Thursday, 23 November 2017

Book Review: What the Hell Did I Just Read? By David Wong

What the Hell Did I Just Read?
By David Wong

While investigating a fairly straightforward case of a shape-shifting interdimensional child predator, Dave, John and Amy realized there might actually be something weird going on. Together, they navigate a diabolically convoluted maze of illusions, lies, and their own incompetence in an attempt to uncover a terrible truth they -- like you -- would be better off not knowing.

(Hey look, a new review format!)

I'm...confused. Not in a good way.

John Dies At the End is one of my favourite books, constantly wrestling for #2 spot with HOUSE of Leaves. I can still quote from that book. I remember laughing at a line but then something horrific would happen and my laughter would morph into a horrified whimper. I still have mental images from that book.  

This Book is Full of Spiders, Seriously Dude, Don't Touch It was good, but it wasn't amazing. I still remember vividly one or two scenes and I was sympathetic to characters we would never see again.  

What The Hell Did I Just Read has none of the charm or the memorable moments of the previous two books. Nothing will stick in my brain. Did I laugh? Yes. I know I did, but I cannot remember when or why. I even liked Wong's previous book Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits more than this.

I did feel something for the book, and that was horror and dismay when I realized durring the last 75% of the book that I was annoyed with it. I was annoyed with a JDATE book! How can that be?

Characters felt out of character, especially John. He was not twitchy-crazy enough and way too self-aware. On the last few pages he just sort of gets really level headed and it felt off.

And then there's Amy. Amy was my favourite character in the previous two books but in this one, she apparently dropped a few IQ points. She became this idiotic hen-pecking, weepy know-it-all shrew and I absolutely could not stand her. She should know by now not to trust her eyes after what she's been through but nope. She's gonna trust her eyes and act with her heart instead of her head, even though the fate of the world is at stake. Again.

Also, there's this weird thread regarding one of the creatures that I felt both came out of nowhere and was left dangling. I'm sure maybe if I take the time to think about it I could piece it together, but I don't feel like exerting the effort.

A disappointing adventure featuring characters I used to love but now just feel ill-fitting.



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