Official Review: Demon Freaks by J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison

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kandscreeley
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Official Review: Demon Freaks by J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison

Post by kandscreeley » 05 Dec 2017, 16:17

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Demon Freaks" by J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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It's not often that a book has me smiling and laughing out loud, much less one on the subject of demons. However, Demon Freaks by J.R.R.R. Hardison is one such book. The author strikes just the right note between action and humor so as to make this book a truly unique, fun, and exciting read.

Ron and Bing Slaughter are identical twin brothers in their junior year of high school. They are part of a band that includes a drummer named Meat and a keyboardist named Kaitlyn. The four have SATs coming up that they must study for, so they decide to study together at a Cabin owned by Meat's parents. Things don't quite go as planned, though.

Their history teacher finds them at the cabin and tries to kill them with a silver dagger (although he doesn't seem to be in possession of all his faculties at the time.) The four friends manage to tie up their teacher and decide to take him to the police station (since, of course, their cell phones aren't working.) Meat goes off in search of the dagger (for proof), and he ends up being possessed by the soul that is in the dagger (in kind of a Lord of the Rings manner.) The four end up spending the night trying to merely survive to say nothing of studying. Will the four friends make it through the night? If they do survive, will their lack of studying affect their SAT scores?

The novel mainly follows these four friends and is told in the third person perspective. The author does change characters, but this is usually indicated by either a new chapter or a section break (denoted by stars.) Keeping up with who is speaking, then, is easy; I had no difficulty figuring out who was the current subject.

The first thing that I really enjoyed about this book was the humor that the author uses. There is one passage in particular that had me laughing out loud. Meat is trying talking to a dagger that contains a human's soul as well as talking to his friend Kaitlyn. Unfortunately, the dagger is only speaking inside his head, yet he is speaking aloud. Kaitlyn can't hear the dagger. This leads to quite a funny scene of Meat talking to the dagger, but Kaitlyn thinking that he's talking to her. Things get a little out of hand in a very humorous way.

I was also impressed by the backstory contained in the novel. The author has prepared for this novel well, and it comes through in the writing. Mr. Hardison conveys to us how demons are expected to act in this story, and he stays consistent with this throughout the plot. Many times with novels that are part comedy, the author doesn't take the time to prepare. This leads to a very shallow and unrealistic story. That, however, was not the case here.

This book is not all humor and demon crushing, though. Hidden here and there throughout the novel are little nuggets of wisdom. One of the characters is about to be tortured for information, when we get the following jewel. "...if something is wrong, it's wrong, and the circumstances don't make it right." True words to live by.

There was only one minor issue that I found with the book. This story is supposed to be geared towards teens and young adults. However, there is quite a bit of violence and gore that occurs in the story. While the author uses humor throughout (which makes even some of the gore seem laughable), this might not be appropriate for younger teens. Similarly, Mr. Hardison occasionally uses words like amorphous and miasma which might be a tad advanced for those younger than high school age. On the other side of the coin, I believe that there are many adults that would enjoy this book as much as I have.

I am happy to say that I rate Demon Freaks 4 out of 4 stars. The one fault that I had with the age appropriateness of the story was not enough to knock the rating down a star. I very much enjoyed the combination of humor and action that the author uses to keep the reader engaged. I recommend this to anyone high school age or older who enjoys a funny supernatural confrontation of demons by a high school band. I hope that these friends to continue to have such adventures, and I will be the first one in line to read more of them.

******
Demon Freaks
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Post by inaramid » 07 Dec 2017, 01:07

I noticed how the author wrote his name as J.R.R.R. (jim) Hardison, which immediately made me laugh. The book cover is really good, too, and I was just grinning while reading your review. I'm definitely getting this book.

