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Old world, old stuff,
This review is from: The Dragon Conspiracy: 1 (World of Eldaterra) (Hardcover)
There are a few authors whose work is completely devoid of quality. P.R. Moredun's "The Dragon Conspiracy" is one of those.
His debut novel is a schizophrenic fantasy ride that veers from Victorian mystery to high fantasy to goofball kiddie fantasy, and is populated by stock characters who never grow out of their basic descriptions. By the halfway mark, it's difficult to even continue.
In 1895, several women were found horribly killed -- from someone that came from inside them. Fifteen years later, young James wanders from a beach into another world, and is quickly taken under the wings of loyal dwarves, stately elf ladies, and kindly wizards. This is the world of Eldaterra (or "Old World") -- and it's in danger.
Evil creatures are threatening Eldaterra's -- and Earth's -- existances, and James soon finds himself hunting for dragons in his own world. A policeman from fifteen years ago also finds himself investigating those fatal pregnancies, which are linked to the possible invasion of Earth by Eldaterra's horrific creatures... unless James can stop them.
"The Dragon Conspiracy" starts on a relatively interesting, if somewhat cliched note ("Alien," anyone?). But after the opener, Moredun veers wildly from one kind of fantasy to another. It's as if he can't make up his mind what he wants to write, so he tried to write them all. The result is a fantasy novel with a killer case of MPS.
At one point during "The Dragon Conspiracy," James reflects that "Sibelius had given a rich and evocative history of Eldaterra," but that's about as deep as Moredun goes. Eldaterra never has any depth as an alternate world, nor do the cliched creatures that populate it -- noble elves, kind wizards, stout-hearted dwarves, and talking animals.
Moreover, about two-thirds of the way through, Moredun starts getting silly. By that point, he has introduced us to a ladies' club for dragons ("The Monster Diet Program"), who are evil without a reason to be. The low point is when he introduces an American dragon named Ballasifimor Crazychainsaw. I couldn't make that up.
And the writing doesn't provide any magic either -- epic battles take place in a few pages, maximum, and Moredun clumsily tries to weave the World War I politics into the plot. Dragons in league with the Nazis? James and his dwarf pals can't salvage the plot; they have as much depth as the absurdly-named dragons. Even when an important character dies, it seems like a passing obstacle.
The book book of the "World of Eldaterra" series is a disastrous collection of cliches, silly villains and a very uninviting "old world." Perhaps it will improve -- but don't hold your breath.