[REVIEW] The Conch Shell of Doom by Ryan Hill

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Title:
The Conch Shell of Doom
Author: Ryan Hill
Pub. Date: May 24th, 2016
Genres: NA, Paranormal, Humor
Format: Paperback
Source: Author
Rating: ★★★★✰

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Bailey didn’t mean to catch his parents plotting to unleash the sinister Trenton Maroney and his powerful oceanic army on the world. It was an honest mistake. Now, he’s got the horribly disfigured Mr. Lovell on his trail, which is doing wonders for Bailey’s anxiety.

His only ally is Franklin, a burn-out several decades past wishing his brother Trenton was destroyed for good. Franklin has battled his brother for two thousand years, and has nothing to show for it except his beloved Mustang.

To stop Mr. Lovell from awakening Trenton, Franklin and Bailey will have to get past his parents, a one-eyed stoner, crooked cops, giant Scotsmen, and Trenton’s army, which can only be summoned by one thing: the mysterious Conch Shell of Doom.

REVIEW

“Those who insist on remaining sheep will be eaten by wolves.” -Page 170

This is an interesting tale about a teenaged boy, Bailey, who discovers his parents’ part in a plot to unleash evil into the world. With his anxiety out of sorts and always messing things up for him, running away proves to be difficult, especially when a terrifying and deformed brute of a man can teleport. Convincing his friends he’s not crazy proves to be even more difficult, until they too see the truth and help Bailey try to foil their parents’ plans. Rushing head first into danger, Bailey and his friends follow shady characters, battle against stoners and immortals and Bailey’s own parents, and join forces with Franklin to prevent Trenton’s awakening.

This was a very enjoyable read, full of action and adventure! Death and violence was a huge part of this story, even when the tone was light. I loved every minute of it!

CHARACTERS
Bailey is a sixteen-year-old boy who struggles with anxiety. His medication doesn’t always work, especially when the anxiety is really bad. This is one of the things that prevents him from expressing his feelings for Alexis, Tim’s (one of his best buds) twin sister. He’s sweet and compassionate, always trying to be a gentleman around his crush. He’s also very awkward and insecure. No matter what though, he does what he believes is right, even if that means having to fight against his hypnotized parents while they try to kill him. He doesn’t let his anxiety control him all the time, and that was made evident the more his character grew. I quite liked him!

Alexis is the only one who really came close to death. She literally had seconds before she was dead, but they thankfully kept her alive. She’s brave, and after having already fought off leukemia, she’s strong enough to fight off any other form of death that tries to take her. She’s intelligent, strong, and she’s a Fangirl. She fought with a wand made by Merlin because how cool is that?! She’s wicked awesome with magic and got the hang of it pretty quickly. She never backed down from the fight, and I love her for it.

“Her limp head fell to the side, exposing her pale neck. Bailey was glad there weren’t any vampires around. They’d probably take that as open invitation.” -Page 149

Tim + Marshall are pretty similar, only Tim likes to think he’s a ninja and has some pretty cool moves despite being the smallest of the group, while Marshall has muscle but tends to freeze up in uncertainty. They were entertaining and made jokes like no tomorrow, especially about Julie’s boobs and how many there might be in her bar.

“It’s a bar. All they do is drink alcohol. The boob stuff they probably do out back or something.” -Page 213

Franklin is Trenton’s bother. He’s immortal, determined to make sure his brother doesn’t get awakened for another few years or a century, and has seen a lot of death in his time. Two thousand years old and still fairly young looking, he’s just beginning to forget strategic tactics and skills in old age. He kills, plucks out Trenton’s followers, and lets himself get beat up a time or two if it means being able to stay on track to keep his brother from returning. He is strong, determined, and intelligent. He’s also snarky and witty and can never keep his mouth shut, even if he tells him self it’s best to shut up. He’s tried to save the world from Trenton multiple times, but he isn’t the only threat.

“What’s even more messed up is how often people fail to save the world,” -Page 249

Mr. Lovell is the deformed brute of a man who can teleport. He’s deformed because many, many years ago he got caught on fire and well, burnt to a crisp pretty much. Immortality doesn’t make you pretty. Shame. He has Trenton’s head in his stomach to preserve him until his awakening, where he can finally have his whole body back and not just be a voice in Mr. Lovell’s head. They’re a scary duo, intimidating and killing people because they can. Their passion for this new world they could create made them the perfect pair to join forces. My only question is how Mr. Lovell got caught up in it all in the first place.

Deckland was scary as heck. He’s not even fully immortal and he can jump off a 4-story balcony and land on his feet with no harm done! He’s violent and practically ruthless and I loved him. He’s probably my favourite character from this book.

Julie is a force to be reckoned with. Almost completely fearless, she stands tall even when facing something impossible. Which is how she got caught up in Franklin’s life mission. I admired her. She could fight if needed be, she stood up for herself even if it meant pouring guns at scary ginormous dudes, and she’s intelligent. She made a perfect partner in crime, if you will.

WRITING
The writing is light and humorous even when the actual events are dark, much like Rick Riordan’s style. Only more geared towards adults for language and other descriptions. It kept me hooked and it was entertaining to boot! The best part? All the dialogue and action and everything in general felt natural, so it was easy to fall into the story and envision something similar actually happening.

“The longer you live, the more painful your death will be.”
“Thanks, Mom.” Bailey opened the door. “Good to know.”
-Page 200

PLOT

Very little was predictable. At certain points I would be confused, wondering why a character didn’t use their secret weapon already. The author did this so it wouldn’t be predictable, because I saw something coming that never happened. It happened when you least expected it, when you weren’t thinking about it anymore. I applaud the author for this, because I was surprised a lot! It really kept the book going at a good pace, and I enjoyed every minute of it!

OVERALL

The Conch Shell of Doom is an adventure that will keep you engaged and entertained. With brilliant characters and an awesome adventure with lots of action, what more could you ask for?

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