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Post by hsimone » 07 Dec 2017, 06:50

I read this book, too. It didn't quite had the same effect on me, but I do agree that the humor was a great addition to the story. The gore was a bit much, and I felt like I didn't get to know the characters well enough. In any case, I'm glad you enjoyed this one!
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Post by kandscreeley » 07 Dec 2017, 08:25

inaramid wrote:
07 Dec 2017, 01:07
I noticed how the author wrote his name as J.R.R.R. (jim) Hardison, which immediately made me laugh. The book cover is really good, too, and I was just grinning while reading your review. I'm definitely getting this book.
Yes. That, of course, was on purpose too. After all, J. R. R. Tolkien had such success. 😁
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Post by kandscreeley » 07 Dec 2017, 08:26

hsimone wrote:
07 Dec 2017, 06:50
I read this book, too. It didn't quite had the same effect on me, but I do agree that the humor was a great addition to the story. The gore was a bit much, and I felt like I didn't get to know the characters well enough. In any case, I'm glad you enjoyed this one!
I admit, I did see your review. I determined that it wouldn't influence me, though. I definitely enjoyed this one, but I think it's more audience specific. Some will enjoy it and some won't. I'm sorry you didn't! I guess that's why there are so many books out there. Something for everyone.
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Post by hsimone » 07 Dec 2017, 08:33

kandscreeley wrote:
07 Dec 2017, 08:26
hsimone wrote:
07 Dec 2017, 06:50
I read this book, too. It didn't quite had the same effect on me, but I do agree that the humor was a great addition to the story. The gore was a bit much, and I felt like I didn't get to know the characters well enough. In any case, I'm glad you enjoyed this one!
I admit, I did see your review. I determined that it wouldn't influence me, though. I definitely enjoyed this one, but I think it's more audience specific. Some will enjoy it and some won't. I'm sorry you didn't! I guess that's why there are so many books out there. Something for everyone.
It's true, there is something out there for everyone and I'm glad you enjoyed this one! :)
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Post by MarisaRose » 07 Dec 2017, 09:07

I'm so happy to hear that the author thoughtfully crafted the backstory for the demon's in this story. So many author's fail to flesh out all the nuances that are necessary to make a book like this engaging. Great review, as always!
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Post by kandscreeley » 07 Dec 2017, 10:02

MarisaRose wrote:
07 Dec 2017, 09:07
I'm so happy to hear that the author thoughtfully crafted the backstory for the demon's in this story. So many author's fail to flesh out all the nuances that are necessary to make a book like this engaging. Great review, as always!
I agree! Sometimes I don't know how they keep it all straight. It's like a completely new world. How do they keep each person and each belief straight? Thanks for commenting!
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Post by Gunnar Ohberg » 07 Dec 2017, 10:11

Sounds like a good read and a humorous take on the demonic horror story, a la Evil Dead 2. The more I hear about this author, the more he interests me.

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Post by bookowlie » 07 Dec 2017, 10:42

Great review! I don't normally care for demons in books, although I do like humorous stories! I am off to read the sample. I love your phrase "demon crushing"!
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Post by kandscreeley » 07 Dec 2017, 10:43

Gunnar Ohberg wrote:
07 Dec 2017, 10:11
Sounds like a good read and a humorous take on the demonic horror story, a la Evil Dead 2. The more I hear about this author, the more he interests me.
I would say this is an author that would have a specific audience. I enjoyed his writing, though. Plus, the fact that it was obviously well edited was a big plus!
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Post by kandscreeley » 07 Dec 2017, 10:45

bookowlie wrote:
07 Dec 2017, 10:42
Great review! I don't normally care for demons in books, although I do like humorous stories! I am off to read the sample. I love your phrase "demon crushing"!
Thanks bookowlie! You'll have to let me know what you think about the sample. I don't think the story is for everyone, but the humor with the demons really did it for me...
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Post by ParadoxicalWoman » 08 Dec 2017, 04:44

At first I thought this book is like those typical 'demon crushing' or demon possessed kind of book. But the phrase "don't judge a book by its" cover' has brushed off this thought away and I pushed myself to read this review. I could't hide my glee while reading your review because..who on earth doesn't enjoy humors? I'm sure I will enjoy reading this book. Thanks for your review, by the way.
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Post by kandscreeley » 08 Dec 2017, 09:40

Thanks Paradoxical Woman... this is in no way a dark novel. It really is just funny and action-packed. Very enjoyable! Thanks for commenting!
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Post by VanessaAisel » 08 Dec 2017, 19:20

As a fan of both genres I feel it's truly a work of art when an author can combine gore and humor so effortlessly! I will be adding this to my reading list for sure. Thanks for a great review.
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