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This is the second book in the series “John Dies at the End”, and the first book was just frustrating in my opinion. It was a struggle to get through that first book, so I picked this as my first book of the year as I was planning on donating the first book to charity, and figuring that the second book would be as difficult I wanted to get it out of the way and off to the shop. Except that this one was good. Really good.

Here’s the synopsis from GoodReads:

WARNING: You may have a huge, invisible spider living in your skull. THIS IS NOT A METAPHOR.

You will dismiss this as ridiculous fearmongering. Dismissing things as ridiculous fearmongering is, in fact, the first symptom of parasitic spider infection-the creature secretes a chemical into the brain to stimulate skepticism, in order to prevent you from seeking a cure. That’s just as well, since the “cure” involves learning what a chain saw tastes like.

You can’t feel the spider, because it controls your nerve endings. You can’t see it, because it decides what you see. You won’t even feel it when it breeds. And it will breed. So what happens when your family, friends, and neighbors get mind-controlling skull spiders? We’re all about to find out.

Just stay calm, and remember that telling you about the spider situation is not the same as having caused it. I’m just the messenger. Even if I did sort of cause it.

Either way, I won’t hold it against you if you’re upset. I know that’s just the spider talking.

I think that everything I disliked from the first book was gone from this one. There was an actually plot for a start, and yes it’s basically a zombie book, and it was coherent. There was a clear beginning, middle and end, without all the fucked up bits that were difficult to follow from the first book. It was enjoyable, and it was fun and it was relatively fast paced. It didn’t take long to read, taken longer because I’ve really not been well.

You can definitely see the evolution in the writing from this one and the first. This was definitely more defined in style and plot.

Amy and David’s relationship is a bit weird I have to say, because they constantly mention each other when we are with that person’s point of view, I didn’t get a sense the spark that would be their relationship. But I was pleased with the outcome, and glad that there was less [sic:none] of the inter-dimensional stuff that was in the first book – no weird monster that was the root of all evil, just the mysterious shadow men.

I think what I noticed about reading this book is the atmosphere. What I mean when I say this is how the book affects you outside of the covers. I was driving to work one day and saw a set of headlights in a side road that I usually wouldn’t have noticed, and it shit me up. No reason, aside from the fact that this book was playing on my brain. I also had at least one sleepless night where the book was playing on my mind filling it with weirdness.

I enjoyed this book, far more than I did the previous one as you can tell. It gives me hope that the next one will be just as good, as John isn’t dead yet, so there will have to be another!

What are you reading at the moment? Have you read this one? What did you think?