Josh of the Damned, by Andrea Speed
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Page Count: 196 (complete collection)
Genre: Gay (M/M) Humor/Horror
Rating: 5 out of 5
After reading a short story by Andrea Speed in the Charmed and Dangerous anthology, I completely fell in love with Josh and his crazy world. I got the first book in this series right away (it’s FREE!!! so you should totally check it out!) and basically devoured it, and then immediately went and grabbed the Complete Collection. Andrea calls these books “goofy horror”, and I completely agree with that genre description!
Josh Caplan is your average late-night convenience store clerk, but the Quik-Mart where he works is nothing like normal with that hell vortex in the parking lot. Waiting on zombies, demons, and other things that go bump in the night might scare some, but they’re actually more polite than the stoners, and Josh welcomes the break in the monotony—especially when he acquires himself a sexy new boyfriend with a deadly secret.
Will Josh survive this retail nightmare? It’s a Big Gulp of a chance, but between the hazard pay and the hottie with a sweet tooth for Josh’s candy, it’s a chance he’s willing to take.
This review is for the Complete Collection, as each story is pretty short by itself.
Okay, first off, I cracked up over and over while reading these! Josh is sassy, sarcastic, and full of hilarious geek references, and the stories are just the right kind of ridiculous.
“Imagine the Hulk with hair, and you’ll have some idea of what you’re dealing with. Although I wouldn’t put that in the manual, ’cause Marvel might sue.” (“Triple Feature #1: Interview with the Empire”)
Helping Josh to stay sane and alive in the chaos is his roommate Doug (a stoner, pizza delivery guy, and all-around awesome friend), his boss Mr. Kwon (surprisingly chill about the hell vortex behind his store), and his insanely hot boyfriend, Colin.
There were pretty monsters? Why hadn’t anyone told him there were pretty monsters? (“Pretty Monsters”)
Each story in this universe is pretty short, but there’s an over-arching plot as well. Josh is pretty much the least likely hero to ever exist, but he does a pretty good job regardless.
“Why are you invincible, bitch?” Mr. Kwon asked, looking over one of the zombie’s shoulders. Josh held up the wrist cuff. Mr. Kwon’s eyes went wide. “Fuck a duck! Is that a reliquary?” (“Triple Feature #2: Clerk of the Living Dead”)
You should read these stories if you:
- like horror
- like horror that is also hilarious
- think frozen burrito meat might actually be human brains
- appreciate sentient facial hair
- are interested in mythology
- have ever thought that gas stations are kind of creepy late at night
Also, I know a lot of people are interested in reading m/m novels with no erotic content… if that’s you, then let me point you towards Josh of the Damned! Josh and his boyfriend Colin are sweet as candy bars, but there’s no sexytimes to be found here.
Highly recommend all around, and I hope there’s more to come from this series!
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