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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning! You may actually just DIE laughing......
I'm still in pain from the effects of this book. The Ratastrophe Catastrophe is, apparently, the start of the Illmoor Chronicles. I read it on my hols (in the USA, no less!)
and I'd definitely recommend it for this purpose. The characters
are totally deranged, the black humour is absolutely guy-busting, and the story - a familiar pied-pipery tale - is turned on...
Published on 19 Aug 2003 by timbucktooville

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Almost a catastrophe
David Lee Stone's first Illmoor Chronicle is not quite a catastrophe, but it's not good either. The first of this fantasy series, "The Ratastrophe Catastrophe," is one of those books that has to strain to be halfway funny and a quarter entertaining, but doesn't quite manage it.

Evil magic possesses a very ordinary young man named Diek, making his eye glow and...
Published on 22 July 2005 by E. A Solinas


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning! You may actually just DIE laughing......, 19 Aug 2003
I'm still in pain from the effects of this book. The Ratastrophe Catastrophe is, apparently, the start of the Illmoor Chronicles. I read it on my hols (in the USA, no less!)
and I'd definitely recommend it for this purpose. The characters
are totally deranged, the black humour is absolutely guy-busting, and the story - a familiar pied-pipery tale - is turned on its head and rolled down a hill! Magically enfuelled Diek Wustapha marches into Dullitch to fix their rat problem,
ends up kidnapping the kids and is pursued across the land by a horde of nutcase mercenaries (they're actually weirder than the mercenary line up in Empire Strikes Back). These mercenaries have names like Groan (as in moan), Tambor and Quickstint! While Ratastrophe Catastrophe is not as universally appealing as
Harry Potter or Artemis Fowl, it certainly a damn funny book -
it's already been knicked off my shelf by my dad (though he reckons he's only 'skimming' it).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for girls, eh?, 10 Sep 2003
By 
Amanda (Belfast, NI) - See all my reviews
When this book first came out, I pretty much ignored it because everyone said it was a 'ladsndads' read. I finally bought it last week, (mainly because so many of you on here hype it up so much).
and I'm very glad I did. It's probably not the best book I've read this year, but it's definitely in my top five. It's funny, original and I loved the character names. The map is hillarious - there's places like Shinbone and Phlegm! I think the main reason people said this was just for boys was because there aren't enough girls IN IT. In fact, I counted one. Still, I'd certainly recommend it to the lads (or any girls with a blokish sense of humour).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Almost a catastrophe, 22 July 2005
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Ratastrophe Catastrophe: Illmoor Chronicles: Ratastrophe Catastrophe (Paperback)
David Lee Stone's first Illmoor Chronicle is not quite a catastrophe, but it's not good either. The first of this fantasy series, "The Ratastrophe Catastrophe," is one of those books that has to strain to be halfway funny and a quarter entertaining, but doesn't quite manage it.

Evil magic possesses a very ordinary young man named Diek, making his eye glow and giving him the power to charm animals and people with music. At about the same time, the ancient, run-down city of Dullitch is suddenly overriden with thousands of giant rats. Diek offers to charm them away, for a price. He does so... only to be informed that there isn't enough to pay him.

So he charms all the city's children away. So the dim Duke hires some not-so-competant mercenaries, including belligerent dwarf Gordo, crocheted-hat-wearing giant Groan, and has-been wizard Tambor. But can they find the missing children and defeat the evil magic in time, or will the parents of Dullitch revolt?

Something magical is missing from "Ratastrophe Catastrophe," and it's not just because of the constant comparisons to Terry Pratchett. A few too many things -- Dullitch, the Duke, the guilds, even the magical possession story -- are similar to Pratchett's Discworld, but that wouldn't be a problem if Stone had crafted a funny, witty fantasy.

Unfortunately, he tried and failed. With an old plot like the Pied Piper, a story needs exceptional wit to stand out. Unfortunately Stone seems focused more on contrived jokes that really aren't that funny, like hair loss or the Tower of Screaming Doom. They're a little funny, but not so funny that you might actually laugh at them. If he just let the humour flow, it would have worked better.

And even more unfortunately, all the time that Stone spends on his jokes takes away from the characters. They're all paper-thin one-joke characters -- inept wizard, big doof, grumpy dwarf, corrupt politicians. And the most interesting characters vanish pretty quickly, such as the weirdo who is mad because he LIKED having a rat infestation.

