Here be Dragons

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Fantasy Review: ‘The Lost Cactus’ by David S Jamieson

Not the world’s most original premise – Daniel Howard discovers that by some quirk of fate, he’s the last great hope for mankind and must undertake a dangerous quest… and so on and so forth. But then the plot isn’t really the point. There are masses of ideas in here, all jostling for position, strugging to get themselves noticed in the crowd. Every page is filled with amusingly quirky talking animals or scenery, squirrels rushing about with post-it notes and the like, or corridors full of vine-covered forest, or tables made of ice, while our hero stands around gawking and doing the what-the-*&^%’s-going-on role. And there are some laugh-out-loud moments, it’s true. But comedy is difficult to do well, and a character who ends every third sentence with ‘Oh crap!’ gets tedious pretty fast. I think there’s a good story in here, but the author is trying too hard to be clever and amusing. For anyone looking for a light-hearted and irreverent piece of fantasy with the world’s most unlikely hero, this might be just the job, but for me it just doesn’t work. One star for a DNF. [But I did like the talking lift!]

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