Monday, January 21, 2008

Book Review: In the Company of Ogres by A. Lee Martinez

Every Monday, I'll be doing spoiler-free book reviews.

When one talks about fantasy comedy, my initial reaction is to compare it to Terry Pratchett. In many ways, In the Company of Ogres resembles many of the Discworld novels in the sense that a) it actually is quite funny and b) makes fun of existing fantasy tropes and elements. Martinez however has his own style that distinguishes himself and this becomes evident as one goes through the book. His prose is quite functional and doesn't weigh you down with flowery prose or detailed descriptions. In fact, perhaps some would way it can be too sparse at times and relies on the reader's familiarity with everything cliche when it comes to the fantasy genre. As for the plot, I never thought one would be able to juggle three antagonists in one book yet Martinez manages it successfully. Perhaps the important part of In the Company of Ogres is that despite the impression that it's a funny novel, the book can get dark at times. The moments when the characters are serious are truly dramatic and Martinez is careful about not spoiling the scene by randomly throwing a satiric episode. Overall it's an enjoyable read of action and character growth. If you're looking for something to tickle your funny bone that has an actual story, you might want to check out In the Company of Ogres.

Rating: 3/5.

Rating System:

1 - There are better ways to spend your time.
2 - Ho hum books, usually typical of its genre. Probably only recommendable to die-hard fans.
3 - A cut above the rest, usually with one or more elements that sets it apart from the norm.
4 - Highly recommended and is easily a pioneer of the genre.
5 - A classic or it will be.

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