Review: Cockblock by C.V. Hunt

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Cockblock
By C.V. Hunt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Heading out for a posh date night, Sonya and her girlfriend Callie find themselves harassed by groups of men as they walk from their apartment to a nearby Italian restaurant. The men quickly escalate from shitty pick-up lines and cat-calling to more sexually aggressive attacks. Sonya and Callie find that escaping into the restaurant has only brought them deeper into a realm of eye-opening depravity. Everywhere, men are transforming into violent sex-crazed zombies, all thanks to a message originating from a radio broadcast being delivered by the President of the United States. If the women of America have any hope of surviving, they have to terminate the message directly at its source. But will they be able to make it to DC and survive the sea of fully-erect men standing in their way?

Cockblockby C.V. Hunt is a work of extreme horror, and an original, wildly interesting, and often-times painful, riff on the zombie apocalypse. Yes, it's violent and angry and sexually-charged and filled with depictions of rape, but never callously or needlessly so. This is a work of extreme horror borne straight from the depths of the Trump administration, and it's necessarily grizzly.

What do you do when the supreme figurehead of your country is a repulsive, pussy-grabbing, racist, morally bankrupt, bigoted egomaniac whose daily existence is a dog-whistle for the absolute worst in American society? What happens when your friends and neighbors, even members of your own family, are suddenly rallied, energized, and transformed into savage, mindless, lunatic zombies by that man's messages of hate? You resist. You fight back. You try to fix your country anyway you can.

Cockblock is a smart and swift slice of Resistance fiction, one that is by its very nature ugly and sickening but with a core filled with enough rabble-rousing girl-power to give readers hope. I have little doubt that men will ultimately destroy this world, and that women will be the ones responsible and smart enough to fix our ineptitude and misdeeds. Sonya and Callie are forced to contend with a world that has changed overnight, in the blink of an eye, and has rolled over to expose its vile, cancerous, dark underbelly. Giving up isn't in their nature, though, and despite all the overwhelming sexual violence levied against them they never surrender - they keep fighting, and I kept rooting for them, living vicariously through them as they kicked every pair of diseased, low-hanging balls that got in their way.

Hunt filters Cockblock through a grindhouse aesthetic (appropriate, as the publisher of Cockblock is Grindhouse Press), drawing upon not only traditional zombie fare but various exploitative film genres as rape and revenge, women in prison, and sexploitation flicks. It's a bit of Caligula, a bit of I Spit On Your Grave, a bit of Roger Corman, and way too fucking much of Trump's America. Hunt's protagonists take their fight straight to the streets and all the way to the top with an angry, energetic fervor that makes Cockblock one of the most surprisingly patriotic splatterpunk reads I've come across, with one of the most satisfying finales I've read in some time. This book is a drop-kick straight to Trump's nutsack, and I fucking loved it. This book gets all the stars, and a few extra stripes of red, white, and blue to go with them.

[Note: I received an advanced copy of this title from the publisher.]

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Michael Patrick Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.


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