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SUICIDE MACHINE, the cleverly written new novel by Mike Watt (pictured), follows Tanith Godwin, demon slayer—and lesbian!—as she discovers that even if you have a centuries-old warrior inside you, it doesn’t protect you from the everyday bullshit of human life.
She has help in the form of Keith, a healer (who, as the name suggests, has the power to heal wounds) and Bobby, a shadow walker (who can travel from place to place by hiding in the shadows). After succumbing to a brutal attack by an otherwise handsome man with three demons lurking inside him, Tanith begins to display occult powers like floating off the floor and seeing other demons through their human disguises. Tanith does not want these “talents” and wishes to be a normal human, so with Keith and Bobby’s help, she tracks down a tattoo artist who is able to ink away those qualities she is physically displaying. She also receives something else: the help of an ancient demon slayer by the name of Demtrios. Now Tanith is ready to get her revenge on the sick and twisted monsters that are out to destroy both her and her world.
While SUICIDE MACHINE hits the ground running, with little time for the reader to get comfortable or ease into Watt’s universe, it eventually settles down and becomes a dynamic blend of human emotion and bloody demon-dispatching that pays off. Tanith’s unflinching methods of handling intense situations make her a strong, unusual but still very relatable heroine, and Watt lays out scene after scene of blood and gore, but never at the expense of the strong characters he creates. He opts to explore a kinky, hidden underground with people and places that exist on the fringes of “normal” society. From Goths in seedy basement clubs to S&M shops and gay culture, they’re all woven into the author’s serpentine tale of revenge and bloodlust.
Sometimes sad but often very funny, occasionally sexually graphic and often exceedingly violent, SUICIDE MACHINE is an entertaining read, in many ways the literary equivalent of a hybrid of EVIL DEAD and KILL BILL. I’ll be waiting for the next Tanith Godwin book…
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