Sunday, June 24, 2018

Mount Toberead 13 - Emperpr Mollusk Versus The Sinister Brain by A. Lee Martinez

That title is a mouthful even for the mind that brought readers Gil's All-Fright Diner.

Gil's All-Fright Diner was A. Lee Martinez's debut novel, it was also the first one I read, and in my mind easily remains his best work.

Martinez is an interesting author in this day of multi volume series and trilogies, he writes standalone novels. To date he has not written a sequel to any of his books, including Gil's All-Fright Diner, which just screams for a sequel. He also likes to jump genres and sub genres. In some cases they're a mix up of things which makes classification next to impossible, Personally, I think Martinez just likes doing it to annoy people who want to put everything in a neat little box.

Over time, though, even the most fertile of minds can run a bit low on inspiration, and I think Martinez hit that wall with Emperor Mollusk Versus The Sinister Brain.

It's not a bad idea at the heart of it. It's a sort of pulp science fiction riff (something that seems to be enjoying a new rush of popularity at present) about the Neptunon self proclaimed Emperor of Earth (or Terra as our planet seems to be known) and the greatest threat he's even faced.

I'm sure Mollusk was meant to be both entertaining and amusing, but he somehow managed to be neither and became one of the most unlikable heroes I can remember encountering. One of the big problems was that he was too perfect and had the desire to try and turn everything into a joke. This made him look like a try hard. The perfection thing also worked against the story, because it very soon became clear that no matter how dire the situation, nothing would happen to Mollusk.

I felt that had Mollusk's much put upon bodyguard the Venusian warrior Zala been the central character and narrator that the whole thing would have worked a lot better.

While I've read a few A. Lee Martinez books that I wish had sequels, this isn't one of them.

I'll be skipping the letter N, because I just don't have anything that fits for this particular idea, and going straight to P.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Mount Toberead 12 - The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey

Quite some time ago, I was a big fan of Mercedes Lackey/ I read one of her Valdemar books (from memory it the was first of The Last Herald Mage trilogy) and I was hooked. I gathered as much of her Valdemar stuff as I could and then moved onto other things, Amongst them was a wonderful urban fantasy series about a witch called Diana Tregarde. Unfortunately at the time urban fantasy hadn't boomed as a genre and for a number of reasons (sales amongst them) Lackey gave up writing Diana Tregarde books after 3 entries. I still think they're amongst the best things she's written.

This one sat on Mount Toebread for a while. My wife had read it and other entries into her reimagined fairy tales. The Fairy Godmother is a fun book and some of her alterations to fairy tales are quite clever. In this one Cinderella (known as Elena) becomes the fairy godmother and has to find her own prince. He starts out not very good at all, but after spending a period of time as a donkey, appreciates the advantages he's been given and comes to fall in love with Elena.

I felt the book could have been a good deal shorter and an easier and better read for it. There was a lot of info dumping around the tales she was telling and involving the magic system she'd invented for this. There was also a fair bit of repetition. Overall it was a solid story, but it did drag through the middle before ramping up the action and ending up as a reader would expect with a fairy tale, happily ever after.

M looks like fun with A. Lee Martinez on my radar,