Review: Black Goat Blues
There was a part of me that was really kinda pumped to get this book in the mail for my TBR pile. Granted, it was the dark, twisted, macabre and grotesque side of me, but a side of me, nonetheless. Levi Black’s first book, RED RIGHT HAND (EBR Review) caught me at a very opportune moment, and as I dove into the next offering from this author that so brazenly takes his mythos from that containing Cthulhu, I found myself digging through my music downloads to find that song by Metallica that had hit just the right spot the first time around. It was a good way to start my week.
And finishing this book was a great way to end it.
BLACK GOAT BLUES (Amazon) is the second book in Levi Black’s The Mythos War. From the outside, the book looks nearly identical to the first. Similarly sized. Same crazy-dark and twisted cover art (by Cliff Nielsen, and I’ll tell you what, that guy has some wicked-cool work posted on his site). Inside, I found much the same as well. Story picked up essentially right where Mr. Black left me sitting at the end of RED, wondering why the story was ending there.
Charlotte Tristan Moore, Charlie to her friends, was picked up as an acolyte and abused by an elder god named Nyarlathotep in RED, but at the end had turned the tables on that man in black, and, while standing over the hospital bed of her comatose boyfriend Daniel (nice choice in names there by the way, Levi), decides to take the war back to the god. Charlie starts out searching for information on the whereabouts of the Man in Black and/or his associates, so that she can kill him. It’s as simple as that. This is a revenge story. Along the way, she happens to pick up another sidekick that mostly gets in the way, runs into our favorite goddess of lust that tries to worm her way into our sympathies, and takes a small detour to find another mythos goddess that is a goat and also very, very sad.
As with the first, I think it was the combination of morbid curiosity and the fact that the chapters were so dang short and quickly paced that kept me reading way past when I should have stopped. This is a book that is a very bad one to take on a work lunchbreak, as the next chapter is only like 3 or 4 pages, and can’t I just quick knock that one out too? What time is it again? Dang. Maybe? It’s horrible. Horrible, I say.
On the whole, characterization is pretty sparse, albeit sufficient for my needs. It’s a fast read, and one that I can’t help but think that all lovers of the Lovecraftian mythos would really enjoy. I’ve never taken a deep dive into it, though, so I could be considerably wrong by making such a statement. Anyone out there fancy themselves a guru of Lovecraftian fiction enough to weigh-in on the topic? Would love a second opinion on the inclusions and expansions of Mr. Black.
The big question I had after reading the first novel in this series, that of necessary emotional removal of the POV character from the frequent splatter-punk nature of the ride, weren’t quite so prevalent in my mind this time around. Most of the crazy stuff didn’t happen to other humans this time, and elder god chunks, I would think, would be much easier to digest than analogous human-people chunks. If one were going to try and consume them, that is. Still, the ick factor though.
Absolute fun romp. Great descriptive text. Solid, linear story. Even some unexpected sympathy. Can’t wait to read the next in the series, Mr. Black. How fast can you pump em out? I’m waiting!
- Recommended Age: 18+
- Language: Lots and frequent
- Violence: Graphic and bloody
- Sex: Numerous references; a goddess of lust is one character