Triple Feature is the third installment in Andrea Speed’s fabulous Josh of the Damned series, which follows the adventures of Quik-Mart employee Josh as he faces all sorts of creatures popping up from the nearby hell vortex (see reviews for Pretty Monsters and Peek-a-Boo). While the first two stories were little nibbles, in this third book we get three slightly longer stories packaged together into a novella that brings a lot more depth to the series. In addition to continuing the great humor and lively tone of the earlier books, Triple Feature also gives us a lot more world-building and more development in the relationship between Josh and his hot vampire boyfriend Colin.
Although I think this book could stand alone, there are definitely characters and situations referenced from those first two stories. Plus, this series is so light and clever, they are certainly worth reading as well. Speed does a great job combining the mundane life of a convenience store employee with the crazy world of monsters and alternate realities and this mix just works so well.
In Night of the Mustache, Josh is recovering with Colin on the roof of the Quik-Mart after the first time Colin has bitten him. Apparently a vampire bite leaves you feeling orgasmic and post-coital at the same time, resulting in sort of a foggy afterglow. Josh is still struggling to get his legs back under him when they are confronted with yet another otherworldly creature, this time in the form of a giant mustache monster as tall as the store. The mustache first takes out some bikers in the parking lot, grabbing them with its long hairy tendrils. It then sets it sights on Colin and Josh, and they must fight for their lives against this crazy creature.
In this first story, we get some nice world building along with the monster attack. We learn that vampires don’t burn in the sun and don’t sleep in coffins. We also find out that Colin is around 300 years old, but has no memory of turning or his life prior to becoming a vampire. Most interesting to me, is that Colin explains that because his world and the creatures within it are not part of our reality, most humans forget what they see from the other dimension. For some reason, both Josh and his boss Mr. Kwon do not forget, which means that there is something special about them. Whether that is good or bad is too soon to tell.
In I Was Cthulhu’s Love Slave, Josh is working on Christmas eve. He has no family and his roommate is gone, so he figures he might as well work rather than sitting around watching depressing holiday specials. When Mr. Kwon comes in, we learn more about the mystery from the first story, finding out what exactly makes him remember what comes out of the vortex.
After Mr. Kwon leaves, Josh is hanging out, reading magazines and eating microwaved popcorn, when an unfamiliar creature walks in. The guy is pretty much a squid man, full of long tentacles instead of limbs. He starts to threaten Josh, claiming to be the famous god Cthulhu. When Josh informs him that is impossible because he is nothing like him, squid man gets all offended. Fortunately, when things start to get dicey, Colin and Josh’s yeti friend both come into the store, jumping to his defense. At least if Josh is always going to be in a danger, it is nice to have a powerful yeti and a hot vampire boyfriend ready to come to the rescue!
The final story, Interview with the Empire, gives us our longest and most detailed view into Colin’s world and we finally learn what it is that makes Josh so special to these creatures. When Josh is summoned by Colin’s boss, the head monster in his world, Josh has no choice but to comply. When he gets there, we get our first glimpse into this other dimension, a world similar in many ways to our own, but populated by a host of monsters and crazy creatures. When Josh meets the big boss, he finally learns what it is about him that is so different and that allows him to remember the creatures from the vortex. She also tells him that he has a mission, one he can’t imagine how to accomplish, but at which he must succeed in order to save a host of human lives.
Josh also learns that meeting Colin wasn’t just a coincidence, and that his hot vampire was actually been sent to keep an eye on him. Josh has never understood what the super sexy Colin sees in him, and this news shakes him up and makes him believe that Colin has never really been interested in him more than a job. He is angry and hurt that Colin has never revealed the truth about why they met, and Colin must convince him that his feelings are real. I really liked this aspect of the story and appreciated finally seeing more between Josh and Colin beyond making out and warding off bad guys. It was nice to see some focus on their relationship and how things are going between them.
Overall I think this was a great installment to this fabulous series. We get a nice resolution, but there is a lot of room for more to come both for Josh individually and for he and Colin together. I am definitely looking forward to more.
Cover Review: OMG, the cover is fabulous! Love the sort of old school horror movie feel. Very unique and original. Great job!
Today Andrea Speed will be stopping as part of her virtual blog tour to share more about Josh and the series, as well as to offer a great giveaway. Be sure to check out her blog stop for more details!