3 out of 4 stars
Review by CataclysmicKnight
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Bonz Buonopane (the name of both the author and the main character) has been sent to South Carolina to help his uncle with his business. This isn't just any ol' family business, though, it's the Mafia! Bonz may be low-level, but he's as smart as he is tough and skilled. While things had been peaceful in their little town, it suddenly seems like a new gang is in town and causing trouble. But why would someone want to battle for such a small town, and why does Bonz feel like it's all some kind of set up?
My favorite thing about Badman is the amount of witty wisdom Bonz imparts to the reader. Little gems of knowledge include things like never leaving free guns behind, which guns are disposable after a gunfight and to always carry a knife for when your gun inevitably jams or runs out of ammo. Because the book is written in first person, the way Bonz thinks/inner-monologues these things lends a very comic book feel to it all while making it feel like Bonz has taken us under his wing. At one point Bonz even casually explains his typical outfit, including his "$5 Winchester shooting googles from Walmart."
The book also sneaks plenty of humor and action in where it can. The name Badman, for example, came about from his sister doing a nasal impersonation of Michael Keaton's Batman saying "I'm Batman!" He also comments on his own inner monologuing and spews the occasional one-liner. The action reminded me very much of the movie Taken - it's straight-forward, realistic and gritty. It does get slightly gory at times, but it's certainly not enough to be gross even by my squeamish standards.
The book did, however, have some flaws. It goes off course frequently, and while this works to fill in additional history and character backgrounds it sometimes gets slightly confusing or just goes on a bit too long. It could also use a little editing - there are a few errors here and there, although in over 120 pages I can count the errors on both hands.
Overall, Badman (the character) reminds me a bit of Deadpool minus the superpowers and invulnerability if he had people to answer to. It was a very enjoyable read for the most part, and as such I'm giving it 3 out of 4 stars. This is also the first book in a series, and I'm psyched to see what else Badman will get himself into! Anyone who loves a good, twisty crime story or a good antihero should give it a read!
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