Wizard's Brew
Chris Fox

Cover I enjoy good comic fantasy, which made this book a bit of a disappointment as it ain't. The book begins in the seaside village of Fishcake. Their local wizard, Huw Llewellyn Tiberius Germanicus Jones, has been asked to cast a spell to improve the catch. It dosen't quite work. And after spending time developing what one assumes is the main character Huw, and the entire population of Fishcake (except the cat), is eaten by a giant slug on page 19, and the story begins again. This was very annoying to say the least. Laurel and Hardy turning up to be eaten by the slug a few pages later did nothing to improve the situation.

We eventually meet the main characters of the book, one of which is a carbon copy of the first inept wizard, just with a different name. Chris' characters and settings are distortions of legendary people and places, ie Uther, Merlin and Camelot, and a holdover from Wind in the Willows.

The giant grey slug rampages across the land, eating anyone it encounters, and heading for Camelot. Along the way it release more giant slugs. They're actually Fohmoire but have adopted the shapes of giant slugs as the seem effective and are comfortable. The only way the slugs can be stopped is for the two heros to follow the yellow brick road (I jest not).

This book can be seen in somewhat as a tribute to the great legends of fantasy, both ancient and modern, but I found the humour flat more often than not. It had potential and there are a few good quips in it, but not enough to make it good. Most of the jokes elicited groans rather then guffaws. I wouldn't recommend this book. I was close to giving it one star. Only the fact the writing itself isn't bad stopped me.

Chris' sentence structure, characterisation and scene setting is good. All he needs now is to work on setting good characters and scenes, instead of sad cliche ones.