Miscreation by Stefan Jakubowski

7/10 I enjoyed Miscreation, though found it a little too long.

There’s life. There shouldn’t be. Creator Brown has been at it again. But then what can you expect from someone who occasionally ignores the odd zero; especially as he happens to work in billions and trillions. But Brown is the least of the problems for the Chief Creator who has just been handed other disturbing news. The Anarchist is about to rise; from certain bits of wreckage. Serpens the self deluded self proclaimed tutu wearing Anarchist, banished from the Hall of Creators for certain improprieties and as punishment doomed to travel the Universe for all time in a claustrophobic meteorite with his meathead minions has, as luck would have it, crash-landed on Browns misaligned calamity. Time for a plan –something he’s not very good at – to escape the planet and pursue his doubtful claim to be ruler of the Universe. But it is going to take time; a whole evolution of it. Enter man. To be precise Musca “the explosion was nothing to do with me” soot smeared idiot son of the very recently deceased Chieftain. He plans to take the survivors of a certain devastating incident to a mythical land called OHM – there’s no place like it. Trouble is they don’t want to go. Not with him anyway.

Miscreation is certainly an enjoyable book; humorous and entertaining without being just plain silly. An easy (and possibly lazy) comparison would be the early works of Terry Pratchett, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic.

Miscreation takes the standard fantasy stereotypes and pokes fun at them in a highly affectionate way. This in itself would not be enough to sustain a full novel so the inclusion of the Anarchist Serpens and his (not so) dreadful minions adds great flavour to the story as well as providing the funniest moments (Lyra and Lupus being great characters).

My favourite moments of the book featured an old, and very smelly man called Bootes and Lupus (in the form a sheepdog who has been given the unfortunate name of Fluffy):

“Wiping running eyes with his paws, Lupus didn’t need to be a detective to know that he was getting close. He stopped, it was pretty obvious that the old man had been seriously frightened, and he licked his nose; it didn’t help.” 
Miscreation: Chapter 22 

One of Stefan Jakubowski’s strengths is that with a minimum of fuss he manages to create characters that instantly take form within the mind’s eye (this is ably abetted by Pat Moffett’s cover illustration). The story he has created is a very good one - expelled demons, incompetent creators, idiotic hero’s etc… and the humour which is so vital is of a a high standard.

The main negatives for me were the author’s footnotes, which may not be to everyone’s taste. I also thought that the book was probably about a hundred pages too long - a firm editing hand would do wonders to this work and I’m confident that the result would be a strong and amusing addition to the fantasy genre. There are moments in Miscreation that I thought were excellent – I believe that Jakubowski is capable of producing accomplished fantasy works in the years to come.

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