An Atomic Moo Book Review of Charlie Human’s Novel
Fucking Muggles. Wait. Wrong book. Not that I think anyone would confuse sixteen-year-old Baxter Zevcenko with that magic kid from England. After all, I’m pretty sure Mr. Potter never had to attend a pornography anonymous meeting, or had to shoot the heads of of blood thirsty fairies. Sure, both teenagers have lives surrounded by magic, curses, and monsters, but the similarities end there. Where old Harry’s novels are aimed at a younger audience, Charlie Human’s novel of a young magical apprentice is for a more adult audience.
Of course I’m leading up to my review of Kill Baxter, the 2015 follow up novel to Human’s first book, Apocalypse Now Now. Published by Titan Books, Kill Baxter is a fast paced, and highly irreverent, tale of sixteen year old Baxter Zevcenko’s immersion into the dark world of magic. Based in South Africa, and taking place soon after the events of the first novel, Baxter is off to Hexpoort (South Africa’s militant version of Hogwarts) to learn how to be a proper magical agent. Then all hell brakes loose and Baxter is off on adventure to save the world with his alcoholic mentor. And now for the review…
Usually I wouldn’t get more than a page into a book about a moody teenager – who just happened to be born with incredible magic talents. However; Baxter get’s his ass kicked just enough for me to really enjoy this novel. Combine that with just enough Harry Potter rips, a spiritual journey that includes members of a psychedelic funk band (the Psychosexual Development – they’re literally in his head…), and a group of battle ready porno-holics (probably not a real word, but why the fuck not?), and you’re on your way to a damn good read. Human moves his story so fast (almost to a fault) that characters aren’t really left with too much time to spend in the real world as Baxter and his mentor, Ronin, hunt down the latest threat to South Africa. Which is also another interesting take on the magical teen tale. This entire story is based in South Africa, and in many parts of the novel, draws from African lore and magic. Though it stays (mostly) away from South Africa’s history with apartheid, it doesn’t pretend it never happened either. My only real criticism of this story is it’s pacing. The story rolls out so quick it’s like having a breathless kid tell you about their really cool best friend. Often the story blazes from on scene to another with a sort of “well, they just got lucky there” kind of vibe. However, more often then not, the story avoids taking its self too serious and still remains fun. I think readers will enjoy the adventures of two dysfunctional magic users bumbling their way through one disaster after another.
Check out the official synopsis below of go and get your own copy of Kill Baxter at Titanbooks.com.
The world has been massively unappreciative of sixteen-year-old Baxter Zevcenko. His bloodline may be a combination of ancient Boer mystic and giant shape-shifting crow, and he may have won an inter-dimensional battle and saved the world, but does anyone care? No.
Instead he’s packed off to Hexpoort, a magical training school that’s part reformatory, part military school, and just like Hogwarts (except with sex, drugs, and better internet access). The problem is that Baxter sucks at magic. He’s also desperately attempting to control his new ability to >b>dreamwalk, all the while being singled out by the school’s resident bully, who just so happens to be the Chosen One.
But when the school comes under attack, Baxter needs to forget all that and step into action. The only way is joining forces with his favorite recovering alcoholic of a supernatural bounty hunter, Ronin, to try and save the world from the apocalypse. Again.