Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk

Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk by Wayne Turmel

Johnny Lupul is riding high. He’s got a PI license, a concealed carry permit, his first big payday and a monster of a secret. After rescuing a bookie’s daughter from Russian mobsters, the newbie PI catches the attention of a rich, mysterious client.

At first, it’s easy money. After all, magic isn’t real and those “occult” objects have to be fakes. But while chasing an ancient relic, an obsessed enemy from his past emerges. Johnny learns that the world is much stranger—and more dangerous—than he ever suspected.

Malignant forces dwell in Egyptian artifacts, Romani superstition is fact, and being a werewolf may be the most normal thing he has to face on this case.

The IndieMuse Review

If you’ll pardon the pun, Johnny Lycan is an unusual beast. Part Urban Fantasy, part Detective Noir, with lashings of comedy and elements of horror, one thing that ties all these disparate elements together, is that Johnny Lycan is a hell of a lot of fun!

Johnny has had a lot of jobs in his time. Goon for hire, construction worker, and now a PI. His latest job is to find the kidnapped daughter of a shifty former employer. It is one of those rare jobs where the fact that Johnny is a werewolf comes in handy.

Following some early successes, Johnny’s skills get noticed by someone in the big time. Someone with a lot of cash and a penchant for the occult. He tasks Johnny with retrieving the Anubis Disk, a relic with untold supernatural power, from a rival collector. This seemingly easy job becomes more complicated when a rival werewolf comes looking for Johnny with an axe to grind and a taste for blood.

Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk is one of those books where, once you’ve started reading, it’s tough to put down. The story wastes absolutely no time getting started (the first line drops us right into the midst of a full-on brawl) and doesn’t really slow down at all until the last page. Turmel throws a lot of different characters and plot developments at the reader, giving scant time to get bored. Johnny is a great character to take us along for the ride. Funny and self-deprecating, a little oblivious and often in over his head, he walks a fine line between action star and comic relief.

The supporting cast is large but memorable, and the world-building is strong. Neither of these elements is all that original, but they work well enough and give the titular lead lots of space to take ownership of his own book while also setting up enough apart from Johnny to keep readers interested in future adventures. What does set the book apart is a rich vein of humour throughout. Turmel does have a knack for a good punchline and the dialogue between characters is never anything less than witty and engaging. The good-natured back and forth between Johnny and best friend Bill is a particular standout.

The ending does get a little convoluted, involving an overly complicated plan that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but considering we’re discussing a story about a werewolf detective who lives with a witch, searching for magical artifacts that drink your blood, it feels like a minor criticism to pick holes in the logic too much. It is easy to forgive when the book is so unashamedly entertaining.

You’ve never read a book quite like Johnny Lycan. It’s hilarious, it’s exciting, it’s gripping and it’s a bit silly and, above all, it’s a ton of fun. Here’s hoping the world’s favorite werewolf PI has plenty more adventures to come.

 

RICHARD MARTIN

Richard started reading horror books at a young age, starting with R L Stine’s ‘Goosebumps’ and ‘Point Horror’ series. He traumatised himself at the age of twelve when he read Stephen King’s ‘IT’, and never looked back. He is currently based in the UK, where he lives with his partner, and an inappropriate amount of books.

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