Crash Gordon and the Revelations From Big Sur by Derek Swannson and Darren Westlund

I was asked to review this book, but the following review is my true and honest opinion.

I know I left you guys after the last Crash Gordon book with a lot of philosophy and what not, but this second book was a different story. I couldn't put it down, and while it was still very long, it read much easier than the first book.
An amnesiac convalescing in Big Sur encounters an oddly sinister envoy from the Freemasons’ Scottish Rite Psychophrenic Research Program…. A stoned surfer trespassing on Hearst Castle property gets hauled up into the sky by a massive flying black triangle…. A notorious starlet attending the wrap party for her first major Hollywood movie assassinates a Moscow journalist with a bottle of radioactive nasal spray.... In Crash Gordon and the Revelations from Big Sur, Derek Swannson combines these elements into a comic and subversive international thriller.  
OCTOBER 1988: It’s morning in America again. Ex-CIA Director George H. W. Bush is calling the shots as Vice President. Intelligence agency black budgets are on the rise. Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down economics has been trickling upon the American populace for nearly eight years. It’s been a non-stop champagne bash for the rich, who’ve become much richer, but for the middle class and the poor the trickling has acted like acidic piss, burning gaping holes in their social safety nets. Is the increase in suffering intentional? Gordon Swannson thinks so—and he has the metaphysics to prove it. Sort of. 

Fresh from a five-year resident scholar program at the Esalen Institute, Gordon (“Crash” to his friends) arrives in the sleepy seaside town of Cambria, California, to deliver a lecture titled “Galactic Loosh Farming and Reaganomics: How Much Longer Before the Fabric of Reality is Ripped to Shreds?” It’s the start of a bizarre chain of events that will launch Gordon’s career as an investigative journalist and entangle him with a cast of characters that includes: James Marrsden, a gleefully foul-mouthed radio DJ and Gordon’s untrustworthy childhood best friend; Kayleigh Fuller, a stoner witch who happens to be the niece of Buckminster Fuller; Skeeze Lester Huntley, a porn-addicted surfer whose alien abduction inspired him to become the Dope King of Central California; Rina Rowley, a lovely young actress with a shockingly ugly past; and looming largest of all, James’ morbidly obese and obscenely wealthy Uncle Lloyd, “super secret black-ops bagman for the medico-military-occult complex… and matchmaker.”
Determined to uncover the truth behind Lloyd’s lurid tales of psychic killers and a mind control program known as Project MONARCH, Gordon chases down leads from Cambria to Amsterdam’s red-light district and the Brussels headquarters of an alien-inspired sex cult calling itself The OääD Institute—getting a profound education in the machinations behind the 20th century’s greatest unexplained mysteries along the way. Seeking the final piece to the puzzle, Gordon returns to his roots in the isolated, faux-Swedish town of Kingsburg, where those mysteries began. What he finds there will send him hurtling toward a climactic showdown against a naked assassin dead set on turning the Cold War into a hot mess.
Click to view on Amazon: Crash Gordon and the Revelations from Big Sur
 I was so excited to read this book because I really wanted to learn more about the psychic powers that we discovered Crash had in the last book. So I dove into this head first and I was not disappointed. I really liked this book. It was incredibly entertaining and it really inspired a lot of conversations with my loved ones about life and death. I usually have a tv show playing in the background while I do things, but with this book I kept finding myself pausing the show so that I could get more into the story.

The same characters are back and they are just as funny as ever. Gordon is hilarious, but I have to say that my new favorite character was Skeeze. He was just so out of this world, literally (!), he was abducted by aliens multiples times. And his house of rats, and Senor Pepe...  I couldn't stop laughing. James (or Jimmy) really did make me nervous though, and I am really curious to see what becomes of his character if any more books were to come out. Jimmy had always made me uncomfortable because he was so violent and rude, but he really changed in this book and turned into kind of a nasty person. I wonder if he will stay successful or if he will have to face some sort of consequences for his actions.

There was less philosophy in this book, and while it was still there, it seemed to melt more seamlessly into the story than in the first book. And this book was so fully of aliens abductions and secret government programs that I barely noticed the philosophy. There were a couple of times that I did wish that I was as widely read as the author, though, so that I could understand his references better... I guess that is something that I will have to work on!

Over all I really liked this book and it will definitely be on my reread shelf. It can be read as a stand alone too, so you don't have to read the first book to understand everything in this one, but I was happy that I had read both. I hope another one comes out so that I can see more of these characters' lives! I give it a 5 out of 5 stars!

 Really guys, go get it!

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