Title: Kill the Farm Boy (Tales of Pell #1)
AUTHOR: Delilah S. Dawson & Kevin Hearne
GENRE: Fiction / Fantasy / Action & Adventure
PUBLISHED: On Sale Date: July 17, 2018
Pell is a land far, far away; where a chosen one will rise and save the day. But who is the chosen one? What are they chosen to do? I received an advanced reader copy of Kill the Farm Boy at The Book Con 2018. The book is first in a new series called The Tales of Pell by veteran writers Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne.
Kill the Farm Boy is a Parody of classic fairytales and today’s popular fantasy, striving to achieve the highest level of ridiculousness possible. It pokes fun at current topics going on in the world today, such as our current leadership, and the postal service. Kill the Farm Boy will twist your expectations into pretzels. You’ll meet many characters you recognize, but the book achieves originality by taking these characters and situations that are well known and twisting them until you say… huh. The authors have changed well-known characters to completely different ones. Mashing these tales together into something which makes sense and is amusing could only have been achieved by a diabolical genius or two.
Kill the Farm Boy is not your average book. It refuses to follow the normal rules of fiction. There is no characterization the characters are who they are in all their superficial glory. They lack the depth of normal fiction characters, but that’s the point.
The first character we meet is the book’s namesake, Worstley; the farm boy himself as opposed to his deceased brother Bestley. Worstley is a character whose entire existence is defined by shoveling the poo of farm animals and having a breakfast consisting of grey pancakes. Next, we have Staph the pixie, and if the name doesn’t tip you off Staph is the most disgusting pixie you ever could meet. She’s as likely to infect you with a disease as she is to anoint you a chosen one. We meet Gustave the talking Goat, Fia the bloodthirsty warrior who just wants to leave in peace. Agrabella the Beast in the tower, Poltro the Huntsman. The Dark Lord Toby, Grinda the Sand Witch. And a mish-mash of other characters, Trolls, Goblins, and Necromancers-oh my! Gandalf and Merlin even make cameos.
This isn’t a serious tale; in fact, I challenge you to attempt such a task. The tale is meant to be ridiculous, and thus the characters are meant to just be…. To truly appreciate the humor in the tale, you need to be familiar with a few of the fairytale classics, adventure stories, and fantasies, such as The Wizard of Oz; Snow White; Peter Pan; Sleeping Beauty; Rapunzel; Beauty and the Beast; The Hobbit; and The Lord of The Rings Trilogy to name a few.
The tale begins with Staph informing Worstley that he is Chosen. She then anoints a Chosen one and sends Worstley off on a quest. The trick here is the Chosen one isn’t who you think. And the quest doesn’t turn out at all how you’d expect. Every time you think you have a grip on, what’s going on in the story takes a ridiculous and unpredictable twist.
The language is at times, clever, witty, haughty, and often theatrical. But it is also at times obtuse. There are words in this book that you may need to be a spelling bee champion to understand. At times, I had to reach for the dictionary, and although it didn’t really diminish the humorous tone of the book, it led to confusion in some cases and things that probably went over my head. Words like hirsute, portent, surfeit, ungulate, dyspeptic, Perambulating…. and many more which I was unable to infer the meaning simply based on the context of the sentence. I mean, truthfully, it takes a little gas out of the joke if you need to look it up.
Kill the Farm Boy isn’t for everybody. The story was enjoyable. I smiled while reading, it and I did have at least one full-blown laugh-out-loud moment, however, it took a while before I was able to really appreciate the humor. This book is for a certain crowd. I don’t necessarily recommend it for adventure lovers, or lovers of Urban Fantasy, YA, and similar genres. This book is not the type of book you get engrossed in. The ridiculous nature of the tale makes it practically impossible. Everything about the book hovers just below the surface. Not every reader will get it. Not every reader will enjoy it but if you like parodies, this is for you.
Review Edited by L. Mauricio