Junkyard Leopard by Oliver Brackenbury

Junkyard Leopard by Oliver BrackenburyMany of us might have thought hypothetically about taking revenge on the corrupt bankers who brought the country into a financial crisis at the expense of everyday citizens. With Junkyard Leopard, you get to live out that fantasy through a killer known as The Figure. I’m hoping most readers don’t actually fantasize about inflicting grizzly violence, but hey, we all go a little mad sometimes.

The Figure is quite a distinct sight, clad in leopard print Lycra from head to toe, including over her face, and a white fur coat. She targets rich bankers, lawyers, and corporate leaders who’ve made money off the back of the everyman, and strikes with a calculated but emphatic vengeance. Her killing grounds are the upper floors of corporate headquarters. Junkyard Leopard is her story. Oliver Brackenbury has to be applauded for creating such a distinctive and memorable anti-hero.

The financial crisis that peaked in 2008 is an emotive subject. Many people have lost their jobs and homes due to reckless greed and financial mismanagement by supposedly trustworthy bankers. They have often escaped any real punishment, thanks, in part, to equally scummy lawyers. The government let people down in bringing justice. The powerlessness of individuals to make change is addressed with The Figure. Despite the visceral violence, you’re on The Figure’s side, and just to ease your conscience, the people she kills show their ruthless unpleasantness and taste for illegal activities. We follow her as she blazes on a journey of vengeance through the financial district.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the book is the character of The Figure and her everyday alter ego, Mary. We follow two very separate characters, for the most part closed off to one another. The Figure is calculating, cold and efficient. Mary is nervous and shy. They are very different personalities and this dynamic dichotomy, encompassing both their lives, is engrossing. The opposing force to The Figure is Gerald Byrne, a CEO, financier, and young business leader in the city, who is brutally blinded but, nevertheless, a survivor of one of the early attacks. The implications of the attack affected all aspects of his life and business.

So, corporate greed is a major issue in the book, as is crushing student debt, and even terrorism. Mary’s boyfriend, Ahmed, is persecuted and attacked for being Syrian in the wake of a terrorist attack on the Sears Tower. The author is putting forth an analogy of executives as the real economic terrorists. The biggest question is this: what difference can one person make in a world filled with competing good causes and wrong-doers protected by money?

FistsCU

As the story progresses, life gets more complicated for Mary and The Figure, as a relationship and a copycat offer unexpected challenges and problems. The violence in the book will satisfy all gorehounds. To give you just a selection, you’ll find eye gouging, drills, bricks to the face, and acid. The Figure uses all kind of tools, often homemade, and each one is used once and discarded. What they all have in common is being brutal and terribly effective.

There is really clever symmetry at the end, as the book reaches its inevitable showdown and conclusion. I strongly recommend this book. Fascinating characters, ultra-violence, and leopard print style. What more could you ask for?

8.5/10

Pick up a copy here: http://amzn.to/1MjsyOO

Book Cover Blurb:

Steal billions. Satisfy your every desire

. Wreck the lives of millions. Never see the inside of a jail cell. It used to be a pretty good life … in finance. Entire floors worth of corrupt investment bankers and hedge fund managers are being wiped out, one gore-spattered evening at a time. A costumed serial killer, known only to herself as The Figure, has begun pushing back with crowbars, claw hammers, and whatever else is at hand.

Win Guillermo Del Toro’s Trollhunters

I’m excited to bring a new competition to promote the release of Guillermo Del Toro and Daniel Kraus’ Trollhunters. Samples & prizing are provided by Disney-Hyperion

THE HORROR FAN STARTER PACK

One (1) winner will receive a Disney-Hyperion collection of Young Adult Horror Books including:

  • Trollhunters by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus
  • The Enemy by Charlie Higson
  • Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
  • plus branded Trollhunters pins!

To Win: Like The Books of Blood on Facebook or follow @thebooksofblood on Twitter, and leave a comment below. The winner will be drawn on August 10.

HorrorGenrePrize

ABOUT THE BOOK

“You are food. Those muscles you flex to walk, lift, and talk? They’re patties of meat topped with chewy tendon. That skin you’ve paid so much attention to in mirrors? It’s delicious to the right tongues, a casserole of succulent tissue. And those bones that give you the strength to make your way in the world? They rattle between teeth as the marrow is sucked down slobbering throats. These facts are unpleasant but useful. There are things out there, you see, that don’t cower in holes to be captured by us and cooked over our fires. These things have their own ways of trapping their kills, their own fires, their own appetites.”

Jim Sturges is your typical teen in suburban San Bernardino— one with an embarrassingly overprotective dad, a best friend named “Tubby” who shares his hatred of all things torturous (like gym class), and a crush on a girl who doesn’t know he exists. But everything changes for Jim when a 45-year old mystery resurfaces, threatening the lives of everyone in his seemingly sleepy town. Soon Jim has to team up with a band of unlikely (and some un-human) heroes to battle the monsters he never knew existed.

From the minds of horror geniuses Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus comes a new illustrated novel about the fears that move in unseen places.

Pick up a copy here: http://amzn.to/1g2Y1aY

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Guillermo del Toro is best known for his critically acclaimed feature films, such as Pan’s Labyrinth, Helllboy, The Hobbit, and Pacific Rim, as well as his best-selling Strain Trilogy.

Daniel Kraus is the award-winning author of Scowler and Rotters, and is the director of six feature films. He lives with his wife in Chicago.

From Pan’s Labyrinth to Hellboy to his best-selling novel The Strain, del Toro has captured the imagination through his works. His co-author Daniel Kraus is another award-winning author and filmmaker with a penchant for horror stories. Kraus’ debut novel, The Monster Variations, was selected for New York Public Library’s “100 Best Stuff for Teens.” Fangoria called Rotters, his Bram Stoker-finalist and Odyssey Award-winning second novel, “a new horror classic.” Kraus’ 2013 title, Scowler, also won an Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

Sean Murray is an illustrator, concept artist, author and teacher known for his work on video games such as Dungeons & Dragons Online and The Lord of the Rings Online, as well as the creator of The World of Gateway, which includes his fantasy guidebook Gateway: The Book of Wizards and the upcoming card game Gateway Uprising.

Peek inside the book:

PRAISE FOR TROLLHUNTERS

“Guillermo del Toro’s name on the cover of a children’s book –  be sure the adventure is not for the timid hearted! He knows the young want stories that do not lie about the shadows under beds and bridges – and in human hearts. Trollhunters teaches us about both kinds. About true friendship, grim and slimy heroes, the strength of outsiders- and the courage it takes to face everyday life.” – Cornelia Funke, Bestselling author of the Inkheart trilogy

“Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus have deftly forged a thrilling, nightmare-inducing monstrous world filled with terrifying trolls, lost boys and mysterious artifacts. The gruesome text, paired with ghoulish illustrations, makes for a fantastic adventure in an underground kingdom that’s just a dangerous as the trials and tribulations of middle school. I’m never looking under my bed again.” – Tony DiTerlizzi, Bestselling author and co-creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles

LEARN MORE

Learn more at Un-RequiredReading.com

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