Never Dead Ned, who has died forty-nine times, hates soldiering but loves bookkeeping, which he does well-so well that he is promoted to commander of Ogre Company, a dubious honor, because all previous commanders have experienced fatal accidents. Upon arriving at Copper Citadel, Ned is crushed by his giant bird transport, a small inconvenience because as usual, he is restored to life by the Red Woman. Gradually Ned becomes acquainted with his hard-drinking, promiscuous, completely undisciplined group: ogres, goblins, orcs, shape-shifters, salamanders, treefolk, and especially Amazon Regina and Siren Miriam, each of whom finds him strangely attractive. Incompetent and fearful, Ned somehow manages to escape innumerable destructive plots, and in the end, discovers his secret power. Following the popular Gil's All Fright Diner (Tor, 2005/VOYA October 2005), Martinez's second novel borrows heavily from Rowling but lacks her light touch. Never Dead Ned is an older, uglier, less-intelligent, and less-interesting Harry Potter, but the mission is the same: A clueless, anointed hero battles evil to save the world and humankind. Ned's enemies, however, are more grotesque and more inclined to explode, bleed, vomit, or defecate. Although the tone is intended to be exciting and humorous, it becomes, after the first one-hundred pages or so, repetitious and predictable. There are probably no movie rights here, although the book might entertain adolescent lovers of nasty. Martinez should leave the fantasy to Rowling and stick to horror.
When Never Dead Ned, so called for his penchant for returning to life after dying, is reassigned from his position as bookkeeper for Brute's Legion to the Commander of Ogre Company, a collection of monsters no other army unit wants, he fears that what lies before him is the most challenging and desperate battle of his several lives. The author of Gil's All Fright Diner turns his hand to fantasy with a military tale of orcs, ogres, and other monsters led by a man who is all but immortal. Martinez's broad humor should appeal to fans of the late Douglas Adams and other contemporary authors of comic fantasy. A good choice for large libraries or where humorous fantasy is popular. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
“Martinez's follow-up to Gil's All Fright Diner is as joyfully fast paced and funny. Ogre Company tweaks fantasy clichés most excellently.” Booklist on In the Company of Ogres
“Martinez's broad humor should appeal to fans of the late Douglas Adams and other contemporary authors of comic fantasy.” Library Journal on In the Company of Ogres
“[A] terrific debut. . . . Fans of Douglas Adams will happily sink their teeth into this combo platter of raunchy laughs and ectoplasmic ecstasy.” Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Gil's All Fright Diner
“Do you know a young man twelve to seventeen years old who hates reading? Then this is the book for him!” Voices of Youth Advocates on Gil's All Fright Diner
“Can a vampire find true love with a ghost? Can a teenage witch open the gates of Hell? Anything can happen in Martinez's wacky debut.” Charlaine Harris, bestselling author of Dead to the World on Gil's All Fright Diner