Book Review: Bad Pennies by John F. Leonard

bad pennies

Title: Bad Pennies

Author: John F. Leonard

Release date: December 1, 2017

Here we are. December 31, 2020. The shortest longest year of our lives and I’m going to wrap up with a book I should’ve read when it came out. Over the last few years I’ve devoured everything that Leonard has produced, absolutely loving his Scaeth Mythos and the world he’s created.

All the while I’d neglected to see where it all started.

Insane right?

What I liked: ‘Bad Pennies’ follows Chris Carlisle on a typical day of his dreary life. Only today is unlike the rest. Today he witnesses an accident and comes into position of a wallet that seemingly has magical powers.

From here Leonard shows how coming into possession with a Dead Box artifact causes ripples that flow outwards from the persons life, as well as how the artifact completely penetrates the holders mind.

I loved seeing how the Scaeth came to be and while we don’t get a complete origins story, we do get enough to put the pieces together. Leonard writes characters that you immediately feel like you’ve know for years and this one was great to see how Chris’ story ARC played out.

I also loved seeing how now having read his other work, the Scaeth has wormed its way into the surrounding areas and after reading Leonard’s story in ‘Diabolical Britannica’ earlier this year, I’m excited to see what the next chapter will hold.

Additionally the world between the walls, the Rat King and the Thing White Man all really elevated the surrounding ‘complimentary’ aspects of all things in this Mythos.

What I didn’t like: It was a minor thing, but throughout the first 3/4 we get some random police interview reports and while it worked to further the story and the incidents that occurred, the format wasn’t completely necessary. It would’ve easily been facilitated the same way as if it had been a flash forward.

Why you should buy this: This was the first chapter in an ever growing and evolving world that Leonard has created and this entered some truly Barker-esque plains of imagery. Leonard has long been a favorite author of mine and now having finally went back and started at the beginning, it has absolutely elevated everything that I’ve read that followed this. I highly recommend this as a book to dive in and start seeing this amazing world that he’s brought forward and the truly grotesque creation that is the Scaeth.

Stunning work.


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