Hand of Chaos by J. Hamlet

Anna Wei, a mage, works for the NSA division that handles magical incidents. The forces of Hell sponsor the CIA, the forces of Heaven sponsor the DoD, and the NSA is caught in the middle, serving Chaos and making sure neither side prevails. What’s already a complicated situation gets worse when a rogue necromancer sponsored by Plague goes on a killing spree as part of a catastrophic ritual.

This setting covers familiar ground, but the author does a good job of putting a spin on it that makes for an engaging world. None of the factions are caricatures, the component-based magic is interesting, and the story arc is spot on. That said, the author spent too much time explaining the world, and individual scenes fell victim to an excess of flowery language. Even so, the book was a much better ride than I expected.

Angels, demons, and wars between them have been overdone, but this book thankfully puts an entertaining spin on things that held my attention. In this, the forces of Hell are as often disenfranchised outsiders as psychopaths, and the forces of Heaven tend to be too sure of themselves, even when that leads to atrocities. The people serving Chaos comprise a somewhat sane middle ground.

More importantly, it’s a cold war. There have been eras when one side or the other was riding high, but neither has ultimately prevailed. The fact that things never become an all-out war does a lot to keep the setting interesting. In addition, the members of all three factions have good reasons for doing what they are. I never felt a character was evil just to be evil. Everyone has, if not good reasons, then at least understandable ones for what they do. The main antagonist is almost a sympathetic character, even though he’s also a ruthless killer.

The magic system was a pleasure to read. First, it’s component based, but the author really understood how to communicate that system in an enjoyable manner. I haven’t read a magic system that I could feel running through my fingertips like this one in a while. Second, each school of magic requires certain mental states to be cast. Light magic requires overbearing confidence, fire requires rage, earth requires Zen-like calm and patience. Together, this makes for well-textured magical battles.

The story arc never surprised me, but it was a well-oiled machine that did what it needed to. It’s a pretty straightforward thriller that shifts between the villain and the people trying to stop him, but each rise in the action happened exactly when it needed to, and the conclusion neatly wrapped up all of the threads. It made sense. And, most importantly, the author resisted the urge to cut off in the middle of things and promise the conclusion in another book. In the land of self-publishing, a decent number of books don’t contain an entire plot, just the first half or third of it. Thankfully, this author understands how to finish a story well and set up the next one.

All of that said, the strength of the setting is also a weakness. The author spends a lot of time going into details about the world that, although interesting, aren’t necessary to the plot and clutter up the book. I’d find myself getting tired halfway through a chapter because of these asides, although they were interesting enough to keep me from going into full on skim mode.

The author also has a bad habit of using too much flowery language to describe things. Any given page might have a wonderful description, but there would be two others that, when taken together, made the whole thing a bit over the top. In addition, there were scenes were too much time got spent describing each part of the action at length, which bogged down what was otherwise a well-paced brawl.

Both of these problems are solvable, but if the author doesn’t address them in future books, the series will rapidly wear out its welcome. For this first novel, though, these issues didn’t take away too much from my enjoyment. I didn’t expect to enjoy this novel nearly as much as I did, which was quite the pleasant surprise.

If you want a good fantasy thriller/suspense novel with an interest take on what could have been overused themes, this is one for you. I give it a 4/5.

You can pick up a copy from Amazon.


Michael: Gehenna Book One by H.W. Taft

Ms. Taft’s book is a well-written thriller that’ll hold your attention over the course of two to three evenings of compulsive reading and not a moment longer. The pace of the story and the way she writes it are both spot on, but there’s not much that will stick with you once you finish it. The setting, the story, and the characters are all missed opportunities that are particularly unfortunate given just how well Ms. Taft can write. Despite that, this book is an ideal read and forget thriller/romance.

To be clear, the writing and pacing are spot on. The author puts the sentences together well, seamlessly transitions between scenes, ends the chapters in the right place, and does a generally excellent job of presenting the story she’s come up with. I could easily see a publisher putting Ms. Taft’s work on the shelf beside a Stephanie Plum novel.

That said, writing stock thriller/romance novels for the rest of her days would be a waste of Ms. Taft’s abilities, and that’s the primary reason I’m going to be exceedingly critical for the rest of this review. Let’s be clear: if you just want something to fill the time without having to dwell on it too much, this book is a 5/5. If, however, you want to read something of substance that’ll stick with you and roll around in the back of your head, this book is nothing more than a great execution of bland formula you’ve trudged through a hundred times before.

