I was quite curious what would await me between the covers of this book, because before I started reading it, I had a lovely chat with it’s author via mail. We soon discovered we were both secret members of the secret ROC, and everything was smooth sailing from that point on. (No, I can’t tell you what the ROC is. Which part of secret did you not get?)
Read the interview with Gillbert Troll!
Anyway, I had a feeling about the kind of story, and my feeling soon proved to be right. We’re talking humorous fantasy here, with an over the top attitude regarding the humor. That’s actually a knife’s edge – over the years, I’ve read enough texts of this kind to be weary, because over the top humor can easily be too much, like when someone tries too hard to be funny. But when it’s done right, it’s a bliss.
Gillbert does it right, most of the time. You still have to have a knack for this kind of thing, but if you do, this is gold.
His characters are over-the-top cool, but in a way that feels good. And the plotting is tight, fast paced. Except for that one scene in the beginning where there’s an awfully lot of exposition, but as soon as Gillbert gets this off his chest, we’re back on track.
And then we’re heading into action territory, with John – our hero – being a smartass. A cocky one at that, too. He reminds me of Harry Dresden in certain ways.
The real surprise was the fact that at 38 %, we were introduced to some new protagonists, shedding different lights in the events, although only in short scenes. Those function as spotlights, showing us different aspects of the world. They make a great addition to John
Apropos cast – this story really contains some of the most absurd (and likeable) characters I’ve seen in a long time. That not only includes Catherine the chicken, but also one of the most deadly – and cutest – demons of all times.
All in all, this was a fun read, and I’ll be sure to be in the lookout for the next installment in the series. There are some fresh ideas here, like the soul merge, and the humour is a little like Monty Python at times. It also goes overboard at a few times, disrupting the narrative flow of the dramatic, hence 4 stars – this is one point Gillbert can fine tune in the future!