**Book provided in exchange for an honest review**
Author: Patrick Canning
Publication: December 7th, 2018
Read: July 2019
Format: Audio with a bit of Digital thrown in
Rating: 3 1/2 Caffeinated Stars
Trigger Warning: Racial & homophobic slurs
Working as a janitor at an insane asylum in rural Idaho has Jim in the dumps. One night, his attempted suicide is rudely interrupted by one of the residents, and he’s recruited to play a game called Cryptofauna. The bizarre contest of worldwide mischief and meddling might actually help the blue custodian discover a reason to live if he can survive the deadly trials that await…
When Patrick Canning sent me an email asking for a review, I had to jump on it. Cryptofauna sounded too much like David Wong’s John Dies at the End to ignore. I don’t read many black humor books, but I love David Wong, so I was excited to dive in. Now that I’m done I’m honestly, I’m not sure how to rate it. It’s a mind trip that is reminiscent of David Wong’s John Dies At The End, and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The black humor was present, but there was one thing that just didn’t sit right with me.
The most unsettling thing about this book is the casual use of racist remarks. I don’t enjoy reading racist or homophobic slurs, and I don’t enjoy having them thrown casually around in a book. It was done to show how uncouth a character was or someone starting a fight, but I found it completely unnecessary. I’m not used to reading the N-word or seeing the F word (the derogatory term for a gay man) or even referring to people solely by their ethnicity. I assume that the author was doing this for shock value and to add to the black humor feel, but it still didn’t sit well with me.
The characters in this book were unique and fun. They are what I enjoyed the most about this book. It was fun to watch them interact, and I loved how quirky and weird they all were. I loved how every character was there for a reason, and I loved seeing how they handled the twists and turns that the plot had.
The plot was exciting but also jumbled. I can’t help but think this might have been a book that should be read instead of listened to. The narrator was good, but with how jumpy and convoluted the plot was, it was hard to follow when just listening. I ended up borrowing the book from the KU library to use as a reference when I got lost. There were times I had to backtrack just to understand what I just read. This book definitely requires your full attention, and even then, you might appreciate it better high.
Did my review convince you to give this book a shot? If so here are the links to buy your very own copy!
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