First, there’s the content of the story itself: it’s about Liz, a woman who falls in love with a troubled bad boy, Michael Thane, who’s had 900+ years in Hell to strip him of all emotions. Of course, by the end of the book they’re married and breaking bed-frames like stress-testing machines at a furniture factory. It is the standard troubled-but-reformed woman turns a bad boy into a lovable, romantic stud through the force of being herself. Sure, there are the people they’re trying to protect, the villains trying to make Hell a worse place than it already is, and the jerks in between who don’t care, but the core story is a bog-standard improbable romance.

Second, the setting itself is both incredibly troubling and a wasted opportunity. It’s set in Hell (or Gehenna if you prefer), and it is very much Hell in the Christian sense. There’s a whole quarter full of those poor, ignorant pagans ticked off that they chose the wrong gods and happily sacrificing every soul they can get their hands onto. Most everyone and anything evil in the book enjoys murder and torture. Everyone who isn’t desperately seeking redemption is little more than a drunken nihilist. And those trying to redeem themselves are quite clearly Christian. The implication is that if you’re not a Christian, then you’re ultimate fate is to turn into a crazed, sado-masochistic vampire.

It’s a pretty bold theological statement to make, and it is made for no other reason than to offer a unique setting for a forgettable story. The location could have as easily been New York City. It’s not that I had a horse in this race, but this book has all of the plot holes that every work of fiction set in the afterlife and not written by Dante or Neil Gaiman have.

Souls spawn into Hell like pod-people, at random. If the entire point is to give souls a chance at redemption, it’s pretty silly that some can spawn in the middle of a bad part of town and get torn to pieces within seconds. Sure, the main character gets saved, and it’s implied everything happens for a reason, but given the book emphasizes just how many people get torn apart upon seconds of entering the afterlife, that doesn’t cut it.

The second problem: religion aside, Gehenna is nothing more than a Gritty Urban Place, a Gotham City that people also happen to call Hell. There is the nice part of town, the crappy middle part where all of the dance clubs, brothels, and drug dealers are, and then the part of town where people like to skin each other alive. I’ll say it again, but there was no good reason to set this book in the afterlife.

The third problem with the setting: people need to eat, sleep, work jobs, and can die. So it’s basically just like the real world with a few more psychopaths per thousand people. Sure, old souls turn into ‘demons,’ but demons are just another word (one that gets dropped relatively fast) for vampires. Vampires. So if you don’t find redemption fast enough, you get super powers and eventually turn into an insane monster. And if you die, I’m still not quite sure what happens.

There’s a simple rule: if you’re going to set a story in the afterlife, and people can die in the story without you knowing what happens to them afterward, then you’ve completely missed the point of setting your story in the damned afterlife. As far as I can tell here, about the only reason for the setting is so that the main character can fall in love with a vampire.

The afterlife, as a setting, has vast amounts of potential, but in this particular book that potential wasn’t realized.

As for the characters, there was nothing wrong with them, but they were little more than tried and true archetypes: the brooding vampire, the woman who warms his heart, the troubled but good commissioner, the dedicated best friend, the conniving council member, etc. They all served their purposes well, and they managed to rile me up a few times, but none of them really stood out.

The biggest problem, as mentioned earlier, was that every villain was a sadist, a masochist, or both. Gabriel, for his part, got off on torturing women. Physical violence, especially towards women, is one of the more predictable and boring ways to depict evil. If you really want to get into something that’s interesting, write about the mental processes necessary to allow a person to think that something like torture is acceptable.

Also, all of the villains enjoy kinky sex, and none of the good guys apparently do. This is a problem in a lot of crime drama where writers assume that anyone who enjoys messing around with a few peculiar toys has to be a serial killer or a murderer. There would be a loooot more serial killers in the world if that was actually true, so it’s a pet peeve of mine. Most author’s don’t realize they’re sending that message, but it’s something to watch.

At the end of the day, there’s nothing that makes this book special, nothing that burrowed into the back of my mind and made me think. Its setting and many of the characters are problematic for the reasons discussed above, and the story is about as straightforward as they come.

All of that said, Ms. Taft is a fantastic writer, and I’m giving her so much trouble for that exact reason. Her talents are ill-served writing bog-standard thriller/romance novels. But again, let’s be clear: she can write them damned well. This book serves the same functions as a good 90s action movie. It’s just that I believe Ms. Taft is capable of much more than that. I give it a 4/5.

