- First published by Titan Books in 2017
- Format: Paperback
- Reading time: 10 increasingly tiring days
- Found this in the library (back when libraries were still open) and, since I loved Anno Dracula, I decided to pick this up and give this a go, expecting wacky and well-researched hijinks.
- A good start with the End of the Pier show but the best story was definitely Tomorrow Town. Both stories were compact, gave you all the world building you didn’t and didn’t outstay their welcome.
- Really psychedelic and weird. The author certainly has an active imagination but he takes things from the sublime to the ridiculous very quickly.
- Characters start out promising. Our first story shows Fred’s first contact with Richard and Vanessa, two unique secret agents working behind the scenes to make sure Britain’s supernatural scene keeps to itself and doesn’t draw the attention of the general public. There’s a lot of opportunity for growth, especially from Fred as he brings in a down-to-earth perspective only a copper can bring to this very eccentric table. However, that opportunity is not taken. A drawback of pulling together several vaguely connected stories is that all the stories were created individually and no thought was given to how they can connect. There is some feeling of order but there’s no real cohesive narrative.
- It’s surpassing loving parody and going into playing the tiresome tropes straight out of the bad secret agent movies from the 60s and 70s from the busty, scantily clad female agent who seems to be getting herself in trouble than actually being a secret agent and the extreme political incorrectness around race and homosexuality. of the time. As the author pointed out in the first story, you can’t take the good things about the ‘good old days’ without taking the bad things.
- Can get very weighed down with details as the stories get longer and the author has more room to expand. Unfortunately, all the details and the sly digs at pop culture get in the way of the story and it’s easy to get tangled up in them.
- A seriously tedious story around soap operas. I get that the plot of the soap is purposefully nonsensical but this is starting to feel less satirical and more critically slow. Since I’m not a soap fan, I don’t see the subtle references that might be hidden in the turgid details either.
- Loath to do it but I’m DNF-ing at 48%. To be exact, I’m DNF-ing at a really objectionable scene hinting at sexual assault. No way, political incorrectness, I could put up with but not that! And that makes 2 DNFs in a row!
Goodreads Rating (at 48%): ⭐️⭐️
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