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Josh of the Damned Triple Feature #2: The Final Checkout

Josh of the Damned Triple Feature #2:  The Final Checkout - Andrea Speed 4.5 Stars - on the series as a whole

After saving the World from imminent destruction because of rampant corporate greed, Josh makes his way back to work at the Quick-Mart at the start of The Final Checkout. I suspect this is the last of the Josh of the Damned series, by Andrea Speed, given the use of the word final in the title. I hope I’m wrong.

Clerk of the Living Dead …

Josh expects to be fired for preventing Quick-Mart from starting a store in Dev. Instead, he starts his shift as usual. He then gets conscripted by Medusa. It’s not all bad; he gets a cool wrist cuff out of it. Once again, back to the daily grind. While Mr. Kwon is at the Quick-Mart a customer comes in dressed for battle. He’s Kevin, the Vampire Slayer. While Josh and Mr. Kwon attempt to convince Kevin, the Vampire Slayer, that such creatures aren’t real the Quick-Mart gets attacked by a horde of zombies. The Quick-Mart corporate office will have its revenge after all. Why fire a slacker when you can sic a zombie horde on him? Josh then experiences the awesomeness of the wrist cuff.

Mr. Kwon absolutely cracked me up in this installment. His reluctance to admit to his family just how bad he is at necromancy coupled with his comments to Kevin had me laughing out loud. The overall plot of the series was also well advanced with the revenge of the corporate office, Josh and Colin dealing with their relationship, and Medusa’s conscription of Josh for her purposes. All these things were either critical to wrap up previous events or set into motion future events.

Plaything of the Gods! …

Josh missed the bus and asks his roommate Doug for a ride to work. They can’t make it all the way to the Quick-Mart as the way is being blocked by a giant slug. It has left a rather impressive slime trail. Josh and Doug make it inside to find Mr. Kwon annoyed by the giant slug. Colin shows up and needs Josh for an urgent job per Medusa’s orders. Medusa’s sisters, Sthenno and Euryale, have gotten a bit out of hand. The family has achieved impressive levels of dysfunctionality. There are reasons to believe a lot of the odd creatures coming from the portal are being sent by the sisters. Josh and Colin go in to shut them down! While on the job they realize they have a lot of questions they’ll never get answered. Gods don’t answer the questions of their troops.

As Josh is the hero of this chanson de geste it’s a fair statement Doug’s car is the equivalent of Josh’s noble steed. Doug is a pizza delivery guy and stoner. Of course his car is a POS. It’s adorned with a Jesus/Hula dancer doll Doug made himself. It’s “magically sacrilicious.” In this installment it’s made clear that Josh’s hero status is thrust upon him by fate and Medusa. He’s really not special, he’s just a guy who happens to be a Guardian. Medusa has uses for him.

Josh vs. Destiny …

Josh and Colin plan a romantic weekend together. The first thing to go wrong was Doug not leaving for the weekend. The second thing was the phone call from Mr. Kwon who calls Josh in on his day off to talk to his boss.Nothing good could come of that. Colin is suspicious. He’s also uncomfortable being away from Dev for so long. There is no way he and Josh would be able to spend much time together on Earth. Clark Ryan IV, the CEO of Quick-Mart is a real jerk. He’s also being manipulated by a mangoat. Harvey Mangoat, to be specific. Too bad for Harvey he was being manipulated by Sthenno and Euryale. Oh snap! Josh and Colin give Clark Ryan IV the scare of a lifetime with the help of Bobo the Yeti and the citizens of Dev. Really, Bobo was probably the scariest thing. Josh then gets a fantastic gift from Medusa for his services as Guardian of the Quick-Mart.

Much as Josh is our slacker hero, he seems to come up against some slacker villains in this installment. Harvey Mangoat is a Baphomet wannabe. His great evil is believing in the wrong people and manipulating a ludicrously stupid man. The loose ends of the angry corporate office trying to kill Josh are tied up, and Josh and Colin are able to have a relationship that is more than just sex in the stockroom on Josh’s lunch break. All is well at the Quick-Mart.

For all of Whit's and Faye's reviews of the series see Live Your Life, Buy The Book