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Enter the Janitor (The Cleaners Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 332 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The problem for me was that the whole thing was unattractive. The main characters are a smelly old janitor with superpowers (the odor is mentioned several times); and a would-be medical student who's obsessed with germs and keeps slathering herself and surroundings with cleaning gel. The student manifests superpowers, and is kidnapped by the Cleaners to keep her out of the hands of the Scum, thus ending her normal life. She doesn't make any decisions, she's just bumped along with no choices. Despite her superpowers, she feels like a victim. The setting at least of the beginning of the book is all toilets and such places, so it's also gross. It kind of felt like a middle-grade book written as a novel for adults. Unfortunately, the author's vivid writing brought both the characters and the setting to life all too well.
If you find all this funny instead of gross, I'd recommend the book. It's a cool idea, well written and fast-paced. It just didn't work for me.
That's a lot for college girl Dani to take in. She's hardcore OCD, and when her powerful magic manifests, she's forced into the ranks of the Cleaners. The book is a lemony-fresh romp with the quick pace and breezy reading of urban fantasy all dressed up in a whole new way.
Not just another toilet-plunging epic, Enter the Janitor gets off to a great start and doesn’t let up. Ben, a crusty, flippant, older Cleaner, is ordered to train Dani since her—and her awesome, fiery magic—might be lured to serve Corruption. This doesn’t sit well with Dani (she does hate germs, you know) but she’s left with little choice. Adjusting to a lifestyle where she has to temporarily abandon her family, friends, and schooling, Dani chafes under Ben’s cantankerous tutelage. It doesn’t take long, though, before forces threaten to flush her and her little pet lizard, Tetris, down the crapper.
Josh has created one of the most unique urban fantasy worlds I’ve seen in this novel. We meet trash mages, entropy wizards, god-like beings that embody Filth (in leopard print pants, no less), water elementals stored in a janitor’s spray bottle, the cute-but-definitely-not-cuddly Gnashy, lizard-like urmoch that dwell in sewers and never leave a courtesy flush, and people so pure they can magically edit out your vulgar language. I mean, ****, there’s a lot of stuff here, but Josh juggles it all in a deftly written, slick narrative. Humorous dialogue makes each character stand out with distinction. The magic system is well-thought out and original.
There are somber moments, too. Josh’s description of the Gutters, a realm between realities where dead worlds drift aimlessly, or Dani’s reaction to the harsh truths every Cleaner must face, or what Ben has sacrificed, gives this story an emotional foundation beyond the spell-slinging, mop-thrusting action. I liked every character and what role they played. Even the villains display complexity, and often deserve as much empathy as the heroes.
I’m glad that this is the first of a series, because I’ll certainly return to Josh’s world to see what happens to Dani and her friends next. I highly recommend this book.