The year is 20018. The famed magician Illuminari is dead, and his greatest illusion has died with him. Dark forces now seek the Engine of Armageddon, the ancient, sentient doomsday weapon that Illuminari hid amongst the stars.
Enter Percival Gynt, accountant and part-time hero, whose quest to find the Engine before it falls into the wrong hands may be our universe’s last best hope for survival. It is a quest that will take him from the highest reaches of power to the lowest pits of despair and through every manner of horror and absurdity between.
But beware. This accountant has a secret. A secret that may damn us all.
Percival Gynt and the Conspiracy of Days is a sci-fi/fantasy adventure novel full of swashbuckling, math, dark secrets, space-faeries, obtrusive product placement, Nazis, beating up those Nazis, unlimited baked beans, zombie cyborg assassins, fate with a capital "F," love, betrayal, wizards, jokes, paradoxes, a sentient doomsday weapon, eleven-dimensional space, clones, monsters, space-nuns, and at least one rat-chef.
Disclaimer: This review and score only represent my personal opinion of this book. Team scores might vary.
Percival Gynt and the Conspiracy of Days is a science-fantasy novel, written by Drew Melbourne, and one of the SPSFC2 finalists. The death of the famous magician Illuminari has ended his greatest illusion, and now the Engine of Armageddon, a doomsday weapon might fall into the hands of dark forces, provocating an apocalypse unless somebody manages to stop this.
Here is where our hero, Percival Gynt, accountant enters the scene. Part-time hero, he's the saviour our universe needs; soon we get thrown into a crazy adventure that will take us on a trip across the universe in order to retrieve the Engine of Armageddon.
Melbourne has created a really quirky adventure, with a total antihero as the main character, in a style that could remember as Austin Powers. Crazy situations will happen, some of them really absurd, which felt rather confusing in my opinion; while I understand what was the idea behind this kind of plot, I would have enjoyed it more if it was less quirky and more "logical", we could say.
Pacing is extremely fast, trying to emulate the style of an adventure film; something that shines in action scenes, but makes the plot even more confusing, because it is extremely complicated at some points.
Don't get me wrong, I think this book can be highly enjoyable if you are in the mood for a crazy and funny adventure, and I can see why other people pushed this book into the finals. Not exactly my cup of tea, but I would like to see a second adventure of Percival Gynt.
Drew Melbourne is an author and occasional inventor of holidays. After a two decades long stayover in New York City, he has recently returned to the Philadelphia suburbs with his wife Laura, son Sam, and cats Ninja and Leia in tow.
He likes good things and famously dislikes things that are awful (unless they are secretly kind and tragically misunderstood). If you let him, he will speak to you with great enthusiasm about the relationship between odd numbers and square numbers. Please don't.