Mayhem reigns as a dying boy and an outcast girl are boosted to the level of miraculous superhumans and thrust into violent battle against monstrous forces (or each other).
Though the title is lifted from a contemporary pop-song anthem and the protagonists are both teenagers, author Kennedy’s action-fantasy has R-level violence, erotica, and horror, despite intermittent YA settings and concerns. Terminally ill with scleroderma, the fatherless, brilliant Pax James Black was not expected to live past 10. Now, at 15, he languishes at Columbia University Medical Center, attended by his only real friend, lonely high school outcast Scarlett. But his near-death experiences have given Pax an ability to leave his ruined body and visit the “astral plane,” where the human prodigy cultivated relationships with cosmic spirit-beings, like Terkun’shuks’pai, or “Terry.” Normally, such occult entities hide their existence from trouble-prone Earth folk. When Terry confers a new “astral” body on a dying Pax—and the effects bleed onto Scarlett—the reason for this secrecy becomes clear. The newly superpowered couple, their every uncontrolled impulse a godlike, destructive force, spreads chaos and carnage throughout NYC and beyond (they also have meltingly hot sex, losing their virginity to each other in their new superforms). Moreover, the youths draw out of the shadows an assortment of malicious “negative energy” thingies, some native to Earth, others a threat to the entire universe (whew). Replete with action, sea monsters, murders/resurrections, government spooks, bad robots, classroom mean girls getting what they deserve Lovecraft-style, a rewrite of the Garden of Eden, and interdimensional alien space-invasion, Kennedy’s roller-coaster narrative is overstuffed with the stuff that certain extreme-genre fans (probably hard-core gamers on the side) enjoy being overstuffed with. Sequels are promised.
The sort of teen horror-fantasy that would play well for high school heshers drawing horror comics in study hall.