Stuff of Legends
By: Ian Gibson
Gibson tries too hard to be funny, often holding the joke up in the reader’s face and practically yelling; “This is funny, isn’t it?!”, instead of letting the humor work itself out in the book. It feels more like he’s gone back over an earlier version and tried to shoehorn as much comedy into it as possible. The author has talent, don’t get me wrong, and with some polish and some practice and maybe a little less heavy of a hand I think it’s safe bet that he has a good chance to turn out some fine writing. Unfortunately ‘Stuff of Legends’ feels more like a parody OF fantasy novels than a novel on it’s own. Sadly it’s not an ‘Airplane’ quality parody but more a ‘Scary Movie IV’ quality. I blame Hollywood and their incessant and increasingly bad parody movies..
I honestly didn’t like the majority of characters in ‘Stuff of Legends’; Eliott is a twit, a fifteen year old who still plays with dolls and acts more like an 11 year old girl seeing her favorite boy band at the mall than someone growing up in the places and settings of this novel.
Kess is an immortal elf (why are elves immortal?) who is Eliott’s baby sitter, this relationship is never fully or reasonably explained, who is also something of a twit giving magic far too powerful to a child who has no connection with reality.
Jordan the Red I somewhat liked. He’s grumpy, retired and just wants to be left alone. Unfortunately too much of the “LOOK THIS IS THE FUNNY PART” bits revolve around his character.
The rest of the players in the book are just filler to get the story from point A to point B, unremarkable, two dimensional, forgettable.
The world it’s written into is a mishmash of mythologies & geographies never quite saying it’s ‘Earth’ but at the same time mentioning Egypt and other locations on our planet. Also, one of my biggest pet peeves, the book brings modern things into a fantasy setting. Using ‘cool’ from the 1950’s, the dollar as a monetary unit and going as far as to mention CPR just feels weird in a setting with swords and dragons.
Hawk (Better luck next time, Ian! (I do mean that!))