You can pick up a copy from Amazon here.

Confessions of a Fast-Food Worker by George D. Wight

This book is a straightforward, entertaining collection of stories that thoroughly explain why you should never, under any circumstances, piss off people that are underpaid and handle your food where you can’t see it. There are occasional issues with grammar and spelling, but this book, which smacks of non-fiction, had me laughing more than most things I’ve read in a long time.

The one criticism I have is that it is a collection of personal anecdotes rather than a novel, but the author wisely kept the book short, more around the length of a novella, which made for a quick afternoon read. That said, it’s not the sort of material that makes for a long series of books, but for a few hours now and then it does the job quite well.

If you’ve ever worked a crappy night job (in this case at McDonald’s), especially one that involved customer service, you’ll immediately have a great deal of sympathy for the writer as he walks you through the most bizarre and infuriating experiences he had during his time chucking burgers at ungrateful pri..ahem, individuals, as well as how his coworkers and he got even with them, as well as with their employer.

There’s a lot of spit involved. And some larceny, a bit of fraud, and that greasy muck just under the stove where your mop never manages to reach. But mostly spit.

That said, it’s impossible not to root for him as he navigates his way through the mess that is minimum wage-slavery, and if you’ve been there, the wide variety of things he does to either get back at customers who are terrible human beings or outfox a company that routinely treats its employees as disposable waste that’s only of momentary use will give you a great deal of pleasure.

In many ways, it’s a collection of cathartic moments that you wished you had do, or wish you could bring yourself to do, even though a few of them certainly go over the line. Reading this book is a good way to mellow out after dealing with a frustrating day.

All of that said, to people with no experience in the realm of minimum wage employment, odds are you’ll find a great many stories in this book absolutely horrifying. I consider myself to have a hearty constitution, but there were particularly vignettes that, although I was laughing, left me wincing afterward. Followed by a bit of snickering.

There’s not much more to say about this book. It’s cheap, entertaining, and it does the job it sets out to do: tell hysterical tales of a fast food workers foul vengeance upon those who wronged him. I’d suggest eating a hamburger before you read this book, since it might be a few days before you can stomach one afterward, but it’s a sacrifice worth making. I give it a 4/5.

You can nab a copy off of Amazon here.

The Sorcery Code by Dima Zales

This book is a straightforward, well executed genre piece with a few clever twists that caught my interest. It follows Blaise, something of a mad scientist and a powerful sorcerer who creates a magical being, Gala, for the purpose of giving magic to the commoners. Complications arise, the first of which is Gala herself, a person instead of an object as originally planned.

Despite a few issues, the book accomplishes what it sets out to. It’s an entertaining, quick read with a clever magic system, and it never gets bogged down. That being said, I felt there were missed opportunities where the author could have slipped in a bit more depth, and the character, Augusta, didn’t sit well with me. This is a rare criticism from me, but I also felt there were certain parts where it would have been appropriate for things to be a bit naughtier than they were.

My first criticism of the book is that the story raised a lot of interesting issues but never explored them in a way that really impacted me. The sorcerers are your typical ruling class and happen to think they’re somewhat godlike, and have the power to back it up, so a good portion of the book focuses on Blaise’s desire to balance things out. I felt the author was trying to communicate just how bad it could be to live under the sorcerers, but each time he raised an issue, it was through the perspective of one of the characters who didn’t have to deal with it directly.

There’s starvation, but only one of the main characters actually needs to eat. Then there’s casual cruelty, like the coliseum, but again, Gala is simply a horrified observer that immediately leaps in and tries to fix things. There is also a great deal of talk of how Blaise’s brother, another powerful sorcerer, was summarily executed simply for trying to let the commoners know what it felt like to do magic. This was interesting, but because it happened in the past, it’s not quite enough to really drive home a sense of oppression.

The one scene that really works is when a young, starving woman steals a piece of bread and gets her hand cut off. I feel like the author began to, but didn’t completely, take off the kid gloves, and let the scene start creeping towards truly horrific, but it’s the only instance I can remember.

The author really needed to do more bad things to the characters we followed, or he needed to write in a few truly horrific scenes involving the commoners and those above them. It’s one thing that works so well in George R.R. Martin’s writing: absolutely awful things happen, and it not only fires up the reader to root for the underdog, it also makes her genuinely afraid of what’s going to happen next.

