Review: “Night-Blooded Boys,” Sam Witt

Pros: Love watching the whole family get into it!
Cons: They’re remarkably hard to kill
Rating: 4 out of 5

Night-Blooded Boys: A Pitchfork County Novel by Sam Witt, is filled with explosions, fist-fights, magical duels, and blood. The feel of the book is different from its predecessors because it takes place in part outside the usual Pitchfork venue, with a wider range of unusual beings than we’re used to seeing. It lets us know that Pitchfork is hardly alone in its supernatural problems. It picks up with a fracking operation coming to town that looses something nasty–and more than just an ordinary poison. This thing is changing people, and it’s getting into the tap water. Joe knows he needs to stop what’s going on, but that turns out to be much more difficult and complicated than he thought. A company is bottling this evil stuff, and planning to auction it off to the highest supernatural bidders. It could apparently make them even stronger than they already are.

 

This time we get to see Joe and his family work more-or-less as a team to stop an evil that threatens to spread well past Pitchfork’s borders. I loved getting to watch all of them. Al is getting better at harnessing his inner demon. Elsa is holding her own against some of the spirits that caused her problems in the past. Stevie’s getting her Bog Witch on, and Joe is still a bit uncertain as to whether he should continue his ‘kill ’em all’ policy on creatures, especially now that his family is full-on supernatural and not in a happy-shiny white hat kind of way. He also stops to realize that if he just mows over the fracking facility he’d wreck one of the only sources of jobs in the county, and that would not be good for it. He’s finally trying to think about things like collateral damage and the well-being of other people, which I loved watching.

The amount of damage the characters could take added up awfully high. I know they’ve got abilities that help to heal them, but they keep using those abilities long after they’ve supposedly strained them to their limits. If they’d been stronger at first it would have been easier to buy into their continual use.

Witt is fantastic at making random weird things that sound unimpressive into fights that make your heart pound. Fighting with a parasite sounds, well, difficult to picture as a battle, and yet he makes it work. Stevie’s big battle is awesome to behold. The climax involves an incredibly extensive fight scene that I found simultaneously over-the-top and totally engrossing.

There’s a new sheriff in town who busts Joe’s balls; it’ll be interesting to see how she affects the ongoing story. Although I wasn’t fond of her character at first, I grew to like her later on.

This installment in the Pitchfork County series isn’t quite as top-notch as what came before, but it’s a lot of fun! I certainly plan to continue reading the series.

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