08 July 2016

Review: nameless: a novel

nameless: a novel nameless: a novel by Matthew Rossi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ultimately closer to a 4.5.

Matthew Rossi, if you know his writing, is best known for his work on World of Warcraft information. For me, it was his weird essays on alternative histories and cultures (Bottled Demon being my favorite, but his three previous reads were all great). He had hinted on Twitter about the novel he was working on, and it got released and I finally got to read it.

And how do I sum it up? It's like a mainstream weird horror novel... and then Santa Claus shows up in a major battle.

I'm kind of glad I approached this from having read Bottled Demon and the like, because the conceits behind the good versus evil mindsets here are absolutely established in this sort of skewed look at genre the way Rossi has taken a skewed look at history and noteworthy events in his previous books. The pacing allows for the story to move along, and the number of true curveballs that Rossi throws from both main characters and major events alike means that the book is a page-turner in a different sense. It's not so much that you want to know what happens next (because you do), but because you end up wondering what craziness is happening next.

In that it doesn't really fit in well with the current weird and is perhaps a little too reliant on those curveballs is the one negative, but it's far from anything resembling a dealbreaker for how solid this book truly is. It has something for fans of horror, of the current weird fiction trend, of urban fantasy, and of slight absurdism. In the end, you really can't go wrong on this one.

There is apparently a sequel planned, and the best praise I can think of for this book comes from that fact. The ability of this book to surprise me over and over again is what will get me coming back to what's been established here as soon as possible. It's just a lot of fun in a genre that is often lacking it, and that's worth the time to take part.

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