If Paperback Warrior celebrated a Hall of Shame, then two of the three books in this 'Swampmaster' series would absolutely be inducted. David Alexander's hog piss 'Phoenix' would be in as well as the 'Roadblaster' atrocity committed by Paul Hofrichter (also known here as He Who Creates the Horror). I despised Jake Spencer's (real name Jerome Preisler) series debut (“Swampmaster”, Diamond 1992) and its 232-pages of utter nonsense. The author redeemed himself with a quality sequel called “Hell on Earth” the same year, moving the action from St. Augustine, Florida to the Gulf Coast. The book, while wildly ridiculous and equally nonsensical, had a good story to propel its over-the-top violence and mayhem. The third and final book in the series is “Unholy Alliance”, once again released by Diamond in 1992.
Jerome Preisler, my God man. Why? Why did you write this?
In theory, a book showcasing a drug deal between post-apocalypse criminal factions at an abandoned Disneyworld is tantalizing. It's a fascinating concept – bad guys running around the most famous amusement park in the world while a war party featuring acrobatic twins and a Seminole (they are the good guys mind you) are attempting to stop them. Just for shits, throw in 8-pages of Black Bear vs Doomsday Cowboy, a gladiator game of motorcyclists mowing down human heads and a drooling wheelchair bound madman residing in Cinderella's Castle.
I mean...Jerome, how do you screw this up?
It's essentially like Peter North just showing up on the set and having no idea where to put it. This should be an easy one. Instead, it's pages and pages and pages of junk. Gun porn galore, mindless conversation about Cuban cartels, pointless backstories on meaningless characters that become decapitated in throwaway “cut” scenes. This is absolute garbage. It's worse than garbage. If garbage had a waste can that they put their own garbage in, then this book would be the filth-ridden wallpaper adorning its inner aluminum shell.
Thankfully, this series was trash-canned, thrown onto the back walls of garage sales worldwide, finding solace in its obscurity and staying away from unknowing readers who might seek out the answer to “Who is Swampmaster”. He's John Firecloud and he'll rain on your Macy's parade every single Thanksgiving. He's the guy who hid the chocolate bunny on Easter and told you asparagus tastes great. He only left you a quarter for pulling that bloody stump of a tooth out of your pink gums and John Firecloud is the guy who crapped in the work toilet and left it there to dissolve knowing you'd see it and never unsee it.
Jerome Preisler did all of that too.
'Swampmaster' is the warning label for bad fiction: Contents inside may put you at risk of blindness, erectile dysfunction and lethargic bouts of coma-like fatigue. Do not operate heavy machinery if you are reading 'Swampmaster' and contact your physician or nearest urgent care if you reach page 10. In other words, don't read this, don't look at it, don't buy it...pretend it doesn't exist.
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