Actually Hearne dismayed me when I first started reading. The opening didn't sparkle like his previous books ... until I hit his ode to salad spinners. This bit after he'd finished turning Asgard, the plane of the Norse gods, on its ear. More important, he doesn't dwell on his genius bit of humor but jumps right back into the plot of avoiding god-generated disasters and making Thor pay for his centuries of cruelty and entitled attitude.
Yeah, I admit my envy of humorous writers since I'm incapable of writing funny. Oh, I understand the basic structure of juxtaposing two incompatibilities. Like the forgetful rabbi making the "sign of the cross" with the punch line: spectacles, testicles, watch and cigars. I'm condemned to spending my life being an appreciative audience for others. Books that do humor well while keeping the plot moving ... fast, should be cherished.
Yeah, this book isn't as funny as the others, but more important, it's more than competently written. The lives of the main characters and major secondary characters continue to develop and the loose ends are tied just enough to leave some dangling hooks to pull you into the next set of books. Let's hope Atticus O'Sullivan continues his Brer Rabbit conniving for many books to come.
Just as Tolkein marked fantasy tropes, I think Alan Garner set off a bunch of his own. Of course, he used tropes himself -- wise old wizard and kids landing in an adventure when they are removed from their normal lives. It's what you do with the trope that matter. I found Garner's mine escapes more exciting than Tolkein's.
Before I go any further, I must share a link on Why Books Don't Sell from MuseInks. Since I'm one of the thousands who have an abysmal Amazon ranking, I thought I'd share this before I proceed.
Getting ready to draft a new novel? I used to do it every fall, and I bet many of you with children do the same as soon as the school bell rings. C. A. Marshall revealed a simplified way to check on your plot development: The Nine Grid Plan. I printed it off since I could even understand it ... unlike the snowflake method so many people swear at.
Richard Hayes who reviewed Taking Vengeance at What I Wrote said:
Theodoratus' Half-elven "...is a new approach to the Elven legend which is really refreshing."