The Horror Zine Review
by Drew Stepek
Hardcover: 354 pages
by Drew Stepek
Review by Diana Norton-Bagwell
10% of all proceeds from the purchase of this book are donated to the Children of the Night Charity
Knuckle Supper is not at all your typical vampire story. There are no garlic and mirrors, romantic interludes, or sparkles. What you get is an in your face perspective of, (what we can only hope really is fiction), drug dealing vampire gangs in Los Angeles. A look at a violent existence, living off the streets and the bodies of helpless victims. Mix that with the sadness of child exploitation, and this becomes one of those stories that isn't easy to get out of your head.
Drew Stepek pulls you into this often over-the-top-gory story with odd characters that you truly love to hate. A story filled with bad guys, and more bad guys; sometimes making it hard to tell who the real victims are. Despite that the main character (RJ) is a disgusting mess, you quickly feel something for him. Of course, that may be anger, pity, or hope; depending on his current predicament.
Once you get over the initial shock value of the first chapter, you learn about the intricately woven hierarchy gang system. Then about half way through, the plot takes an unexpected turn. That's when I found it hard to put the book down. Surprisingly, I even found myself rooting for some of the characters. I just had to know how it all went down. Hoping for something good to come out of the mess.
Overall, this book kept my attention. If you can deal with the disturbing images of drug abuse, violence, death, and sexual exploitation, then you too may discover the sad truth lying deep below the surface. Truly, my largest disappointment came when I reached the end of this book. But not for the typical reasons. Three simple words: "Coming Soon: Knuckleball". A sequel? The start of a series? Disappointing to reach the end because this is not a typical read for me, but being as I am now invested in the characters, I will certainly want to know just how it would continue...
ABOUT CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT
Children of the Night is a private, non-profit, tax-exempt organization founded in 1979. We are dedicated to assisting children between the ages of 11 and 17 who are forced to prostitute on the streets for food to eat and a place to sleep. Since 1979 we have rescued girls and boys from prostitution and the domination of vicious pimps. And we provide all programs with the support of private donations.
We are making a difference in the lives of hundreds of children each year. Our commitment to rescuing these children from the ravages of prostitution is shared with a small but committed group of detectives, FBI agents, and prosecutors in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Santa Ana, Anaheim, San Diego, and other areas of California; Las Vegas, Portland, Billings in Montana, Seattle, Miami, New York, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Phoenix, Hawaii and Washington D.C. — all stops on the child prostitution circuit.
You can buy Knuckle Supper HERE.
About the author
For more than fifteen years, author Drew Stepek has written, produced and directed for publishing, online and entertainment industries. Drew has worked for Film Threat, Sci-Fi Universe, Wild Cartoon Kingdom, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Saturday Night Live, The Profiler, The Pretender, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and EXPN.
More recently, the author ventured into creative directing roles involving entertainment and technology marketing for Davie Brown Entertainment and Straight Up Technologies. Born in Royal Oak, MI, Drew moved around a bit as a young man and finally found his home base in Hollywood, CA in 1994. Drew attended Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. His first novel Godless (ISBN# 0978602498) was released 666 (June 6th, 2006) and has since captured a strong underground following.
In March of 2010, Stepek approached Alphar Publishing about establishing a relationship with the non-profit organization Children of the Night. Stepek wanted to get a charity involved with Knuckle Supper from day one and since the book is about a twelve year-old prostitute who chooses to live with heroin addicted, gangster vampires because they aren’t as evil as pimps, the pieces immediately fit together.
Alphar approached Dr. Lois Lee (the president and founder of Children of the Night) who was instantly taken with the idea of the partnership and approved. Originally, Alphar offered to donate $1 from each digital download of the book. The digital format will be agnostic and will be distributed through Ingram to Amazon, iBooks, B&N and Google Books, etc. The digital book will also be available on both the official Knuckle Supper and Godless sites, as well as the site.
As of June, 2010, the partnership was extended to include 10% of the hardcover profits to Children of the Night.
About the reviewer
Diana is a Southern California girl living in the Old South. She has gone from a modern day working mom who was trying to balance it all to an out of place, stay-at-home mom, living in a small Georgia town. A mother of two and an avid volunteer, she lives a quiet life with her husband Dennis Bagwell, waiting for the inevitable zombie apocalypse to happen right in their own backyard.
Diana is a graphic designer (by profession), and a novice photographer and genealogist who enjoys visiting cemeteries every time she has a chance. Although she has enjoyed writing since she was a teen, it has usually been just for herself. Hence she has never been published on anything more than her yearly Christmas letter. Perhaps one day she will find the time to sit and write the children's book which was inspired by her daughter several years ago—the book that has been rumbling around in her head ever since.