by Terrance Mc Arthur
Coop is a thief. He steals things that have curses, paranormal security, and paranormal significance because magic can’t hurt him — he’s immune to it. He’s fresh out of the pen, and he’s out to get…a box. The problem is, he’s not the only one who wants the box.
• An angel has been looking for it for 4,000 years.
• A trailer-trash doomsday cult is after it.
• A grotesquely fat man will pay for it.
• A rival cult seeking to rebuild its membership wants it.
• A government agency will lock up Coop to get him to get it.
• A pair of demons just want to annoy Coop.
• …and a mysterious stranger is walking their way, leaving death and earthquakes in his footsteps.
What is the box?
• A whole lotta luck?
• A way to summon an ancient god?
• The end of the world?
That is the world of The Everything Box, the first book in a new series by Richard Kadrey, author of the Sandman Slim novels. It’s a twisted mixture of Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Ocean’s Eleven, and Mission: Impossible, with a half-teaspoon of The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. It has capers within capers because everyone either wants to have Coop steal the box or wants to steal it from him, and half the time he doesn’t even know where the box is.
• A sewer submarine
• A crashing boar (that is not a typographical error)
• A spectre who’s a real head case
• The Department of Peculiar Science (D.O.P.S.)
• A bureaucratic zombie
• Women who can make you not see things
• Men who can psychokinetically open locks
• Girl Scouts with fangs
• More kidnappings than you can count
• A Barcalounger worth its weight in cash, if not gold
• A paranormal mall
• Digital ants
• …and a government agent that everybody who works with wants to kill
Coop works with a crook who ratted him into jail and the woman who stomped on his heart, arrangements that are ticklish at best. The situations Kadrey invents are filled with off-kilter grace-notes that add a wait-let-me-read-that-again quality because he couldn’t have possibly put that down on paper. I read ideas I’d never encountered before, laughed at things I’d never laughed at before, and have already re-read some scenesk just because I wanted to. The Sandman Slim books were quirky and unique, but Coop has brought the urban-fantasy chickens home to roost.
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