Review: Chaos Trims my Beard by Brett Herman

Published by: self-published
ISBN: 1517008301
ISBN 13: 9781517008307
Published: September 2015
Pages: 460
Format reviewed: mobi
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Three out of Five

Read for the SPFBO, this is the first book I dove into once we had our shortlist of ten.

As the title shows, this book has a noir-style element to it, in the way that it’s told and the mood it sets. It worked in that it assisted with the world building and made it stand out from the crowd and gives it a bit more of an urban fantasy feel whilst keeping it grittier than most.

What we have here is a dwarf and his rat-police friend (also as we can see from the cover), who are far more relatable than most protagonists we get as they’re stuck in dead-end jobs, doing and fixing things that no one else wants to get involved in, and not getting much thanks for it either most of the time.

I really liked the worldbuilding in this one, which is good as that is primarily what drives the storyline. While the characters are engaging and fun they don’t entirely drive the story – and they are the primary cause for concern at the ending which I will admit was a little disappointing.

What let this one down for me, other than the fact it’s in dire needs of an editor (so many typos!), is that while I get it was trying to be zany and hilarious it didn’t quite balance it well throughout the book. Pratchett is zany, and yet the world makes sense and so forth – in this, it kind of felt like a NaNo novel where you literally just write anything to keep the pace going and hit those 1,667 words a day so you can give yourself a tick. And hell, it keeps you reading if nothing else – parts were highly entertaining… but does a fun book mean it should win? *shrug*

This one certainly has a lot of potential for the future, that, I can say for it.

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