The Good, The Mad and The Undead by Rob Knipe
This is the second book I have read by Rob Knipe, and events in The Good, The Mad and the Undead follow on directly from those that occurred in A Heist Too Far, a book I reviewed last year.
This was, to steal and slightly re-phrase a oft-repeated footballing analogy, a "book of two halves". I will be honest straight up and admit that I struggled with the first half (40% to be exact) as it just didn't seem to be going anywhere and lacked the sense of direction and momentum that I feel is vital to to a story, and I also found that the escapades of the characters just didn't seem to make sense. But the second half was much, much better, and far more fun to read. It took me 2 months to read the first half, 3 days to read the second, and I think those figures speak very loudly for themselves.
As I previously mentioned the story is picked up two months after the events in A Heist Too Far and Mallik is beginning to get itchy feet, his need for adventure resulting in ever increasingly violent outbursts. The two men he is living with, the distinctly normal Sok Lard, and a vampire Jack Von Hellsprung, find themselves exiled from S'Ville after one bar-fight too many and a small scuffle with the Watch. With nowhere to go and still separated from Dick and Jules, Mallik decides to finish a job he failed years before, and takes Sok and Jack to the castle of Max Von Mähmaschine, a powerful Vampire Mage…
For those who have yet to read the first book in the series, A Heist Too Far, here's a quick recap. It is a book jammed full of memorable characters which successfully merges the styles of Tolkien, Gemmell and Pratchett. My only major criticism of it was that it was too long. And I also found that the second book consisted of more pages than was arguably good for it, and if you look at my comments above you will see that I would not have been upset if much of the first half was edited out. I understand that this part of the book served to introduce new characters and set the scene for the new adventure to come but I can't help thinking that it could have been done in far less pages, 50 rather than 200 perhaps.
But once the half-way point was reached underway I really began to enjoy the book. We are given a fascinating insight into Mallick's past and once we find ourselves on the island of the Vampire Count the blend of Dracula and fantasy merges nicely, the pace picks up and the momentum carries the reader along with an improved sense of purpose. The fight scenes are well-done and there is a genuine sense of eerie darkness found on the Vampire's island, and the way in which vampire magic was used to mask the real state of the castle was a nice touch. These passages reminded me of what I enjoyed so much about this author's writing and the book built towards an exciting and satisfying climax.
In conclusion, I do like Rob Knipe's work and I like the characters he creates but the overriding feeling I was left with was that I read about too much that simply was unnecessary, the removal of which would have not damaged the narrative in the slightest. I must stress that this is a personal opinion and others may disagree. So I would still recommend the books but with the caveat that you may, like me, find them a little over-long but there is plenty of good stuff in there as well, to make the effort more than worthwhile.
This The Good, The Mad and The Undead book review was written by Floresiensis
Have you read The Good, The Mad and The Undead?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Good, The Mad and The Undead reader reviews
7/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Red Dwarf: Better Than Life
Rimmer, Cat and Kryten are trapped in a computer game which can transport players directly to the world of imagination, a world where each player can enjoy fabulous success...
According to the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter - the world's only totally reliable guide to the future - the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday,...
War God Rising
Sand is destined for greatness. Or so a pair of two-bit criminals would have him believe. After rescuing him from certain doom, Bess and Kaede embark on a scheme to game th...
Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers
When Lister got drunk, he really got drunk! After celebrating his birthday with a Monopoly-board pub crawl around London, he came to in a burger bar on one of Saturns ...
The Serpent of Venice
Venice, a long time ago. Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy from the Queen of Britain: the rascal-Fool Pocket.T...
Robert Olen Butler
Hatcher McCord is an evening newscaster who has found himself in Hell and is struggling to explain his bad fortune. He's far from the only one to suffer this fate - in ...
Ray Sirico used to have it all. Once, he was the brilliant and outrageous Clown Prince of Comics, who reinvented the venerable superhero Skylord, and ranted and rollicked e...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest night the world has ever seen, Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation. But Dr Madeleine is no conventional medic and surgically implants a cuckoo-clock into his chest. Little Jack grows up different to other children: every day begins with a daily wind-up. At scho...
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow's Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow...
A Tale of Time City
Diana Wynne Jones
When Vivian is evacuated from London in 1939, she expects to be staying in the countryside. Instead, she is whisked away to Time City – a place that exists outside ti...
The Guns of Empire
As the roar of the guns subsides and the smoke of battle clears, the country of Vordan is offered a fragile peace... After their shattering defeats at the hands of brillian...
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth....
Events are coming to a climax in the Banished Lands, as the war reaches new heights. King Nathair has taken control of the fortress at Drassil and three of the Seven Treasu...
For Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the four...