Just the blood-soaked, demon-ravaged, terrifying sequel to The Dead Run (2013).
Mansbach (Rage Is Back, 2013, etc.) is better known for his zeitgeist-firing children’s book Go the Fuck to Sleep (2011) and the subtle critiques of race relations and underground culture in his earlier novels. No matter—rarely has a writer demonstrated he’s having as much fun as Mansbach clearly is with this demented series combining contemporary crime action, Mexican mythology, irreverent comedy, and straight-up horror. To recap, antihero Jess Galvan barely defeated the 500-year-old demon El Cucuy by absorbing his soul. Now Jess is living out in the desert with a head full of angry Aztec god. On the plus side, he's been imbued with inhuman strength and endurance, but on the minus side, he's having a hell of a time keeping Cucuy at bay. “Two souls, one body. The math was a bitch,” Mansbach writes. Down in Mexico, Cucuy’s right-hand man is trying to keep the family business together, but the ongoing war between the cartels is making things tough. To gain control of Galvan, who starts murdering bad guys left and right, Cucuy’s empire engages Kurt Knowles, president of the True Natives motorcycle club, to kidnap his daughter, Sherry, and bring her to Cucuy’s prison headquarters. Like great pulp fiction or midnight movies, the book’s profane, hyperactive, and gloriously violent style will repel more sensitive readers and make those who revel in Tarantino scripts, Breaking Bad, or zombie flicks giddy with anticipation.
Books like Colson Whitehead’s Zone One and Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven can keep their erudite social allegories—we’ll be over here gobbling popcorn and waiting to see if Mansbach can keep this up.