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Book Review – The SatNav of Doom by Will Macmillan Jones

SatNavofDoomTitle:  The SatNav of Doom (The Banned Underground Book 5)
Author: Will Macmillan Jones
Publisher: Safkhet Publishing
First Published: 2013
Genre:
Fantasy / Contemporary / Humor

This is the fifth short novel in the continuing contemporary fantasy series featuring the rock band The Banned Underground. The band members include four dwarfs, a green bog troll, and a bass playing dragon. In this episode, we find them as almost a backdrop to the main plot in which the British government is working with the Edern (think elves or fairies) to develop a future-telling system that will help the government pull the British economy out of trouble. The Dark Lord wants to hack into this system for his own (evil) purposes, and he sends a team to the ostensibly secure Edern laboratories during a fund-raising event at which the Banned are playing. The Dark Lord’s minions are there to install a computer virus. Meanwhile, the dwarves are after those same minions for an unpaid bar tab. (Confused yet?)

Mayhem ensues.

The SatNav of Doom is a comic slapstick farce along the lines of Robert Asprin or Piers Anthony, full of puns, word-play, and references to old rock tunes. Now, I can’t say this kind of humor normally has great appeal for me. I’m more of a science fiction than a fantasy reader, and when I do read humorous fantasy, I prefer something with a bit more satirical or philosophical content (e.g. Terry Pratchett), but in the subgenre this book represents, it’s pretty good. The characters are all clowns, but they can be funny in a burned trousers kind of way (Yes – there is such a scene). The copy editing is adequate, and whereas the prose is sparse and could not be considered literary in any sense, it is serviceable for the type of book this is. I also enjoyed the Doctor Who twist at the end.

I will caution that some may not ‘get’ some of the references (old rock songs and Doctor Who, for example). Also, this is not the book to start with in the series because the character development occurs mainly in the previous offerings. If you have read and enjoyed the others, though, you’ll like this one, too.

Disclosure: I received a pre-publication promotional copy of the eBook edition from the author.

Related Posts:

Book Review – Bass Instinct by Will Mmacmillan Jones

Book Review – Boomsday by Christopher Buckley

This cynical farce of American politics includes a cast of disreputable characters. There are several ambitious politicians, a self-appointed spokeswoman for her generation on a crusade against Social Security (which she seems to have only a superficial understanding of), a fundamentalist Baptist minister (crusading against just about everything), and a slimy PR executive (who may be the most rational of the bunch). The people in this book are they type you would be best off avoiding, if possible, insofar as all, despite their differences, share one characteristic — that of negotiable integrity.

The lack of an admirable protagonist, however, does not prevent the book from being likable. It’s fun in a rather juvenile way, a low comedy in which the characters continually make and break agreements, deceive, lie, manipulate, betray and backstab one another. The characters are not thoroughly detestable, and we can sympathize at times, but mostly we laugh at their misfortune because, after all, they’re really not all that likable. What is amazing is that any of them ever buy the BS the others are trying to sell to them. They should know better.

I won’t say this is a great book, but insofar as my overall opinion of politics and politicians tends toward the cynical side, I got a laugh or two out of it. In my more rational moments, I doubt Washington insiders are as lacking in integrity and good judgment as the characters in this book, but sometimes I have to wonder.

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