Revenant Road by Michael Boatman is a curious mix of horror, noir, and what I guess is urban fantasy. The novel is an enjoyable and fast read, and the author juggles the genres pretty well. His monsters are nicely drawn, the characters stand out well, and there are some genuinely funny moments. Regarding the latter, there is an Oprah-like character that Mr. Boatman uses to give the narrative a huge jolt. The passage at her mansion was one of my favorites in the book. Another creative section has Obadiah inadvertently crashing a monster-hunter survivor support group at his mother’s house which had me laughing aloud.
I wasn’t too fond of the author’s portrayal of his main character, Obadiah Grudge. By necessity, Obadiah must begin the novel as a self-centered and whiney character who denies the very existence of monsters, monster-hunting, and the fact that he is destined to be one himself. I understand the need for this portrayal in order to enhance the narrative arc as Obadiah transforms from a selfish jerk to hero. But, the “act” goes on much too long. I found the character’s denial and whining grating after a while and thought ‘enough already” on more than one occasion.
That said, I basically enjoyed the pace and the thrills (and humor) of Revenant Road. Not the best from Darkfuse, but certainly above average for the genre. Recommended.