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Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device

Dead Jack, Book 1
Narrated by: Eric G. Dove
Length: 5 hrs and 2 mins
4 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Pandemonium: a twilight dimension of nightmare creatures, mythical beings, the undead, and everything in between. To Dead Jack, it’s hell sweet hell. In the first book of the series, the tortured, drug-addicted detective stumbles upon his most dangerous case yet, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Can the zombie PI and his associate, the homunculus Oswald, save the day? It won’t be easy. The duo must face rogue leprechauns, ghost pirates, a sex-obsessed shark woman, sycophantic ghouls, an insecure fire demon, and a goateed maniac who calls himself the Duke of Pandemonium. Good thing Jack’s getting paid in a ton of fairy dust!

©2018 James Aquilone (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

If Lovecraft wrote an Evil Dead flick on crack

. . . .this book would be the result. Dear lord, there are wild and weird books, and then there are oddly weird and insanely wild books; and then you get something like Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device. Seriously. The book is campy, funny, silly, scary, thoughtful, and more. I almost feel like it has supernatural powers, and if I had it in print instead of audible, then I would certainly think that I had gotten whammied by the text. Come to think of it, just playing a recording of a reading was enough to call forth the candarian demons from their slumber, so maybe that's what happened here. Either there is some funky magic or the writing is to incredible to be believed.

When I say the book is funny, I mean you will find yourself laughing out loud no matter where you are. So, it is beast to listen to this one while you are alone. The characters are all incredibly fleshed out, with the lead being a drug addicted zombie detective, and his "partner/sidekick" who happens to be excitable marshmallow, er, homunculus. Oswald stole the show for me, but believe me when I say that every character is fully fleshed, three dimensional, and full of vibrant life (even the undead). Aquilone knows how to pen a tale. He has mystery, danger, action, suspense, and humor sprinkled liberally throughout the book.

Dove comes through the narration duties like a champ. He really got Aquilone's style, and made it sound as natural as him having a conversation in the shade. He really has great comedic timing. like I said, I found myself laughing out loud all the time. Dove really drive the humor home with his voice, adding an inflection here and change of intonation there in just the right spots. The voices he crafts for each character comes across naturally, as if that is the only way they could speak. I really got into his style and voice. I will most assuredly start looking for more of his work.

Can I also say what a great cover the book has? It is wonderfully rendered, and catches the eye like a stripper on a flaming pole. You know exactly what kind of story it is going to be before you ever look at the blurb or open the book, and that is what a cover is supposed to do. I would put this up on my wall if it were a poster.

I cannot easily convey how good this book is. It is one heck of a ride into a world where every creature you can imagine resides. A place that is like a black hole, sucking you in slowly until you realize that there is no going back. Get this book now, and revel in its whacky humor, pulpy goodness, and overall fun. Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and honestly, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.

If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Detective Story for the Zombie in All of Us

If you take the authentic irreverent voice of a superb storyteller and mix it with the imagination of Lovecraft, the plotting of Robert E. Howard, and throw in a twist of Monty Python, you'll have an idea of what a wild and entertaining ride you can expect reading Dead Jack. James masterfully blends mythos and humor into a fun romp through a well-developed world of zombies, trans-dimensional cats, and the black science the Nazi's thought would help them win the war. Masterfully narrated, I truly enjoyed Dead Jack and highly recommend it as your next purchase.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great!!!!

I really enjoyed this book. I can't really think of another book to compare it to. It has a amazing lot of creatures. Elves, pixies, zombies and orcs. Couple that with a zombie PI and a sarcastic side kick and a......sex starved shark women you have a great story. I can't wait for the sequel.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Everyone needs a zombie PI

I listened to this entire book in one go because it was so much fun. It’s got a little noir detective feel, a large helping of urban fantasy, and a delightful topping of humor. It’s a great mix that really worked for me. The story starts with a zombie detective and a dirty limerick. Obviously, this is my kind of book.

Dead Jack is a zombie who chooses drug addiction to Dust over eating people…. well, he does make a few exceptions, like for that rude leprechaun. He’s a very easy character to like and he provides the perfect gateway to the hellish world he’s stuck in. Pretty soon, he and Oswald are on a case – a mighty goblin drag queen wants her cats back and she’s willing to generously pay Dead Jack…. in Dust.

This story does have 1 little weakness – the lack of female characters. They are few and far between and pretty much romantic interests. There’s the Shark Lady, who is very upfront about what she wants from Jack. Then there’s the drag queen (if she prefers female pronouns). Finally, there is Zara, who is fantastic but still defined by her recent romantic relationship. Still, Zara was a great addition to the story but she doesn’t make an appearance until halfway through the story. She’s not even mentioned in the description of the book yet she is key in defeating the Big Baddie. Zara’s a large tattooed weapon-wielding witch. She’s my hero!

Oswald is a fun little guy too – he’s a little whiny but just enough to help define his character and not enough to annoy. I love that none of the characters are entirely sure what he is – not a ghost, not a pixie, not Brownie….. so he’s a bit of a mystery. The humor between Jack and Oswald is great. And I need to know what happens to Oswald! So we need book 2 on audio.

The story does wrap up all the big questions but leaves a little cliff hanger, that concerning Oswald. Is a great romp through Pandemonium with lots of unique characters. 4.5/5 stars

This audiobook also contains a short story, which I think is a prequel. Jack and Oswald must recover an ogre’s soul and stop a wedding… but there’s livestock issues. Ha! Ever wondered what you could accomplish with a feather dipped in peanut butter? Read this story to find out! 5/5 stars.

The Narration: Eric G. Dove does a great job narrating this book. He had distinct voices for all the characters and his female voices were believable. I really liked how he gave some characters a 1920s noir detective accent but then others were more modern, and a few were Irish. This mix of accents really matched the mix of characters. The pacing was perfect and there were tech issues with the recording. 5/5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own.

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Amazingly imaginative

The book started a little slow but by soon i couldnt stop listening. Its a crazy adventure and i would love to be jacks friend

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Perfection!

I loved it and I want more! Please bring more to audible and use this voice actor!