Book Review: Heroin in the Magic Now by Terry M. West

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Title: Heroin in the Magic Now

Author: Terry M. West

Release date: First published August 27, 2014, re-released January 31st, 2022

Huge thanks to Terry M. West for reaching out and sending me a digital copy to review.

I have to admit, the title of this one perplexed me. No matter what way I read it, it just didn’t click in my brain. The synopsis is intriguing on it’s own. A washed-up, heroin-addicted director of seedy porn, Gary Hack struggles to find meaning in life and bounces from gig to gig to fund his habit.

I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting myself into, but I went in with as open of a mind as I could. Terry had mentioned that it gets dark, so I was excited to see what level of brutality we’d be getting.

What I liked: West introduces us to Hack early on, finding out that his addiction, occupation and absentee nature has forced his family away from him. The world is a different place now. Night Things walk among us and are fighting to have equal rights as humans. This includes Zombies, Ghoul’s, Werewolves, Vampires and many more oddities. From this, a new adult film niche has sprouted involving humans and this creatures, as well as creature on creature.

Hack finds himself at a crossroads. West does a fantastic job of showcasing this aging, out-of-shape addict struggling with his own morality, his ethical boundaries and just what he’ll ultimately do to fund his habit. Where is his line and when he finds it, how far is he willing to push it further to keep the cash flow coming.

The story does have some graphic moments, but I found them far tamer than I was expecting. It might be because I was so focused and on board with Hack’s character arc that I simply wasn’t as engaged with the filming and explicit parts as much as if I was purely reading to read extreme moments.

The ending definitely sets up for further entries in this story, but also closes a lot of the storylines introduced throughout.

What I didn’t like: For me, personally, I’m simply not a huge fan of humanized creatures like what is within. I did like the story line with Kat and her humanity vs monster aspect and I wish it had continued on as it was very compelling, but the parts about filming and pushing the boundaries and ‘who cares about these monsters’ moments wasn’t as big of a draw for me as a reader. It kind of felt a bit like when Tru Blood went off the rails and started to introduce a bunch of the other creatures in further seasons.

Why you should buy this: At it’s heart, ‘Heroin in the Magic Now’ is a dark, introspective look at a man struggling with his place in the world, when everything he loves has left him and the only thing he has left to fill that void is his habit. This one flows nicely and the pacing is pitch perfect. Definitely one to keep an eye on, especially if you love stories with a variety of creatures.

4/5

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