Book Review: The Cannibals of Candyland

The Cannibals of Candyland
The Cannibals of Candyland by Carlton Mellick III
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Being a clown made of candy is about to take on a whole new meaning.

Franklin is a man with an obsession. He watched his siblings die at the hand of a woman made of candy when he was very young. Since then, he has been obsessed with finding these candy people and proving to the world that they exist. He should have been careful what he wished for.

The Cannibals of Candyland by Carlton Mellick III is a dark fantasy that’s bittersweet. After reading a couple of other books by Mellick, I had a pretty good idea what I was in for. At the same time, it turned out to be a much darker story than the other books I’ve read. Dark, but full of candy.

I have to admit that the author has put a lot of thought into how different type of candy could form people, structures, landscapes, etc. Maybe a little too much thought to be healthy, not to mention risking Type II Diabetes. In short, I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to think about having sex with a marshmallow the same way again.

As always, Mellick’s prose is pristine and has a very easy and readable flow to it. But there are a couple of flaws with this book, mostly stylistic in nature. First of all, the characters aren’t particularly likable, especially Jujy. I’m not sure if we’re actually supposed to like her at any point, but she just quite evil the whole way through. Misguided, yes, but still evil. Franklin himself is really rather pathetic and tends to be extremely passive, having more things happen to him than things that he makes happen. It becomes extremely frustrating for a protagonist to be so pathetic, and it becomes very wearing. And there’s not much character development. There are physical changes, yes, but not real personal development, other than going in a full circle. Also, the book is a lot darker than I was really prepared for.

Unfortunately, these flaws are enough to lower my score a bit. I still enjoy Carlton Mellick’s work and I plan to continue reading the rest of his repertoire, but The Cannibals of Candyland simply didn’t satisfy my Bizarro sweet tooth, especially when compared to his other work.

The Cannibals of Candyland by Carlton Mellick III earns 3 red licorice whips out of 5.

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