The Everything Box
Author: Richard Kadrey
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3.5 Stars
Book Summary: 2000 B.C. A beautiful, ambitious angel stands on a mountaintop, surveying the world and its little inhabitants below. He smiles because soon, the last of humanity who survived the great flood will meet its end, too. And he should know. He's going to play a big part in it. Our angel usually doesn't get to do field work, and if he does well, he's certain he'll be getting a big promotion. And now it's time. The angel reaches into his pocket for the instrument of humanity's doom. Must be in the other pocket. Then he frantically begins to pat himself down. Dejected, he realized he has lost the object. Looking over the earth at all that could have been, the majestic angel utters a single word. "Crap."
2015. A thief named Coop - a specialist in purloining magic objects - steals and delivers a small box to the mysterious client who engaged his serves. Coop doesn't know that his latest job could be the end of him - and the rest of the world. Suddenly he finds himself in the company of the Department of Peculiar Science, a fearsome agency that polices the odd and strange. The box isn't just a supernatural heirloom with quaint powers; they tell him.
It's a doomsday device. They think...and suddenly, everyone is out to get it.
Personal Review: I cam across this title when it arrived for processing at the library, and noticed it had a positive review by Christopher Moore, whose quirky books just make me want to read them. Reading the synopsis, it sounded like it was a read written much like Moore's works, so why not give it a shot?
That being said, this read isn't going to be for everyone. I may be a bit biased because I rather enjoy a little dark humor in my books, and this one was fast-paced, clever, amusing, and what might be the start of a series by the author...based on the ending, which I won't spoil. Here you have an angel, tasked with destroying the rest of humanity after the great flood, but just so happens to lose the "instrument" needed to carry out the plan. 4,000 years later, a number of individuals are closing in on this mysterious artifact known as The Everything Box. And that's when things start to go crazy, but in a good way.
You've got a world filled with poltergeists, vampires, werewolves, people with tentacles and gills, and they're all after that box and engaged in a cross-country race (of sorts) to get it. It kind of reminded me of the flick "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" because it was just one humorous moment after the next. If anything, I could see playing it out in my head like a TV show. It would actually make for a great show. You've got that snappy dialogue, fun characters, an interesting premise...it would be a blast, haha.
I liked the writing style of the author, the characters were interesting with the good guys not being exactly "good" and the bad guys are just bad on different degrees. The pacing on the novel was great and Kadrey jumped into the action early on without letting up. If you like the works of Christopher Moore, with a splash of maybe Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, you might just enjoy this book. It's just hysterically fun.
I can't delve into much of the book without giving away spoiler after spoiler, but I will tell you that if you're looking for a great distraction and a quick read, you can't go wrong with this book. It's introduced me to a new author and more books by him to find and read. Sometimes that's the best thing about trying someone new...you never know what you might get.
Look for it at your library and see what you think about it. I promise it'll be one wild ride.