JAM(that’s a good book!)

26 Sep

Countless stories detail different people’s interpretation of Armageddon, but what if the great apocalyptic threat was man eating jelly that smelled of strawberries.

“JAM,” set in current day Australia, features a rag tag group of nobodies who must work together to survive the “Jampocalypse,” as they make their way through the city of Brisbane. Along the way they meet other survivors, find twisted makeshift civilizations, and do their best keep their head above the pink shaded muck that wishes to consume every living thing imaginable.

“JAM” is the second novel from acclaimed internet videogame critic, Ben Croshaw, whose first book was the pseudo fantasy/sci-fi comedy, “MOGWORLD.” Both stories are unique, since Croshaw finds ways to keep everything fresh by introducing new things throughout the story all while making it flow.

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The memorable characters throughout the story are all descript archetypes of everyday people. Travis, the protagonist and narrator, is the aimless loser that goes with whatever, Tim the aloof yet forceful everyman, and Don the disgruntled game programmer whose shoulder chips have chips on their shoulders.

The best part of the book comes in all the interactions and reactions among the characters and how each of them deals with having the continent of Australia smeared in sweet smelling death.  A big threat than can’t be imagined sets the stage as the story unfolds to reveal the secret of the ooze and how it came to be. But it’s always the people, who don’t keep a level head amidst the disaster who present the biggest threat.

MINI-TORIAL-Laughing at the Apocalypse: JAM features a myriad of quantifiably great and often gruesome deaths; those caused by the Jam itself or by the people killing each other. So why is it so easy to laugh at during the reading of this book. I mean sure the author is known for his comedic and descriptive writing but it’s more than that. When faced with a lot of negativity, the positivity becomes more pronounced. I man even the situation the character’s are in is hilarious, “Man Eating Jam,” and it smells of strawberries, that’s hilarious. So while death, disaster and mayhem are brushed off during reading it’s not for lack of investment but for appreciation of the levity.

“JAM” has detailed and hilarious writing by Croshaw such as using metaphorical puns to describe different events or actions, like the near human intelligence of a tarantula that really isn’t doing anything.

“JAM” also takes the cake in terms of writing out scenes of physical altercations among characters with good timing, specific descriptions and Croshaw’s special brand of metaphorical description mastered from his review show.

JAM” contains some of the most entertaining writing imaginable but what’s apparent throughout the story is how the plot will occasionally slow itself down to set up bigger jokes and set pieces it feels that certain character’s only do certain thing for the sake of moving to a different part of the story.

“JAM” is made for people who enjoy a good survival story but are tired of the same old formula of zombies and earthquakes, and is most definitely worth a read.

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