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|Print List Price:||£9.82|
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The Gullwing Odyssey Kindle Edition
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|Length: 315 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
It's an adventure story (complete with pirates - including one female ship captain who is not only pretty but also pretty ruthless); it's a fantasy (well, there are dragons and wizards); it's a love story; an espionage story (there is treachery afoot that could lead to the fall of an empire), and a coming-of-age novel all rolled into one.
And, as if that weren't quite enough, it's written with a light touch by an author who is not afraid of poking a little harmless fun at the genre(s) and some of the sillier conventions of modern society. That makes this novel all the better, at least in my opinion, because there is a great deal of truth in what Antonio Simon Jr. has to say about some of the things we take for granted and some of those things that we, often unconsciously, accept as truth despite the lack of any evidence that they are, in fact, true.
The story starts when Marco Gullwing, a humble messenger, is mistaken for someone else and gets sent on a journey that takes him from the court of an emperor to a dungeon to the arms of a princess (a very special princess) to a pirate ship to a jungle to an airship to... well, let's just say that Marco - who had once hoped for a quiet life and an easy retirement - winds up in the middle of an adventure that he could never have dreamed of even in his worst nightmares.
The characters in this novel are fascinating and many of them suffer from very human failings (even the ones that aren't human.) It may be that you will find, as I did, that some of them are more real, and far more believable, than many of those you will find in the pages of so-called "serious" novels.
I highly recommend this book, which I enjoyed immensely.
At first I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of characters, but rest assured each character is as vibrant as they are memorable. My only complaint is that there was very little in the way of description for Marco and Maldronigan. I was completely caught by surprise by the fact that the latter was a human character and not a dragon, which added to my confusion about his attraction to the dragon princess.
There are also a few inconsistencies in the story, though it may be a case that I simply misread. Didn’t Maldronigan head out with Alexis on his ship? I don’t remember Alexis being as flamboyant as he is later portrayed; this could be the case that the Alexis became real much later in the author’s writing process.
The first 21 chapters cover the first half of the book made of a total of 36 chapters. For me, it was very off putting to read chapters that were a couple of pages long and basically consisted of a single scene.
Bottom line, the world is vivid and imaginative and well worth the read.
"Very humorous classical fantasy featuring an endearingly befuddled main character and a somewhat surreal world with plenty of modern in-jokes. There were a few plot points that didn't make sense to me, and the last third of it seemed somewhat more derivative than the middle section- you'll see when you get there. There were some rough spots to the worldbuilding, that probably has more to do with the book not coming with a map to be able to get a thorough grasp of the local terrain to the reader. At times, the combination of fantasy/steampunk stylings was a bit jarring, since the fantasy worldbuilding was so immersive, that it startled me when mentions of a dirigible came through. My biggest pet peeve was that the maturity level of the plotting wasn't even- some of the character development was more maturely themed, genocide and romance, but it was paired with bottles that let out skull-shaped steam when you open them, and fights that are won by dropping your enemy's pants. A cross between Lord of the Rings and Alice in Wonderland. Some aspects of the story seemed jarringly immature compared to others.
The tone is less British than Douglas Adams, less sexual than classic Robert Asprin, and less dark or intense than L.E. Modessit or Terry Pratchett, or Hickman and Weis. So it's perfect for a teenage audience, though later teens may want something with a bit more bite. It's a strong introduction to fantasy, though it's not as engaging if you've been around the block a few times with other high fantasy settings. Its strength is in the subtle and not so subtle humor in it, and the use of vocabulary to emphasize that humor. At one point, I found myself muttering 'your father smelt of elderberries' at it during a heated bit of dialogue. It has a few rough areas, but you'll barely notice them, with the engaging tone and brisk pace. And it manages to both explore and lampoon high-fantasy tropes, without tossing in elves, orcs, or dwarves. (Yet... Unless there's something I don't know about book 2....)"
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