Humorous fairy-tale retellings are a common thing, but David Lee Stone adds little to the genre in "The Ratastrophe Catastrophe." Here's hoping the second book of the series has some substance.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is hilarious, 26 July 2003
By 
Jack (Bracknell, UK) - See all my reviews
This book could not get any funnier from the chapter one plus I found it to be full of witticisms, irony and with a totally nonchalant attitude to things, which all just added to the wonderfully unique humour of this book. Such as right at the pinnacle of the storey when a cat ambles up on the hero of the tale and piddles on him.
Truly funny!!!

I have never read a book which made me laugh so much out loud!!
From the beautifully named towns of ‘legrash’ and ‘spittle’ all the way to end when the duke is saved from an angry mob because a dog wants his bone.
I’m afraid to tell you, to understand what I’m saying here you’re just going to have to read the book! You won’t regret it!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Start of An Amazing Series, 22 Mar 2006
This review is from: The Ratastrophe Catastrophe: Illmoor Chronicles: Ratastrophe Catastrophe (Paperback)
I've read Rat Cat a few times now, and I haven't posted a review before because, although I loved it, I did think it was the weakest of the series.
But looking back and re-reading, it is an incredible book full of humour and invention, and I really do think Illmoor is now about the best fantasy series written for the teen/ya market in Britain. I've just finished book 4, which was INCREDIBLE and so funny.
Rat Cat is the start of the Illmoor Chronicles. It's an adventure quite similar to the Pied Piper story but, like I said before, you have to read it to gain entrance to this brilliant series of books. Rat Cat is first, then Yowler, Shadewell and Dwellings. There is another one on the way, too.
Yipee!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as it wants to be., 23 Nov 2007
By 
Matthew Poole (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Ratastrophe Catastrophe: Illmoor Chronicles: Ratastrophe Catastrophe (Paperback)
Its obvious from the sort of humour used that the book is aiming to be much in the style of Terry Pratchett. Unfortunately what at first promises to be an entertaining read swiftly becomes boring and bogged down. The plot, like the humour, is slow and contrived, the characters cliched and the story unoriginal in the extreme (its a bad retelling of the Pied Piper of Hamlin). I really wanted to like this book but I just don't. As for the writers aspirations...I'm sorry but even Pratchett at his worst is a lot better than this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a giggle, 16 Feb 2007
By 
C. Parrott "CP" (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Ratastrophe Catastrophe: Illmoor Chronicles: Ratastrophe Catastrophe (Paperback)
I found this book in a car boot sale for a pound and having just spent the last 2 or 3 months reading 'View from the Mirror Quartet' I fancyed something short not too serious and this looked like it would fit the picture.

It is obviously written for a younger age group but on the whole i found this to be an ok read (not exception) but quite funny and entertaining in places and an intersting take on an old tale.

Although is wasnt the best book that i have read it did manage to keep me interested to find any others of this seris that might exist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic first book from this new author-hilarious, 31 May 2003
By 
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Once I had picked up this book I couldn't put it down, the story that Stone weaves is captivating, each of the characters is likeable in some way although my favourites were Diek and the Duke. He takes a classic story like the pied piper and completley makes it into his own. This is a fantastic story for children and adults and I guarantee it will have you in stitches. Just brilliant, I can't wait for the next one. This series is certainly one to watch as it has the potential to be the next big thing!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wickedly strange.....and VERY funny., 11 Jun 2003
David Lee Stone's take on the pied-piper yarn is completely off the wall. Complete with a case of thieves, zombies, magicians and rats, the Illmoor Chronicles are sure to be a smash hit with kids of all ages (I'm 34!). Seriously, I cracked up on just about every page of this book. When is the next one out????
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but unoriginal, 2 Sep 2003
By A Customer
This is the most unoriginal but funny book I have ever read. If you're a Terry Pratchett fan you'll grasp the point of book straight away, but be somewhat confused that Terry Pratchett didnt actually write it. Some of the places and characters mentioned in this book are almost identical to the Discworld Series. For example, the town that the characters live in could be Ankh Morpork from the Discworld series but with a different name.
A funny, good book thats easy to read but rather too much like Terry Pratchett.
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