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A slightly flat ending to a decent series
on 24 November 2005
Well the frankly bizarrely named Earth, Air, Fire and Custard is the third in the series involving Paul Carpenter at J.W. Wells & Co. Paul is in a quandary, his git of a boss Dennis Tanner has only gone and done the one thing that after all he has been through could shock Paul – offered him a promotion. I mean this promotion even ups his holiday allowance from zero to a whole seven days off a year – what more can he ask for??
Well to be left in peace for a start.
The first 100 pages or so off Paul's continuing adventures reinforce what we already know. Yes Paul is a cretin with the social skills of a rapid pit-bull. He’s basically a loser – we get it, no need to keep going on about it because believe me, Tom Holt does… The hero notion is pushed hard again during this outing and this can grate sometimes as well. That said we do finally get to see clearly what is meant by Paul being a hero, which is something.
This book is long and twisty. I mean there are more turns in this tale than at the Nuremberg Ring, although I occasionally was looking at the pages thinking this makes bugger all sense, on the whole this book does wrap up a lot of lose ends that have appeared through the previous two novels but also leaves a few of its own to remain untold but all in all a reasonable effort to clear things up.
Unfortunately that's the crux of it, this book is a reasonable effort – it’s not great but it’s not poor, the shame of it is that I finished it and didn't feel the series itself had lived up to my expectations and that annoyed me. If it had been an average series throughout I wouldn’t have minded but it wasn't, so I did.
Oh and before I forget Quixotic means “caught up in the romance of noble deeds and the pursuit of unreachable goals; idealistic without regard to practicality” for when you get there.
I find it difficult to put my finger on why I wasn't enamoured with this outing but I guess it is in no small part to the overriding thought we have been going in circles for 3 books and essentially we are running over the same material time and again, it just gets a bit dull after a while. I would recommend people to read this to finish the series, and overall I would recommend the whole series to people but just bear in mind that it isn't as good as it should have been.