Coffin Riders

James W. Bodden. Necro/Bedlam (necropublications.com), $8.95 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-939065-74-2
The protagonist of this nihilistic afterlife fantasy shows more determination in his efforts to escape from hell than he did in any endeavor during his life—except, perhaps, his decision to blow his brains out in a suicide pact made with his girlfriend, Lorraine. When Bloom wakes up alone in hell’s Paradise Cove—an “assisted afterlife facility”—and Lorraine fails to follow, Bloom realizes that he’s been double-crossed. Hell-bent on revenge, he decides to become a “coffin rider,” a serial suicide who kills himself through all of hell’s nine levels in the hope of returning to the world of the living. As imagined by Bodden (Red Light Princess), each succeeding hell is more comically gruesome than the last, and as Bloom meets their infernal challenges, he takes pride in realizing that “I am a far better demon than a random, simple human.” Bloom’s adventures become a bit repetitive, but the reader winds up rooting for him, right through the surprise twist at the story’s end. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Genre: Fiction
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