The Creeps – John Connolly


John Connolly writes the dark, violent and visceral Charlie Parker murder mysteries that if you have never read, you are really missing out. It’s the knowledge that he writes those books that make his Samuel Johnson novels so much damn fun.
   The Creeps is the third book in the series, following The Gates and The Infernals that are geared toward the young adult market; but like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy before them, will be enjoyed by all ages. Only pick up The Gates and The Infernals first before starting the Creeps. If not be prepared to be duly scolded throughout the reading of The Creeps by Connolly for having to explained situations to you that had you read the prior novels, you would know all about!

   “…But if Wreckit & Sons sold a lot of things that people might want, it also tried to sell a lot of things that nobody could possibly want. As he grew older, Mr. Wreckit became more and more eccentric. He began calling it Wreckit & Sons for starters, which annoyed his daughters greatly, as he didn’t have any sons…”

   Samuel Johnson, in this third installment is home in the small town of Biddlecombe, with his mom, his faithful dog Boswell and two slightly reformed hell spawn demons; Nurd and Wormwood. There are also two other demons; Shan and Gath, who hang around because they just love the beer. Shan and Gath have decided that they would rather brew beer than go around and be demons. You would know this of course, Connolly points out if you had bothered to read the prior two books. He will eventually have enough of you and accuse you of stealing this current book and probably not having the ability to read at all!
   Yes, every so often or so the bottom of the page will have reference points in which Connolly will explain to the reader what is going on or what a particular word or name is in reference to. Connolly takes this moment to carry on a conversation with the reader as they enjoy this book. He even named one chapter; “In Which We Travel to a Galaxy Far, Far Away, but Since It’s Not a Long Time Ago the Star Wars People Can’t Sue Us”.
   But back to Samuel, our teenage hero. Samuel has saved the world, gone to hell and back, fought the devil and rescued demons, but now has a problem that has plagued all teenage boys from time beginning. What at first seemed a blessing has become a greater challenge that all the hordes of hell. Samuel has a girlfriend.
   So he is to be forgiven for not noticing that there are changes about. Oh did I mentioned the ice cream man and his band of thieving dwarves? And the two policemen? No well they are here too. And of course Mrs. Abernathy. Who is Mrs. Abernathy? She is only the second in charge in hell! The demon once known as Baal who took the form of Mrs. Abernathy and well, decided he liked having a woman’s body and now wants to look like and be referred to as Mrs. Abernathy. Something that you would know if you had read the first two books. To get at Samuel Johnson now, Mrs. Abernathy has released an army of evil creatures and toys!

…Farther along the way, they saw a giant ferocious reindeer with sharp horns and black eyes standing before a herd of local deer as it tried to incite them to rebellion.
   “Rise up!” cried the demon reindeer. “Rise up against the puny humans who know you only as Bambi, the oppressors who think you’re cute but occasionally eat you in stews, or with parsnips and a reduction of juniper berries.”…

   The cast of characters that weave and out of this tale are too numerous to mention but you have seen almost all of them before. But its not the same old demon doing the same old joke. Each book is different from the last. Each one grows.

…”And you say you work for a being called the ‘Great Malevolence’?”
   “That’s right,” said Crudford, “the most evil being that the Multiverse has ever known. It is the source of all badness, the well from which the darkest thoughts and deeds spring. No single entity has ever contained so much sheer nastiness as the Great Malevolence. On the other hand, I work regular hours, get weekends off, and the cafeteria’s not bad.”

   Through it all goes Samuel Johnson. Trying to understand his girlfriend who doesn’t approve of any of his friends, his dog and pretty much him. Trying to keep his demon friends safe and above all else, just save the world. Again. Just like he did in the first two books. The ones you’re suppose to read first.


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