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Review of Clickers III: Dagon Rising by J. F. Gonzalez & Brian Keene

by Brian Keene, J F Gonzalez
Published by Delerium Books on September 2010
Pages: 244
Format: Paperback
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What started as a collaboration between J F Gonzalez and Mark Williams back in the late 90s has evolved over the last decade and a half (following the latter’s untimely death) into an entirely new beast – courtesy of the addition of one of the heavyweights in today’s horror writing circles, Brian Keene. Fortunately, this new beast remains “pulptastically” entertaining.

The Clickers series is not meant to be high art. It’s meant to entertain. And by this third edition to the series, Gonzalez and Keene have nailed a formula that does exactly that, embracing the initial threat of large crabs invading our coast lines, enhancing it with their intelligent aquatic masters (the Dark Ones), and then layering on an evil God of these mermen that wants to destroy the world. This latter element in particular allows Clickers III to work nicely into Keene’s ever-expanding Labyrinth mythos (which though beyond the scope of this review basically means all of his works link into the same multiverse in one way or another). As such, fans of Keene’s work are likely to get more out of this third novel in the series than straight up Clickers fans, but there’s still plenty of gory, B-movie madness for all to enjoy.

In essence, Clickers III trades the wide-scale mayhem of the second book for a more intimate setting, as a small group of people are recruited/strong-armed by a top-secret, off-the-books organisation to stop the Dark One’s God, Dagon, before it can cross over into our world. Of course, there are Clickers and Dark Ones aplenty that stand in their way …

Keene’s influence feels stronger in this entry – mainly because of the aforementioned God and its efforts to destroy the world – but it would be fascinating to know how these two writers and friends managed to write this book together. Regardless of what they did, it works. The characters are fun (Tony Genova’s reluctant hero is especially memorable), the carnage cartoonishly viscous, and the writing is solid.

Little more probably needs to be said. If you’ve read the first two Clickers novels, chances are you’ve already snapped this one up and probably enjoyed it. If you haven’t, this is a great send-off for the series (given Clickers vs Zombies has since been published but it’s not set in the same universe), so check out all three and settle in for some gooey madness.

4 Blood Soaked Tridents for Clickers III: Dagon Rising.

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