Something is wrong in Ridgemont. Evelyn MacIntire senses it. June 2017 will bring an end to more than the school year.
Parents and teachers have told her and her friends they have their whole lives ahead of them. After high school they can be anything they want to be. They've been told that they are special and unique. Turns out their "whole lives" might not last past the end of the school year. Reality is shifting. The powerful and wealthy in Ridgemont have more than money to play with. The Ridgemont Chamber of Commerce has their own end game. And for Evelyn and her friends, what should be a coming of age teen comedy is about to descend into madness and terror.
I cannot stress how brilliant this book is; it takes a cheesy 80's flick (I lived through it and it was cheesy, NOT a classic) and turns it into so very much more than the core material. Fast Times was mostly comedic, but did have some dramatic turns and End Times mirrors that to an extent. One thing that I truly enjoyed was the use of Lovecraftian concepts, but setting everything in Southern Califiornia. There is just something that makes a pending apocolypse less worrisome when it is set in sunshine and blue ocean waves. The other part, and perhaps the most important, is that not everyone makes it out alive; in fact, the ending of the book might just surprise you. I know it did me, and I have read a LOT of novels over the last 50 years.
I want to comment on the cover. It, and the title, caught me eye immediately. It makes no illusion that it is paying homage to the old 80's flick, heck the logo almost matches that of the movie poster. ALMOST! The title made me look and see what the book wa about, seriously, how could you not look?
Welke knows how to write. Like I say, he takes old tropes and shoots them in the ear and then dumps them in a swamp. He is smart enough to let you get an idea of what is happening, and then pulling a 180 on you and taking the book in an entirely different direction. Nothing is as you expect it, and the only person that wins is the reader. Welke drives this story forward as if he were Richard Petty on a virgin race track. The story flies by at a great pace, and his characters might remind you of some people that you saw in a movie once. H is also wise enough, that all he really does is give a nod to FTARH. He isn't a slave to keeping things close to the story or characters. He just takes a seed and lets it grow.
Keefer is bloody brilliant as the narrator. I swear, if Welke were to do another book like this he needs to do Valley Girl, because Keefer could kill those attitudes and accents. She really knows how to play the lead protagonist, Evelyn MacIntire, like a young teen who is worried she will never get to have sex. When she is called to try to save Ridgemont she grows up, and Keefer gets that as well. She plays Stoner Dean, and the other members of her Scooby Gang just as well, and kills both the male and female voices. She is pretty impressive. I'll be keeping an ear out for more of her work. I generally troll audible's narrator list once a month to make some fresh finds, and I'll be looking for more of her work.
This is one of those books that you really wish was a part of series, as it is so good that you do not want it to end. On the other hand, I have to respect the one and done mentality. Regardless of how many books there will or won't be, this book will captivate you and suck you right in as the gange struggle to save their town, families, friends, and then selves in that order. Do not miss out on this genius piec of creativity!!! You will regret it.
Side note: I dislike giving away what happens in a book. If you want to know what happens in it, read it. So, take my advice and read this bad boy right now! Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, 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.
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