reviews

Rocks Fall. Everyone Dies by Eddie Skelson - Book Review

Write on: Mon, 04 May 2020 by  in Assaph's Reviews Read 2197

I found out about Rocks Fall through SPFBO 2019, and when I interviewed Corbett (the cranky wizard) it convinced me to read. It’s an excellent, lighthearted fantasy adventure that fans of D&D and MMORPGs would adore, and make just about everyone with a funny-bone snort at the jokes.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Expect a funny fantasy romp, with many jokes about tropes of the genre. The novel is reminiscent of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, where the different characters – all with their own slightly misanthropic, bloody destructive agendas – are all brought together in a twist of fate to combat evil. We get to follow in their steps as they are first drawn together, then brought together and shaped up as a fighting group.

Everything leads to the obligatory “boss fight” at the end (everything built up and foreshadowed expertly), and opens up for the coming adventure. While not exactly a cliff-hanger (there’s an epilogue), the book end on a note that invites more novels to come.

Skelson does an excellent job in both drawing great and engaging characters, while subverting and laughing at common genre tropes. One can’t help but identify (if not exactly like) each and every one of the varied cast, as they rise above themselves. One also can’t help but laugh loudly at some of the jokes, especially the ones that refer back to the genre.

WHAT I LIKED

I liked the premise, the humorous tone, and the characters. All are very well executed. Skelson has a deft touch when it comes to building up events, with attention to plotting and foreshadowing that is never heavy handed but is always flowing and keeps the reader immersed in the narrative.

The world-building relies heavily on tropes (I wish there was a bit more to it), but it makes sense within the context of the story and is used for humorous effects.

WHAT TO BE AWARE OF

The book could have used another round of copy-editing. While it didn’t stop me from deeply enjoying the story, if you get an eye-twitch at misplaced punctuation or broken words you might want to check if the book has since been updated.

FELIX'S REVIEW

Felix had a blast reading these adventures. Pointing and laughing at the silly misadventures of others is his favourite kind of theatre play. He's happy to stay in the big city, though if any of the cast visit he'd shout them a drink just to hear more stories.

SUMMARY

If you’ve ever played D&D (or other fantasy games) – or even if you hadn’t and just like good, funny fantasy – this is a book for you.

Assaph

Assaph has been a bibliophile since he learnt to read at the age of five, and a Romanophile ever since he first got his hands on Asterix, way back in elementary school. This exacerbated when his parents took him on a trip to Rome and Italy - he whinged horribly when they dragged him to "yet another church with baby angels on the ceiling", yet was happy to skip all day around ancient ruins and museums for Etruscan art. 

He has since been feeding his addiction for books with stories of mystery and fantasy of all kinds. A few years ago he randomly picked a copy of a Lindsay Davis' Marcus Didius Falco novel in a used book fair, and fell in love with Rome all over again, this time from the view-point of a cynical adult. His main influences in writing are Steven Saylor, Lindsey Davis, Barry Hughart and Boris Akunin. 

Assaph now lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife, kids, cats, and - this being Australia - assorted spiders. By day he is a software product manager, bridging the gap between developers and users, and by night he's writing - he seems to do his best writing after midnight.

Website: http://egretia.com

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