For all the resources I turn to when I want the latest book news — including Locus magazine, Facebook, Amazon, conventions, and suggestions from friends — there’s really no replacement for browsing a really great book store. The Barnes & Noble in Geneva, Illinois, is a really great book store, and I’ve made many of fine discovery there. Last Saturday was no exception, and I walked out with a copy of Apocalypse Now Now, the first novel by Charlie Human to feature sixteen year-old Baxter Zevcenko, veteran of South Africa’s supernatural underworld.
Lauren Beukes (Broken Monsters) called Apocalypse Now Now “A demented, raucous urban fantasy,” and Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim) labels it “Part teenage wasteland, part Lovecraft fever dream.” The second novel, Kill Baxter, was published in trade paperback by Titan last year, and arrives in a mass market edition this month.
Here’s the description for Apocalypse Now Now.
Baxter Zevcenko’s life is pretty sweet. He’s making a name for himself as the kingpin of his smut-peddling high-school syndicate, the other gangs are staying out of his business,
and he’s dating the girl of his dreams, Esme.
But when Esme gets kidnapped, things start to get seriously weird, and the only man drunk enough to help is a bearded, booze-soaked, supernatural bounty hunter that goes by the name of Jackson ‘Jackie’ Ronin.
Plunged into the increasingly bizarre landscape of Cape Town’s supernatural underworld, Baxter and Ronin team up to save Esme. On a journey that takes them through the realms of impossibility, they must face every conceivable nightmare to get her back, including the odd brush with the Apocalypse.
And here’s the back cover copy for Kill Baxter.
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, 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 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 favourite recovering alcoholic of a supernatural bounty hunter, Ronin, to try and save the world from the apocalypse. Again.
Both novels are still in print from Titan Books. Read Niall Alexander’s review of the first novel at Tor.com.
See all our coverage of the best in Series Fantasy here.