Although the sorcerers are presented as ignorant, arrogant, and cavalier concerning the lives of their peasants, Mr. Zales never made me feel, on a get level, that they were twisted and cruel, and thus the system they represented HAD to be torn down by Blaise and Gala.

My second issue was Augusta, who for a seemingly brilliant woman didn’t exhibit much in the way of rational thought. I absolutely despised her, true, but it was a bit too easy to do. I don’t believe her character was written to hate, but hate her I did.

On the same note, it bothered me that the instant she had her first confrontation with Blaise she became completely unhinged and never gathered her wits about her. She started with a bit more depth than she ended up with, although, given the ending, I’m optimistic she’ll end up doing more than running around in a continuous and arrogant tantrum.

My final problem was, frankly, the sex. It happened rather frequently in the book, but there was rarely more than a sentence implying that a pair of characters had, or were about to, make love. Now, this normally isn’t a problem, but given how the book starts and how, to an extent, it presents itself; I felt those scenes should have been fleshed out a bit more. Not a lot, mind you, just a few more details, a little bit of physical intimacy.

As it was, the scenes felt a bit forced, a stray sentence chucked in here and there because, well, the characters are expected to have sex and so they shall. It doesn’t need much more, and it doesn’t need to be particularly lewd, but it does need enough to inject some passion into it. It’d make the book a more enjoyable read.

Now, on to what worked: the pacing. Dima Zales nails the speed that a fun fantasy adventure should read at. I never got bogged down and was able to get through the entire thing in one day. I have nothing against longer books, but it’s always a pleasure when an author knows the story he or she wants to tell and just does it. I never felt like I was getting info dumps dropped on me, and the details about the world, although I would have liked a few more, were neatly interspersed with the action so as not to be intrusive.

I also loved the magic system. It’s essentially computer programming, and by essentially, I mean it downright IS. There’s a magic realm, then a physical realm. To get the magical realm to affect the physical realm, sorcerers have to use a complex programming language. A recent invention made this simpler by essentially creating a punch card computer, so instead of writing 1s and 0s, sorcerers can code in visual basic.

It was a brilliantly simple magic system, but the moment I figured out what was going on I couldn’t help but grin. Even better, because it works just like complex computer programming, the reader immediately has an intuitive understanding of how it fits into the world, how pervasive it is, how life changing for the people within it. Really, in many ways Blaise is simply trying to give everyone access to computers and eventually the internet, and it’s that free flow of information that terrifies the other sorcerers. It was clever, and I’d like to see more with it.

All told, this book was a fun, lighthearted read. It could have hit with more impact in places, and been a bit sexier, but on the same note it was a pleasant way to breeze through an afternoon. If you want something fun, with enough clever bits to make you smile and chuckle, I’d recommend it. I give it a 4/5.

You can pick up a copy for the Kindle here, or a print copy from here. Enjoy!

Super Born: Seduction of Being by Keith Kornell

Super Born follows a single mom with a crappy job who has the misfortune of being stranded in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The book aims to be a straightforward but comedic superhero story that focuses on her struggle to fulfill her own needs and take care of her daughter, all of which her powers and sense of responsibility to the public at large complicates.

The humor is hit and miss, and it occasionally veers too far into the absurd, but it does its job well enough. The author’s use of multiple perspectives also undermines the pace and substance of the story. Despite that, his focus on a single mom who is unabashed about enjoying sex, conflicted by the desire to live her own life while raising her daughter, and who acts like most people actually would when they get super powers makes for an enjoyable read. And she enjoys calling herself the BIB. The last bit of it is “In Black,” so you can figure the rest out.

First, the humor. The real meat in the story focuses on how a quirky single mom deals with her life. The superpowers give it an air of the fantastic, but ultimately, the story is about how someone in her position would handle getting superpowers. What really keeps the story going is that she’s a goofy, normal person with superpowers, rather than a billionaire that beats up the economically underprivileged. She’s not an extraordinary person, just a mom trying to do her best. There is a good amount of grounded humor dealing with her struggles that really works in the book.

