Soul Draining, but in a good way: Feast by R. Scott McCoy

R. Scott McCoy’s Feast has been compared to a superhero story akin to Darkman or Spawn. Rightfully so, but these comparisons only do McCoy’s novel a disservice. Nick Ambrose, Feast‘s superhero in-training, ditches the over-the-top splat-shtick of Sam Raimi’s titular hero but at the same time never delves into the mid-90s uber-melancholy of Todd McFarland’s red-caped meal ticket. If you have no idea what the comparisons were I just made, you obviously didn’t watch movies or read comic books in the 90s.

Feast concerns Nick, a police officer who acquires superpowers while tracking down a deranged (and supernatural) killer with his brother,Pete. His main power is that he can look into souls and see how clean their karmic aura is, he also gains super strength, healing, and no longer needs to sleep. The catch being that he has to periodically feed on the lifeforce of others to stay alive. It is this moral quandary (plus the fact that Nick has some new residents in his noggin) that form the crux of Feast.

Why Feast works so well is that Nick’s world has a certain “heightened reality” about it (there are blood thirsty serial killers and mob bosses around every corner), but Nick remains a very realistic character. He’s very human, he makes mistakes, enjoys Chinese food, is a dope around women and sometimes lets his new-found urges get the better of him. His moral compass is always pointed in generally the right direction, though, which makes watching him grapple with some frightening obstacles all the more compelling.

Feast suffers the same problem that is endemic to all origin stories: you get all the characters put in place, lay the ground rules of their powers, have them embark on their first “mission” in the third act and then you have to leave the reader thirsty for further adventures.

Feast is great, McCoy’s style is direct, fast paced, and sometimes just a hint humorous. Nick is a character I actually care about. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him. Hopefully the wait won’t be too long. Highly recommended.

*For those of you who think I’m just kissing ass because McCoy runs Necrotic Tissue: Ha! He isn’t even the head editor for this upcoming issue.

Serves you right. Jerks.

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