Tales of the Rampant Coyote

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Quick Take: Hellhound On My Trail

Posted by Rampant Coyote on January 12, 2016

RockBandVEvilA rock band that changes its name for every gig. A new bassist with an unpleasant past haunted (literally) by the ghost of his brother, contemplating suicide. Some twists on religious tradition and mythology. A giant attacking hellhound and swarms of demonic giant flies. And lots of guns, knives, swords, and chase scenes.

That pretty much sums up Hellhound On My Trail, by D. J. Butler. It’s the first book of the Rock Band Fights Evil series, and if the first book is any indication, the series is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a short novel and a quick read that stomps the accelerator in chapter 1 and never really lets off much.

The titular “Rock Band” consists of a bunch of musicans who aren’t exactly on God’s good side. But they haven’t thrown in with the opposition either; on the contrary, they have a bone to pick with the forces of evil, for individual reasons.

Mike Archuleta is a replacement bassist planning on getting drunk and committing suicide after this last gig, but his plans are interrupted by a fiery monster from hell attacking the band. While his checkered past means he’s no slouch with a handgun, he’s the newbie on the team, and spends a lot of the time asking the other band members what’s going on. That’s perhaps the biggest downside to the book, and one I hope to see less of in future installments. At least the mythology Butler builds here is pretty interesting stuff.

While there’s a smattering of horror and comedy (I particularly love Eddie Marlow’s hilarious back-story of a crossroads deal gone wrong), for the most part the book is straight-up pulp-style action and adventure. Which I’m totally down with. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

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