Written by: Matthew J. Barbour
While William Massa is perhaps best known to readers of Horror Novel Reviews for his critiques of other’s works, Massa has written several horror, mystery, and action-oriented novels. These include: Fear the Light, Gargoyle Knight, and Silicon Man. His most recent work, Occult Assassin: Damnation Code, is the first of a series involving a Special Forces operative fighting against the hordes of darkness.
In simplest terms, Occult Assassin: Damnation Code is one man’s struggle against Corporate America. While in the past, religion was the opiate of the masses. Today, it is technology. Zagan, CEO of Omicron, understands this. His employees are modern day cultists trading in their black robes for business attire and channeling their spells through computer code. Their goal: world domination.
The only thing standing in their way is Mark Talon, a Delta Force Operator, whose fiancé was recently murdered by the group. With the assistance of Billionaire Simon Casca and several mystical relics, it is up to Talon to put down this pimply-faced pale-skinned menace and the greater evil which pulls the strings.
If the plot sounds a little cheesy that is kind of the point. Mark Talon is straight out of a 1980s action flick. Yet, the villain here is very much a 21st century construct. The book is not so much a product of nerd hate as social commentary on the modern world.
Rather than fighting against a deranged dictator or ancient sect of magi, the evil here is big business, albeit with fantastical elements. Massa channels the American subconscious focusing on the notion of evil as fast-food chains, big box stores, and banking conglomerates. How do these corporations get so big? In the case of Omicron, their CEO has made a pact with a demon. This said, it should probably come as a surprise to no one that the largest battle against the forces of evil occurs in an Apple Store.
Occult Assassin: Damnation Code is a fun read. The entire book appears to be written with a wink and a nod to the reader. The narrative never goes for the cheap laugh, yet you will find it hard not smile as Talon solves the world’s problems one bullet at a time. When done, check out the next two books in the series: Occult Assassin: Apocalypse Soldier and Occult Assassin: Ice Shadows. Both are out now.