Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Everything Box by Richard Kadrey

What happens if a doomsday device goes missing?  Not a boring old nuclear weapon - a true doomsday device, lost by an angel back in the dim ages of human history.  The Angel Qaphsiel has been sent by God to finish the work started by the Great Flood.  He has a box that when opened, will bring the apocalypse.  Well, he had a box, till he lost it somewhere on earth.

Several thousand years later, a small time criminal named Charlie Cooper finds himself being released from prison early through the efforts of a powerful man who needs a job done.  A box needs stealing, and Coop is just the man to do it, because Coop, unlike most humans, is immune to magic.  He's not immune to screwing up, though.

And Coop's employer is not the only one looking for the box.  Rival criminals, a couple of highly incompetent occult groups, the local police's Department of Peculiar Science, and no less than two celestial beings are also on the hunt for the box.

The Everything Box would be a great crossover for those who enjoy humorous fiction and may want to try a bit of fantasy.  It shares many of the same characteristics as a typical Carl Hiaasen novel - humor, criminal characters, a plot rife with coincidences.  Kadrey adds elements of magic, and he does it in a way that the supernatural integrates seamlessly with the realism of the main plot, which is essentially a caper novel.  It may also appeal to fans of urban fantasy like Jim Butcher's Dresden Files.

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