KILL BAXTER, he second novel in Charlie Human‘s critically-acclaimed Baxter Zevcenko series, is out today in Germany! Published by Tor Germany/Fischer Verlage as KILL BAXTER: SHOWDOWN IN CAPE TOWN, here’s the synopsis…
Als Nachfahre südafrikanischer Mystiker hat Baxter die Kräfte seiner Ahnen geerbt. Um zu lernen, wie man damit umgeht, wird er nach Hexpoort verfrachtet, einer Schule für magisch begabte Teenager in der Nähe von Kapstadt, die verdächtig an Hogwarts erinnert (allerdings mit mehr Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘n’ Roll und schnellerem W-Lan). Doch das Leben als Zauberschüler ist alles andere als einfach. Dass er vom hiesigen Auserwählten schikaniert wird und es im Unterricht einfach nicht bringt, gehört noch zu seinen kleineren Problemen: Richtig schlimm wird es erst, als die Schule angegriffen wird und sein alter Freund Ronin auftaucht, um ihm aus der Patsche zu helfen…
Tor Germany has also published APOCALYPSE NOW NOW, the first novel in the series.
Both novels have been published in the UK by Arrow, and in the US by Titan Books (covers below). The first novel has also been published widely in translation. Here’s the English-language synopsis for KILL BAXTER…
AND HE THOUGHT THE HARD PART WAS OVER…
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.
Here’s some of that aforementioned critical acclaim…
‘Think Lauren Beukes meets Neil Gaiman, with bounty hunters.’ — Wired (UK)
‘It’s mad, dark, irreverent and wonderfully twisted in all the right ways.’ — Lauren Beukes on APOCALYPSE NOW NOW
‘I don’t even know how to describe reading this book, so just look at my wide eyes and my silently mumbling mouth and take my shell-shock as a good sign that you need to read this book right now.’ — Chuck Wendig on APOCALYPSE NOW NOW
‘With a wild imagination and savage glee, Charlie Human throws us into a school yard battle zone that’s part teenage wasteland, part Lovecraft fever dream. Rock and Roll High School meets the apocalypse.’ — Richard Kadrey on APOCALYPSE NOW NOW
‘Brilliantly entertaining.’ — British Fantasy Society
‘A riot — a firebomb of a novel, exploding with sick humour, violence and depravity… it’s never less than very funny, and the ongoing question of Baxter’s sanity adds a degree of mystery. There’s warmth here, too – you’ll likely feel sympathy for Bax by the end.’ — SFX Magazine on APOCALYPSE NOW NOW
‘Like its predecessor, KILL BAXTER is laugh out loud funny and fiendishly creative. The anti-Hogwarts of Hexpoort gives Human the opportunity to riff more directly on pop culture, but so do the porn addict support groups, pretentious fashion shows and possessed nerds. The further we delve into the supernatural world and its politics, with its psychotic fairies and violent luckdragons, the more engrossing the book becomes. Baxter himself is as entertaining a companion as ever, struggling with heartbreak and desperately trying to go against his own nature and be a good person, even as he travels through his own psyche with his psychosexual development funk band guides to fulfil his potential… tighter and more focused, and just as gloriously insane. Dark, mad, imaginative, and hilarious; KILL BAXTER is a joy.’ — SciFiNow
‘Just as the author punctures holes in the twee/charming class system of magical boarding schools, Human also goes after many of the other traditions of epic fantasy. The warrior-mages of KILL BAXTER struggle with PTSD. The “rescued” girlfriends don’t feel particularly swoony or appreciative. The quest to master “the power within” involves a funk band. Baxter himself sees himself as the center of the universe (saviour for all, chosen one, etc. etc.) – but is also wise enough to seek out professional therapy for that sensation. APOCALYPSE NOW NOW was a very clever, extremely dark book with an underpinning of real insight into the teenage mind. KILL BAXTER is a step beyond – a viciously sharp adventure that combines explosive entertainment with cutting satire; the best traditions of contemporary fantasy with the truth of what it actually means to be contemporary. The odd book that should appeal to those who love fantasy and those that hate it. And I would heartily recommend it either way.’ — Pornokitsch
‘The antidote to Harry Potter is back… a lively elaboration of the mad as pants brand of South African urban fantasy advanced in APOCALYPSE NOW NOW… everything Human’s debut did well, KILL BAXTER does better… the setting, again, is superlative… the way in which South African folklore figures into the fiction is fantastic—the dreamwalking bits are abundantly brilliant — and KILL BAXTER is a markedly more brutal book… more than a match for Charlie Human’s addictive debut. This, then, is urban fantasy on magical meth. You will want more.’ — Tor.com