What most people call a hellish shift, Josh Caplan calls a normal evening. After all, he works nights at a convenience store beside the mouth of hell, selling snacks to zombies and lizard men.
Some monsters are odder—and more dangerous—than most. Like the rampaging, oversized mustache who skips the Pringles and eats the customers instead. Or Cthulhu’s half-brother Stan, who doesn't know how to take no for an answer . . . or where to put all those tentacles.
But killer facial hair and inept hentai beasts pale in comparison to the monster even other monsters fear. When hell’s big boss demands a sit-down with Josh, she reveals a destiny bigger than he’d ever imagined—or wanted. You'd think preventing the apocalypse would net Josh more than minimum wage and a hot vampire boyfriend, but it turns out saving the world can be a pretty thankless job.
In book 1 of the Josh of the Damned series, Pretty Monsters, we meet Josh Caplan. He works the night shift at the Quik Mart and since there’s a portal to hell right behind the Mart he gets a ton of strange customers. One of those customers is Colin – a vampire – and they become an item.
Night of the Mustache
As our Triple Feature begins Josh and Colin are on the roof of the Quik Mart having a little tete a tete and Josh is getting bitten for the first time. It renders him a bit bleary eyed, weak knee’d and his memory’s got a bit of a hole in it. On the whole though Josh pretty much thinks that being bit by Colin is the best thing since sliced bread. Josh is almost back to normal when they hear a strange noise. As they watch a huge…mustache…comes out of the sky and lands in the parking lot of the Quik Mart. It a bit freaky and even Colin has never seen anything like it. When it starts eating the bikers in the lot and then gets Colin, Josh is more than anxious to figure out how to get rid of the oversized facial hair.
This was definitely my favorite of the three stories. It was so bizarre and unreal that it made me laugh and of course Josh’s thoughts had me cracking up. Here’s an example:
Man! When he’d taken this job, he thought he’d most likely die at the hands of a robber. If he had known “ingested by ’stache” was a possibility, he’d have never signed on. Not without a raise and the promise of an on-site electric razor.
Needless to say it all ends well and Josh still continues to work at the Quik Mart – despite its strange occurrences.
I Was Cthulhu’s Love Slave
It’s Christmas night and Josh is at the Mart again. Yes, his boss told him that he could take the night off but with no family around and his roommate gone he figured why not go to work and be entertained by the monsters – and get time and a half.
His most interesting and annoying customer of the night comes in wearing a large black hat and trench coat. When he finally gets a good look at the guy he finds himself faced with green skin and many, many, many tentacles. The guy claim’s he’s Cthulhu and then starts to make his move on Josh. Luckily Colin walks in to try and save the day and then an even better helper arrives in the form of the Yeti that has been courting Josh (see book 2). Together the Yeti (that Josh has named Professor Bobo) and Colin take care of the hentai monster and save the day.
This was a pretty funny story. Stan Cthulhu was a complete overachiever and I loved that Colin and Bobo took care of him quickly. Josh has such a quick wit and comes up with fabulous quips on a regular basis.
Interview with the Empire
The night after Christmas Colin comes to see Josh. One of the things that’s been bothering Josh is that he can not only see these monsters but he remembers them as well. Most other humans see them but then quickly forget them and move on. When Colin says that his boss wants to see Josh he is none too thrilled but hopes that maybe he can figure out who and what he is. Josh heads off to Dev (what Josh thinks of as hell) to meet the big boss who was described to him as the monster that other monsters are afraid of. Yeah, no fear there, right? When Josh meets the boss she figures out what he is and sends him on a mission. Now we don’t actually get to see a conclusion to the mission but it’s a doozie and should keep Josh busy for a while. Josh also finds out some disturbing info about Colin that pisses Josh right off and they’ll have a time getting it back together.
The final story in the triple feature was a good one. We got to see where Colin came from and learn some interesting tidbits from his boss. I think what I liked about this story so much is though it’s “a day in the life” type story which is what we’ve got of Josh so far, it also gave Josh a mission that will continue, I assume, into the next book. The mission is definitely life or death so it will be interesting to see how Josh handles it all – as well as Colin.
Overall the triple feature was great and definitely a great continuation of Josh’s trials and tribulations at the Quik Mart. I would definitely recommend reading books 1 and 2 (which are 15 and 12 pages respectively) and can be read for free right now at Goodreads – go here and here. While definitely not romances all of the books there was enough of a relationship between Josh and Colin to soothe my romantic heart. Get ready to laugh – cuz they’re pretty darned funny.
Rating: 4.25 out of 5