There are, however, many jokes that are outright absurd. The basic premise of the book is that there’s a special kind of radiation that makes men complete morons and gives women super powers. The men in Scranton, in this book, are so stupid they walk into lamp posts, can’t hold down jobs, and put antlers on their heads and shoot rifles at each other in a bar game to entertain themselves. For a story that finds its strength on the down to earth confronting the fantastic, humor like this is a bit far out there. Sure, make the men stupid, but not to the point that they’d drown themselves drinking out of a water fountain. Whenever the book veers into unbelievably absurd humor, it undermines its strengths. That being said, I frequently ended up laughing my butt off as I read.

The second issue with the book is that it follows two major perspectives: there’s the mother and the reporter who, after one meeting, is desperate to track her down because of his attraction to her. I think the reporter himself is an important character with a lot to contribute, but the book can never quite decide if it’s about him or the BIB. Although he gets more page-time than she does, the portions involving the BIB are more entertaining and interesting. The reporter is just another love-stricken schmuck, and most of his character development revolves around showing that he’s basically a decent guy.

Given that the BIB and the story of the single mom with super powers is what really drove this book, I think the bulk of it should have been from her perspective. The reporter only needed a couple of chapters, maybe three, but even then he should have been strictly viewed from the BIB’s perspective rather than as an independent actor. What makes this book good is a fun female character who is allowed to want and enjoy sex, to be insecure, and to beat up mobsters  so she can blow off steam after an argument with her daughter. Having so much of the book dedicated to what amounts to her boy toy undermines her central role and passively counteracts her agency as a character. The book would have been stronger had it simply stuck to her perspective besides a chapter here and there.

All of that being said, she’s still a great character to read. One of my favorite scenes is when she wakes up after being black out drunk and realizes just how much trouble someone with super powers can cause. The author also does a fantastic job of lampooning a lot of the things that make comic books ridiculous via her character. When the mayor develops his version of a bat signal and rolls out the red carpet (literally) for her, she just ignores it and goes to a movie with her daughter and her friend. Why would she want to bother with all of that?

On the same note, the author does a great job examining the tension between living a mundane life working a crap job and being a superhero at the same time, how the need to preserve her secret identity forces her to put up with a terrible boss and all of the tedium that comes with it. She can throw trucks around like pillows, but unless she wants to endanger her daughter she can’t really stay honest and capitalize on her powers. Also, there’s the part of her that still wants to find romance and her own life, but she also has to take care of a daughter trying to act like her mom and clipping her wings. There’s a lot to be said for exploring those sorts of themes, and the fact you have the woman in a superhero costume doing it makes it that much better.

Overall, the book is a success. It made me laugh, and I really enjoyed what the author did with the BIB. The humor got a bit silly in some places, but there was always something within a chapter or so that’d get a sincere grin out of me. I think the author should have dropped the reporter as more than a token perspective so he could really focus on the BIB, but it didn’t ruin the book. This book is fun, quick, touches on some real issues, and leave you with a smile or a chuckle. I give it a 4/5.

You can pick up a copy of it from Amazon here.

The Last of the Time Police: The Time Authority Book 1 by Kim Johnson

Mr. Johnson’s book follows two bumbling gentleman who, through a combination of dumb luck and the poorly run wrap up of the agency tasked with guarding the sanctity of the time stream, end up as the last ‘timenauts’ left. By their powers combined, they ensure a mundane task to fetch a candy bar becomes a world-ending catastrophe.

The author does a solid job of delivering more hits than misses when it comes to his jokes, and the story itself is well paced and well executed. There aren’t too many surprises, but it’s a solid and straightforward adventure story that’s a quick read and a good way to while away an afternoon. The problem is that, like any book that’s a part one of two, the ending ends up being an outright to-be-continued. Also, several of the running jokes in the book get a bit overused by the end of it all.

First, let’s take care of the problems I had with the book. It’s a part one of two which isn’t necessarily a problem, but there was never a moment that felt like it really wrapped things together and set up the next book. There was, however, a scene earlier in the book that gives a reader of how things work out for several of the characters. Unfortunately, the book never actually got the characters to that scene.

The other major plotline, with a historical figure key to why things are going catastrophically wrong, did wrap up quite well, and it was the note that the book ended on. Still, I felt that the author really needed to get his main characters closer to completing their initial task, fixing their machine, than he did. This left the ending in a sort of no man’s land for me where it was halfway towards doing everything I felt it needed to.

That being said, I’m also rather stubborn about expecting a certain degree of resolution regardless of how many parts are left to come, and a to be continued ending sits better with me when a book is lighthearted because there’s nothing I need to recover from.

