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A place where one writer can chronicle the process of turning an idea into a story--through endless iterations....

Friday, May 18, 2012

Book Review: Djinnx'd, by Nicola Rhodes

Four Stars

First off, let me say that I LOVED Djinnx’d! It is EXACTLY what it aims to be, and it hits the nail on the head with the story. Campy, zany, off the wall, and a hell of a lot of fun, Djinnx’d doesn’t slow down. It reminds me of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (the book, not the movie), and Nicola Rhodes writes with a similar narrative style to the late, great Douglas Adams.

Tamar and Denny are lovable characters, and you can’t help but enjoy their banter. Denny is a great anti-hero, a slacker who wants nothing more than to walk through life invisibly. He has the great (mis?)fortune of being the proud owner of a lamp, to which Tamar, a four thousand year old force of nature, is enslaved. And hilarity ensues.

The story is definitely character driven, with the dynamic between the two stealing the show. The  plot is fun, funny, and surreal, with no pretense at being a literary tour-de-force, but each scene gives the reader an opportunity to enjoy the relationship between Tamar and Denny. It’s light and quick, with a lot of great dialogue. Supporting characters are written as archetypes rather than real characters, but they do a good job of supporting the narrative voice; just enough detail to keep things flowing, but not so much that they bog down the story.

Nicola Rhodes also does a good job as narrator. Her literary voice is clearly heard throughout the novel, as she inserts comments about the absurdity of the story throughout. This allows her to function as a storyteller, almost like a twenty-something neighbor recounting a story of a zany night out with the girls. This is one of those rare times when snarky comments from the narrator actually work within the context of the story. It adds another level of humor (or, in deference to Ms Rhodes, “humour”), along with the self-deprecating comments and pop-culture references.

Over the course of the book, it’s clear how much Ms Rhodes loves her characters, and that love is infectious. By the end, you’re going to love them as well. Four stars for me means that I’m going to be reading more of this author’s work, based on this one, and I’m giving it four stars. I’m excited about reading more of Nicola Rhodes—I want more! If you love authors like Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, pick up Djinnx’d—it’s well worth the read!

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