet Amy and I freaking love Amy. She's adorable.
I think I'm just going to end here because I've been trying to write this review for a week now and it's really hard to explain a book that took me all the way to the end of it to actually understand. I just want to say, as long and messed up the journey is. The characters are a lot of fun, the situations are a lot more realistic than a typical hero book despite the messed up premise. In fact, one of my most favorite parts of this book is at the very end where they basically make fun of the typical "group of teens save the world" story by outright ignoring it. John and David are not your typical heroes. In fact, they're pretty shitty people, but the story they go on fits perfectly with their personality and it was a lot of fun.
Just read it.