Have you ever seen a book cover and thought “what in the hell could that possibly be about?” Well, we’re actually digging in to one of those weird novelties (two actually) to figure out what the hell is going on. And, because this is too much work for one solitary book detective, I’m bringing in a partner. So me and my pal Kyla MacDonald will be alternating weeks, each with our own weird book, breaking them down and digging in deep, trying to once and for all figure out… WTSF?
This week, I start the reviewing relay race with a book that makes no sense whatsoever. But that may be my fault.
Starting from the cover, I think you can understand EXACTLY why I bought this book. That cover is fuckin’ rad as shit. The cover was SO rad, I neglected to notice the indications that this book wasn’t the best start I could have picked, but we’ll get to that.
The book opens with a map. A useless, useless map.
Like, holy christ is this map pointless. It doesn’t orient us at all with the area in which the book takes place and it’s way too featureless to justify the ink used on it. Like, maybe if your map doesn’t even have enough details on it to work as a rorschach test, it is NOT A VERY GOOD MAP.
But on to the book. Starting with the first, prelude page. Right away we discover two things:
- The author seems obsessed with giving the measurements of everything in metric terminology.
- It appears I have made a huge mistake.
This first page also ends with the line: “I’m still gonna kill him. Or make him write out ‘Arithmetic on the Frontier’ until his fingers bleed.”
I… what? I don’t… I just don’t.
And this is when I discovered a thing. This is actually book TWO of a series.
Well, y’see, the thing about that is… um…
LOOK AT THAT THING BEHIND YOU!
–and that is the complex and specifically non-bullshit reason behind why I started with the second book in a series. If you missed it because you were distracted for whatever reason, sorry, I’m not going over it again.
So we start with some recap. Prince Roger MacClintock was a young dickheaded prince who wound up wrecked on Marduk (a treacherous planet) with his royal guard. Now, the group must make their way off planet, and Roger needs to man the fuck up and deal.
So, imagine the plot of every shipwreck movie ever and the character arc from that first Thor movie and you have a book.
Yeah, so the first chapter is almost 100% recap of what I just told you, so there ain’t much plot to cover. Although we keep getting references to creatures called Flar-tas. And I read fifteen pages before they finally described what a Flar-ta looked like: a large reptilian creature, some of which had sharp teeth and others had horns.
At which point I went: “Oh, you mean dinosaurs. Those things are called dinosaurs.”
Pictured: one flar-ta
And there we have a chapter. Roger ends it by eating a giant, clumsily named creature called a Capetoad which, according to the authors, tastes just like chicken.
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED:
- The metric system is important
- Maps are a thing that exist
- Authors do not know the word “dinosaur”
Next week: either Kyla’s first look at her book or I’ll look at an episode of Cop Rock, WE SHALL SEE!