New pulp story filled with action. We witness how the Black Centipede was born, and the dark story surrounding Lizzie Borden and a super natural being, Mary Jane Gallows. I found clever the way Chuck Miller mixed fantasy and reality in this tale, and the supposed theory about Lizzie Borden’s crimes. Mary Jane will become the Black Centipede’s nemesis throughout the book and she is the one that will trigger the change in William to become a hero. An echo of the classic masked heroes, the Black Centipede is much more than that. He protects the citizens of Zenith, but in fact he enjoys fighting and hurting, and one of his main goals is giving chase to a new villain, Dr. Almanac, and see who is behind him.
I especially enjoyed William’s youth, in which he mentions being friend of H.P. Lovecraft, and even helping him naming his monsters. The beginning of the novel is dark, not only because of his friendship with Lovecraft, but also by how young William is uncannily attracted to a murderess. This will be crucial for his personality development.
There is a clear human component to the Black Centipede, but there is also something else, ambiguously described in the book. This aura of mystery will make the character of the Black Centipede even more interesting.
Several dialogs and scenes made me laugh a lot, by how extravagant they were, but I have to say that the whole book is quite weird but in a good way. This book is written as the memoirs of the Black Centipede. It is written in first person and it uses a rich language and humorous figures. It is a pleasure to the ear.
I really enjoyed Chris Grall’s narration. His tone is direct and compelling, and his voice makes the listener focus on the tale Chuck wove. I think he was the perfect narrator for this story. Checking Audible, I only see two books narrated by Grall, but I am sure we will listen to more books narrated by him. There were no issues with the audio production.
This may not be a book for everyone, but if you are into classic or new pulp, or want just to enjoy a different book, I strongly recommend it.
Available at Amazon/Audible