I first read this book…..seven years ago! Good lord. I’ve been a CBR reviewer for seven years now. That’s insane.
Anyway. I re-read this book because
David Wong Jason Pargin published the sequel (Zoe Punches the Future in the Dick) last year. I remembered liking the first book, but not remembering much of what happens. So, here I am. Reviewing it again.
I’m not going to re-read my original review, though. I’m just going to share my thoughts, unencumbered by my first impressions.
Zoe Ash is a barista. She lives in a trailer with her mother (who is a naive stripper with frequent boyfriend problems), is a little overweight, and has been unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend. She’s also running from her life from a psychopath with apparent supernatural powers who wants to kill her, eat her flesh, and do it all for the sick bastards on the internet watching the livestream. Turns out (spoilers), her father was a supremely wealthy man. He’s recently died, and left his vast fortune to her. So, in a lawless city taken over by the kind of influencers who would hunt down a woman and mutilate her corpse for fun, Zoe is left scrambling to stay alive.
If you’ve read Jason Pargin before (known more for his John Dies at the End series), you might have some idea of the kind of book you’re getting. But you’d be (mostly) wrong, here. This is a more straight-forward novel, though it still has plenty of puerile by charming humor. This is no cosmic horror, or time travel, or crazy side stories that seemingly have no connection to the book until it all wraps up in the end in a weird and interesting way.
Zoe is snarky, and out of her depth, but the world is much more straight forward. The monsters are more earthly. More human. And the book has more social commentary, which is fitting for someone who was Executive Editor and possibly the most prominent voice on Cracked, back when that was a popular website. Pargin has critiques of American society, and they come out amidst the boner jokes.
I don’t think this book holds up quite as well upon re-read. I still found it engaging, but a bit too straight-forward for my liking. But I’m still going to read the second installment (and he has a new John Dies at the End book, as well).
I’ve got a lot to catch up on.