Category Archives: Narratives

Wide Wall

Beyond the Wide Wall
(Epic Fallacy #2)
by Michael James Ploof (2017)

The Champions of the Dragon have survived the darklings, bandits, flocks of harpies, cyclopes, and have finally reached the Wide Wall—now the hard part begins.

Now the plot departs from a lot of the books being parodied. It’s not clear where this is going, but the characters established earlier help. It also helps that the pace doesn’t show down.


Dragon Champion

Champions of the Dragon
(Epic Fallacy #1)
by Michael James Ploof (2017)

Murland Kadabra has always dreamed of becoming a great wizard. However the young apprentice has yet to successfully cast a single spell. But when the Most High Wizard Kazimir chooses him to be one of the five Champions of the Dragon, Murland’s life changes forever.

This was sold a comic fantasy. But it’s not that funny. It has a minimal wry sense of humour. This manifests mainly in the character names and situations. Many of them being direct rip-off from other books. An it soon becomes apparent that the who story is a variation of ‘Lord of the Rings’.

Bute despite this, it is well written and fast paced. So it works as an epic fantasy story. And it does lead to the next book.




The Gropes
by Tom Sharpe (2007)


It is one of the more surprising facts about Old England that one can still find families living in the same houses their ancestors built centuries before and on land that has belonged to them since before the Norman Conquest. The Gropes of Grope Hall are one such family….

His last novel.

Apparently not his best, but entertaining anyway. As required by the genre this features dim-witted British folk doing stupid things in the name on satire and farce.

A fun read, but it does end abruptly, leaving a lot of plot threads hanging.


Better Life

Better than Life
(Red Dwarf #2)
by Grant Naylor (1993)

Given the strange nature of time in this book, it is only appropriate that I am reading the second book of the trilogy first.

It’s all based on the TV series broadcast in the 1990.

At first is is rather confusing as each character seems to have his own plot-line in some artificial world. Then things coalesce  as the character come together on a joint story.

There are plenty of incidents and things I recall from the TV series. And some scenes are direct copies from the show. Still got that British sense of silliness and humour.



Infinite Welcome

Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers
(Red Dwarf #1)
by Grant Naylor (1992)

Dave Lister joins the space corps and finds himself aboard Red Dwarf, a spaceship as big as a small city.

So this is the first book in the series. And it’s just the script of Red Dwarf, from the beginning but with extra bits. After a while it becomes predictable and not that funny. Oh well, there is always the TV show.

Blue Descent

Blue Descent
(Dane Maddock #0)
by David Wood (2019)

Dane Maddock and his crew travel to the Bahamas in search of the wreckage of Maelstrom, the flagship of notorious pirate Riddick Blackwood.

But has their discovery unleashed something terrible upon the world?

This recent book is actually a prequel to the series. As the author explains…

The problem with having a series that’s been around for a very long time is that new readers usually want to start with book one. While I think Dourado is a fine book, and readers seem to enjoy it, in no way does it reflect the writer I am today.

And so, I present to you Blue Descent, book “zero” of the Dane Maddock Adventures. This book takes place shortly before the events of Dourado, and serves as an introduction to the main characters and the universe. As always, I’ve made a few changes to actual locations, and played with the timeline of a few locations in order to make this the most fun and entertaining read possible.

The trouble is that this is not the best book he has written. For most of the first half it’s very slowly paced. The antagonist seems to be just one man.

And there are a lot of times that Bones and Maddoch are separated. It’s usually works better when they are together and not getting along. So just an average read for this author.



(Dane Maddock Origins #10)
by David Wood & Sean Ellis (2019)


This is Dane and Bones’ final mission as Navy SEALs.

Maddock and Bones are sent undercover to Moscow to assist an old acquaintance, Navy Intelligence officer Zara Leopov. Leopov is orchestrating the defection of a Russian archivist who has discovered a crucial clue concerning the fate of a high-ranking Nazi official who went missing at the end of World War II, a man who may have carried with him the most sacred relic of the Third Reich.

Dead Treasure

Treasure of the Dead
(Dane Maddock Origins #9)
by David Wood (2016)

Blown far off course in 1715, a treasure-laden Spanish ship sinks. The sailors struggle ashore, only to encounter a horror out of their worst nightmares.

Despite being labelled an ‘Origins’ story, this happens after Bones & Maddock leave the military.

It’s the usual hunt and search for treasure, ending in a stand off with a villain too sinister to believe.


(Dane Maddock Origins #8)
by David Wood (2016)

Despite an interesting premise involving Joan of Arc, this turns out to be another meandering through obscure American History.

You really need to be a scholar of history to understand why the inconsequential actions of dead presidents are important.

So while it has the usual action and adventure expected, one of the least enjoyable stories. At least it was short at only 40k words.



(Dane Maddock Origins #7)
by David Wood (2015)

They called it the Eighth Wonder of the World. For more than two hundred years, the world marveled at the fabled Amber Room. And then came the Nazis.

Another solid adventure from Dane Maddock and “Bones” Bonebrake.  This involves a lot of climbing (especially up holes) and fighting animals.