There are a few running jokes in the novel that get overused and get old after a while. That’s not to say they weren’t entertaining at first, but they were repeated too often. They went from being jokes to becoming nonsensical ways in which the world worked. The humor needed more variety than it had to keep me guffawing, but it certainly kept me smirking and tittering here and there.

The author also gave away the characters’ mental states now and then with descriptive language that took away from the humor. At several points in the book he had a bunch of additional text slapped onto a sentence that would have read much better without the text. These were missed opportunities during which the author would tell us that the characters were frustrated or confused. This was already evident what was going on, so putting this kind of stuff in there added unnecessary padding to the humor that took away some of its bite.

Fortunately, the humor in the book works more often than not, and it kept me smiling. It’s not easy to write a joke that reads well, because unlike a conversation or a routine you don’t have all of the cues from your audience to let you know how you’re doing and what to adjust. You just have to fire the joke out there and try to structure the text so that it lands with the impact you want it to. As a result, there’s little middle ground in written humor.

Mr. Johnson manages to find it, however, delivering a good number of jokes that didn’t make me laugh but did keep me smirking. More importantly, he got a proper laugh out of me at least once every chapter or two.

The author also did a good job of staying in control of his narrative. He kept plots running in three major timelines, as well as a handful of minor ones, which isn’t the easiest thing to do. There was never a point where I felt confused or the plot felt muddled. It played out at a solid pace, everything made sense, and it galloped along like a good adventure should. Pacing is one of the most important things to an adventure novel, and Mr. Johnson nailed it.

The story itself is also a solid one, with a couple of flairs that I found amusing. Nothing happened that ever quite surprised me, which was unfortunate, but there was also never a moment where the way things transpired disappointed me. I think the author could have injected a bit more depth into the whole affair, and it would have made it a stronger, funnier book. But, on the same note, what he wrote does a great job of being a lighthearted adventure that easily carries the reader along from start to finish.

Ultimately, despite a few jokes that ran too long or got softened by a bit of verbal excess, the book was consistently humorous. The plot moved at a good clip and kept me entertained and that, combined with the story and the length of the book, make it an ideal candidate for an afternoon read. This is the sort of book to read for a bit of adventure after the end of a long day. It’s a fun way to take a load off and worth checking out. It’s a solid 4/5.

You can nab a copy of it from Amazon here, or from Smashwords here.

Arthur Pong And His Smelly Song by Jose Fernandez

Although children’s books are a bit of a departure from what I normally review (I’m certainly a man child but I don’t have any children of my own), this particular one was a pleasant surprise. The subject matter is something my nephews would pop my eardrums laughing themselves hoarse over, and the book has a positive core message. I’d have liked for more time to have gone into the art itself, but the characters all have a distinctive style that works well enough.

First, this is a book about farts, but not any farts. No, these are the sort that the titular character, Arthur, has finely crafted into a symphony described as angelic. That was enough to get me snickering, but the author proceeds to walk the reader through the juxtaposition of the quality of Arthur’s performance with the horrific smell methodically wiping out his neighborhood. It had me laughing, and I’m a law student averaging no more than five hours of sleep a night. That’s an accomplishment, and I can only imagine when parents and children are involved this book will make for a raucous occasion.

The core message of the book is simple, direct, and the sort of things kids should hear at least five times a day. In summary: you should do what you love without worrying about what other people think regardless of how embarrassing or unusual it may be. There’s no conflict in the book: Arthur passionately blows a symphonic movement out his hind end, and his neighbors, though laid low by the stench, adore the music.

The other thing the book shows that I think is important is his family supporting him by serving large helpings of beans and, ahem, engaging in what I assume can only be rehearsals. It sends a good message to a child that it’s right for his or her parents to support him or her. There’s also a message to the parents, very reduced but one that’s worth remembering: they should always make sure their child feels supported and accepted, no matter how outlandish his or her behavior.

I would have liked to have seen more from the art, but there is a distinct style and the characters are drawn in an amusing manner. I feel the story is entertaining enough that the art certainly won’t detract from it, but a bit more refining, perhaps some more color (although not too much), and a bit of background drawn in here and there would help flesh things out and make the book as visually engaging as the text itself is.

In short, the book is entertaining enough to make a jaded law student snicker at fart jokes aimed at a five year old, it has a good core message, and the art, although not as fleshed out as it could be, does a sufficient job and has a distinct, consistent style throughout the book. You can pick up a copy on Amazon here.