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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Book Review: The Rage by Matthew Babaoye

Sorry - the language pretty much ruined the rest of the story for me.
The Rage
by Matthew Babaoye
File Size: 2510 KB
Print Length: 296 pages
Publication Date: February 10, 2016
Genre: Horror, Occult
My Rating: 3.5 of 5.0

"The Rage was transformative. Few appreciated the emotion like he did. Most feared it. But not him, not anymore. He fed it lesser emotions like sadness and fear, to grow it...
His psychiatrist would never understand."
Damon's life sucks. His parents ditched early, his few friends are thoughtless meatheads only concerned with partying and bullshit, his job is a sales nightmare, and his home is a s***hole apartment in the gutter district. Although: he at least has a loving, gorgeous girlfriend... whose mother hates him, and whose abusive ex won't let go.
So how does Damon deal with all of it? The rage. Using the emotion as fuel to power him through his days, a constant source of energy for the rough road of his life. Always there to keep him warm in the cold, dependable in its intensity...
Until the rage begins to act of its own will, and changes him in ways that neither he, nor anyone else, could have ever imagined.

Damon is an unhappy, angry young man. He lives in a tiny apartment in a ‘gutter’ neighborhood and rides a bus to work. At work Damon is the top appointment setter who is annoyed by his co-workers and annoyed that all he gets for his efforts is a pat on the back and greater expectation from his boss. Damon is dissatisfied with his life but only half-heartedly willing to try to change it.

The only bright thing is his beautiful girlfriend, Monica. But even that has problems in the form of an overly eager little sister and a mother who really dislikes Damon and wants Monica to return to her ex-boyfriend. Plus Monica insists that Damon keep his weekly visit with the psychiatrist.

Damon has always had a lot of anger but lately his inner rage seems to be growing beyond his ability to maintain control in social settings. Damon is initially distressed by this. Then he and his basketball playing friends realize that Damon’s body is changing. He is getting leaner and stronger; they can barely recognize him. The hotter his rage grows the more his body changes until Damon, as he knows himself, is consumed.

My initial comment on this book is that it should come with a warning for extreme bad language with the "F" word filling up a good portion of the book. Had I looked at the sample before accepting the story for review I may well have said ‘no thank you’. At 25% I was ready to stop but then decided to push along to see where the rage was taking Damon. I was sort of thinking this was a story like the Hulk, but no.

About a third in, although still put off by the language, I enjoyed the basketball action and thought, okay… now we are getting somewhere. I really wanted to know where the story was going when finally, beyond three quarters in, an interesting transformation occurs. The language stops and a different type of action picks up. This leads to a full out chase and escalating confrontation. The ending brings along a twist which was hinted at and had great potential. Unfortunately for me the ending left me disappointed and wondering what the purpose was.

Sorry – but this really didn’t work for me. Half of the book was bad language that could have been removed and left some interesting character building. I had hopes for the hinted-at conspiracy but the ending left me with no satisfactory feelings. The more I think about the story I do think the writing and the idea were good - without the excessive and repeated "F" word. The writing moved along well, except for the excessive bad language and some typos that may be fixed in the published version. Readers who like horror and aren't bothered by bad language might find this an interesting character study.

I received this from the author for an honest review.


  1. Hi Martha! I absolutely agree with your review.

    Some readers didn't mind the language in "The Rage", but some found it very strong (it is, without a doubt, the darkest novel I have ever written). But like all of my novels so far, I have a new Edition of "The Rage" coming out in the next few months to address reader criticism, called the "Superhero Edition". It will smooth out the language, add more heroics and light to the darkness, but keep the core of Damon's journey intact. I will send you a copy when its done so you can take a peak and hold me accountable for these changes :)

    - Mathew Babaoye
    P.S "The Rage" is book 1 of a series called "Hard Feelings". Each book is different, focusing upon a single character with a unique guiding emotion which fuels their unique superpower. Book 2 will get more into the conspiracy, but other readers have also mentioned privately that Book 1 left them with questions, so I might just have to add a few more clues to its upcoming "Superhero Edition" :)

    1. Matthew - I appreciate you commenting. I would like to see the revision. The character development and plot were solid.

  2. I read it very fast. it was addictive to read this book. I will read it again. The exploration of anger is so effective, interested and made me think differently about that emotion. I recommend this book to people who are looking for a good interesting narration with a steady rhythm.

    1. Thank you for sharing your comments. I am glad that you enjoyed the book.


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