Tag: waaat cover art

Brother to Demons, Brother to Gods

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Conclusion: This book is a hot soggy mess. It is also weird, but not in a good way.

Theoretically the pacing and the plot should be fine, but it drags terribly, and feels like it’s going nowhere very slowly. The overall setting concept and plot concept are solid, and there were some nice reveals, but they in no way salvage the story.

The setting is simultaneously super not interesting and confusingly off the wall, with some very arbitrary worldbuilding choices. The concept is interesting, sort of a revival of the struggle between Greek Gods, Titans, Demigods, and mankind, and if better executed could be very engaging. However, the characters are annoying, and every time a new character was introduced or I spent a scene with an existing character, it just drove me further away from caring about the setting at all. The character development feels mostly arbitrary, like the author suddenly decides to grant some new perspective or ability randomly to the protagonists, rather than the protagonists gaining abilities or knowledge from what they were experiencing. There is also an awful lot of incestuous-feeling stuff going on between Buglet and Davey, which was creeping me out the entire time.

This is also very much subjective, but the writing style did not appeal to me. It felt very jerky, as few paragraphs have any kind of transition to the paragraph before or after. This is fine for about 70% of the paragraphs, but 40% just feel awkwardly disjointed, coming before / after a paragraph with no transition or connection.

Also subjective: the title is amazing and inspiring.

COVER ART REVIEW: There is a lot that is mysterious here, from the budget tank-girl (who’s actually Davey, the dude protagonist. woooops!), to the beam that demon Edward Scissorhands is shooting out of his forehead which budget tank girl is absorbing with her hands / the beam that budget tank girl is shooting out of her hands into demon Edward Scissorhands’ forehead / the beam that is erupting between budget tank girl’s hands and demon Edward Scissorhands’ forehead, to the Fonzi demon-God goin’ all “Eyyyyyyy!” in the sky, to the general appearance of the Edward Scissorhands demon.

Eyyyyyyy!

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DOG WARRIOR

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DOG WARRIOR

I am extraordinarily tempted to summarize all of the various things that I suspected this book would be. Let me instead cut straight to the heart of the matter by surgically stating what is important: sadly, the book is not about what you would expect a book titled DOG WARRIOR would be about.

Happily, the book frequently takes much stranger turns than you would expect from a book titled DOG WARRIOR. Aliens, mysterious twin brothers, blood mice, supernatural powers, federal agencies, undercover double agents, invisible red drugs, and motorcycle gangs. It was very refreshing, despite being a lot piled on all at once. There were quite a few concepts used I have not come across, and I read a fair bit.

I am not frequently confused, but for the first half of the novel I was quite befuddled by the switching of character viewpoints, as well as the casual mention of characters, groups, events, relationships, and concepts with very little to no grounding or world-building. Then I checked the book jacket and noticed that DOG WARRIOR was book four in the UKIAH OREGON series. That explains that.

If you like being thrown into the deep end, then I recommend reading DOG WARRIOR before any of the other books in the series. It was that fun of an experience. On the other hand, I genuinely liked the story and characters, and must state that starting from the start would probably be a better approach if you are less into the “meta” aspects of writing (What is this author trying to do? What is this person’s relationship / role? How normal is this blood mice thing?! Wait, WHAT HOW HE DO THAT), and more into the “enjoying a story with a bunch of novel stuff going on.”

I will review the other three books in time, so when it comes to plot, I just want to touch on one great bit of emergent behavior that came from me reading this book before the other three. DOG WARRIOR is the finale, and starts with Ukiah Oregon’s unbeknownst-to-both-of-them twin brother, Atticus Steele, finding Ukiah tied up in the trunk of some criminals’ car. That chunk is told from Atticus’ perspective, and so I imprinted on Atticus Steele, and was suspicious of Ukiah for most of the book. But Ukiah is the protaganist of the first three books, so anyone who read the first three books would be imprinted on Ukiah, and suspicious of Atticus. I thought this was awesome, if unintentional.

In general, DOG WARRIOR does a great job of taking all the characters, groups, and concepts from the last three books, bringing in new characters (Atticus et al.) in a way that builds suspense and works well, building ominously to the climax, and having a satisfying resolution that doesn’t really leave you wanting more, because it was well ended.

DOG WARRIOR was published in 2004 by ROC, a publishing group at the Penguin Group.

Cover Art Review: . . . The writing is much better.