The Tattler: Cancelled, Not Dead

5 out of 5 stars

Sometimes, you read a word and think you know what it means, but are sorely mistaken. Read is an excellent example. We spell it the same way in present and past tense, and you have to examine the surrounding words when you’re reading to understand what the sentence is saying. So, when I read the title of the third book in Chad Descoteaux’s series, “The Tattler: Cancelled,” I assumed it was the last book. Well, you know the adage about assuming things.

So, I made a bit of an a** of myself in my last blog on the subject. But, what can I say, that’s life. It turns out there’s one more book in the series, but it’s not out yet. Descoteaux is making us wait for it, and he’s left us with enough of a cliffhanger and an exciting enough of story that we’re all going to be chomping at the bit for the next one.

Anyway, the second story warmed me up to ol’ Barry Young and the third one continued that trend. Barry and his ex Nikki are no longer on the run and have grown the Tattler into a pretty solid enterprise, now a TV-station called TTLR. Finding himself with a bit of freedom, Barry pursues his photography dreams and finds a new love interest. But as usual, nothing can go right for our (anti-)hero. This story finishes with Barry in quite a bind – just like most of them – and when I thought it was the end of the tale, my heart was pumping with concern for him. And that’s a testament to the journey Descoteaux has taken us on, since when I finished the first book I wasn’t too fond of Barry. He’s been on quite a wild adventure, with plenty of fantastical beasts by his side. From time travel and aliens to Bigfeet and zombies, Barry has seen it all and lived to tell the tale.

Without spoiling too much, Descoteaux has stuck with his strengths and continued the epic tale with his usual zest for {storytelling, as well as character and world building. His non-human characters continue to be the most developed, taking us on wild studies of the (in)human condition. We meet a few new characters including Santa, aliens that look like Cookie Monster, Elves, and Medusa. This time several of our heroes are trying to save the world by tracking down some alien technology that leads them to Santa and the North Pole, because of course in this world Santa is real. And once again, Descoteaux provides wonderful social commentary wrapped up in a comedic, tongue-in-cheek adventure. In the pages of this story, he tackles everything from greed to gender identity.

Descoteaux continues to push the limit with cross-species relationships, intergalactic travel, and jumping through space. If you’re a fan of science fiction, space travel, time travel, tabloids, aliens, or “The Twilight Zone,” you’ll enjoy this book and the ones that came before. I appreciate Descoteaux’s clever humor the more I read his work. The title was clearly a reference to an event that happens in the book, and it took me longer that I’d like to admit to get it. His work is chock full of comedy, and even if you’re not the biggest science fiction or fantasy fan, if you enjoy a good chuckle you’ll more than likely find his books enjoyable.

The author was sweet enough to provide me a copy of this awesome book, and I can’t wait until the next one comes out.

In case you missed them, check out my reviews of The Tattler and The Tattler: Losing Time.

Content Warning: Gore, Imprisonment, Kidnapping, Violence, Snakes, Mind Control,