The Warlock Insane (Warlock, # 9)

Christopher Stasheff

Oh man. So I picked this book up in a used bookstore, thinking "This looks zany and fun. I could use a little escape into another world and I used to love fantasy as a kid." I liked it because the little blurb on the first page inside the cover was so delightfully random. A robot horse tutor that turns into a vampire, a knight named Rod, some crazy old English dialogue. And it seemed like every page I turned to was chocked full of bizarre fantasy creatures and ludicrous situations. "A real romp!" I thought. "Good old-fashioned fun for old-times' sake."Nope. This book was awful. There was absolutely zero plot moving anything forward. A bunch of stuff—mostly repetitive fight scenes that made no sense—just kept happening for no reason. They are loosely held together with the premise that the main character is hallucinating, although no explanation is given for why he is doing so until the very end and then it is too little too late. Some evil wizard who has it in for him. 250 pages of a thinly-developed character being suddenly put in inexplicable peril and then magically and uncreatively rescued by some cheap gimmick. The author, Stasheff, twitters, I'm sure, at the little puns and clever-isms—like shallow references to Greek mythology and computer programming—but it all falls horribly flat.

I feel like I don't ask a lot from fantasy books. Create a little make-believe world for yourself with whatever you want—just make at least some attempt to stick to your internal logic—I'll buy into it, I swear. I'm easily and willingly duped. And tell me a little story. It doesn't have to be a good story. It can be simple. Good vs. Evil. That's fine. I'll enjoy it. And that's pretty much it. Unfortunately, this book couldn't even manage that. I can't believe I stuck it out for the whole thing. I can't believe I'm continuing to waste my time by writing about it...


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