Author: David Wong
Genre: Fantasy | Comedy | Science-Fiction
Release Date: March 13th, 2012
First of all, I wanted to say that I should have known that it was too good to last. The spontaneity and insane plot twists that were prevalent in the first book is glaringly absent in its sequel. I'm not saying it's really bad. I'm just saying it's not anywhere near as good as the first book.
The first book; John Dies at the End (JDate), wasn't written with any fixed plots in line. Reading it felt like the author was just winging it as he went, with random turns and swerving in the storyline that made you wonder where it was all going. That came out very well and made you feel invigorated albeit bewildered at times, to read this fine piece of random chaotic plots. If you're looking for a great break-down of JDate, just check out the great Stephen's review of it here.
In comparison TBiFoS is subjected to a more rigid and conventional plot. You know where it's going, and how it's going to end but you don't know what will happen in between. That's the ugly bit. It's nearly predictable (but not quite!). The one thing that made it uberly awesome in JDate was almost removed entirely from TBiFoS.
Now back to the book itself. TBiFoS is about a supernatural critter that looks like a spider, but it invisible to most people with the exception of "Them", David and John. Oh and they also take over people's bodies by burrowing into their mouths and brains, ripping apart their soft tissues while doing so, creating the physical semblance of a nearly unstoppable Zombie. The spiders appeared out of nowhere and were nesting in David's bed for some weird reason (never stated), and apparently those two doofuses thought that the best way to handle the situation is not by trying to quarantine the outbreak in their house, but rather by burning the house down. Which inevitable leads to their escape into the wild and subsequent mind control of the entire town of [Undisclosed]. Fortunately the military responded in time and blockaded the entire town before it really got out of hand. Unfortunately they're also going to raze the entire town with thousands of pounds of explosives with the duo still inside.
TBiFoS' plot is furthered by a series of foolish decisions made by the duo, which serve to screw things up even more and some really, really bad moves by Amy (which by the way made me want to throw the book at the wall, that's how stupid it -no she- was.) If it wasn't for her, it wouldn't have gotten this bad and a major character wouldn't have gotten knocked off. But then there wouldn't have been a story. But honestly I would have preferred one without her.
JDate was awesome, the epitome of comedic storytelling in a modern supernatural setting. TBiFoS felt like the author was trying too hard to replicate the soaring success of his previous book but crashed and burned, taking down everything that made the first book so damn good. TBiFoS was nowhere near JDate on the awesomeness scale. You'd be better off relishing the good memories and laughs you got out of the first book than sully it by reading this.
Overall: 5.5/10 (3 Stars)