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Posted March 16, 2013
The Mighty Quinn is an odd, quirky, fun read. Stiles starts the book in what seems like the middle of the action. The reader doesn't get much background information, but we quickly learn that this version of Canada is populated by angry Weres and a man who can suck the heat out of anything, which comes in handy when being attacked by said Weres. This prompts the attacked, Quinn, to head south to the US where he is looking to lay low for a while. Instead trouble keeps finding him, and all sorts of bizarre things start happening.
Stiles takes lots of creatures from the horror genre and just has fun with them. The result is a book that has a dry humor and continuous action that makes for a light, fun read. Anyone who enjoys the horror genre but wants something that doesn't take itself too seriously should pick this one up.
Posted October 24, 2012
A highly amusing tale, Critical Failures brings us into a world where role playing suddenly becomes real with the help of a pair of magic dice. Tim, a young man with serious geek personality brings together his group of friends to play a version of fantasy role playing cards under the mysterious tutelage of Mordred, a creepy fat guy in a purple cape. The gang thinks they are just there for the usual night of beer drinking and role-playing. But one member, Conner, with a serious 'tude, pushes to many of the dungeon master's buttons and Mordred dumps the whole group into the world itself. Thus we follow the players in the suddenly very real world of orcs, elves, knights and other fantasy nasties. What is one to do when you actually are a level one wizard with low intelligence? Will they get out alive?
Bevan does a brilliant job in bringing out the inner geek in all of us. He plays with the secretive longing of every fantasy fan out there by making come true what every gamer wishes, the game a reality. In an absurd and often funny prose, we follow the antics of a group of geeks asked to walk the walk. The prose is well done, the story is amusing and the setting is fantastic. I highly recommend this read to anyone who has never participated in role-playing, but has always been curious. It was quite eye-opening to me and made me want to go find a D&D group and dungeon master.
Warning, however, the bodily functions of said characters (ie orcs, trolls) are well described if not graphically so. It was almost to a point of too much, and I found myself skimming some of the descriptions, not so much in disgust but boredom of the same gross depiction of troll fluids and orc snot. My other small complaint would be the insane amount of use of the f-word. I don’t mind the occasional curse word here or there, it can make sh*t real. But the way the f-bomb was thrown about in the character's dialogue bordered on the ridiculous, if not downright unbelievable. Nobody talks that way and it was to a point that it distracted from the dialogue.
However, if you are willing to wade through some bodily fluids and ignore the gratuitous cursing, then you are in for a treat. Critical Failures is an absorbing, fast-paced, enjoyable fantasy read. The end leaves you hanging but satisfied, happily anticipating the sequel.
Posted October 24, 2012
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