Title: Kill Baxter
Author: Charlie Human
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Synopsis: (Back of book)
The world has been massively unappreciative of sixteen-year-old Baxter Zevcenko. His bloodline may be a combination of ancient Boer mystic and giant shape-shifting crow, and he may have won an inter-dimensional battle and saved the world, but does anyone care? No.
Instead he’s packed off to Hexpoort, a magical training school that’s part reformatory, part military school, and just like Hogwarts (except with sex, drugs, and better internet access). The problem is that Baxter sucks at magic. He’s also desperately attempting to control his new ability to dreamwalk, all the while being singled out by the school’s resident bully, who just so happens to be the Chosen One.
But when the school comes under attack, Baxter needs to forget all that and step into action. The only way is joining forces with his favourite recovering alcoholic of a supernatural bounty hunter, Ronin, to try and save the world from the apocalypse. Again.
I picked up Kill Baxter, along with the first book Apocalypse Now Now, with much excitment as I would be able to read yet another local South African author who has “made it”. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book; the telling of Baxter Zevcenko, leader of the Spiders, a group that run a lucrative porn business within the school grounds as their means of setting themselves apart from the gangs and the runts. That is until things take a turn for the worst for Baxter, as events lead him to think that he is a serial killer whenever he blacks out, only for the supernatural world to become a solid reality as Baxter finds out he is part Siener (an ancient Boer mystic people) and part Crow (giant shape-shifting crow creatures). And then he saves the world.
Kill Baxter begins at the end of Apocalypse Now Now, after the almost apocalyptic event that destroyed a Cape Town in a different dimension (uh read the book for details, I recommend it) but no one knows of his heroism and bravery. However, new events unfold as he goes to the secret government magic school, that will allow him to avoid juvenile detention following the unbelievable events that left many dead. In the midst of this, a legend has crept into the Hidden realm, a mysterious entity referred to as Muti Man, who seems to be the reason plenty MK16 agents are dead and missing teeth. And Baxter is once again in the middle of the chaos that ensues.
I must say that I absolutely love Charlie Human’s writing style and gritty dark scenarios peppered with humour and witty sarcasm. I have never laughed out loud in a cafe while reading a book but this book has changed that little fact. The characters are fascinating, each with their own quirks that set them apart so well. The descriptions he uses for some of the creatures are just brilliant. In one scene he refers to a goblin like creature as “He has misshapen head, bulging eyes , and thick, coarse hair, like a shower cap made of pubes.” Also, he does not hold back in his language or the crude remarks that Baxter makes which gives the characters so much colour and life. So on that note, I will also say that the language is pretty harsh so not for the faint of heart.
In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would probably read them both again just to once again delve into the underground magical realms of Cape Town, in the boots of the lovely (note sarcasm), dual minded Baxter Zevcenko.
Rating: Mind blown 5 out of 5