Deathmaster: Adventures in the Uncharted 39th Dimension by Kent Hill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A loser named Bobby Dragon is plucked from his old life and into the middle of a dimension-spanning war. Can he fill his father's shoes and become The Deathmaster in time to save the girl and the cosmos?
If I have one weakness, and that's a big 'if,' it's for shitty science fiction and fantasy movies. Deathmaster throws all the schlock favorites from the science fiction and fantasy section of the video store into a blender, dispensing forth cheesy gold.
Bobby Dragon is a coward and a smart ass and is plucked from his old life by purple aliens, expecting him to take up where his father left off and become The Deathmaster, a sword-wielding hero of remarkable ass-kicking ability. Unfortunately, he can barely lift the sword and must go on a quest to unlock its power before confronting the evil Overlord.
The writing is pretty good, narrated in the first person like an Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars tale, which is what The Deathmaster most resembles. There are tons of references to 80's movies, as well a Joe Lansdale reference. The action scenes are as over the top as those of it's progenitors and Bobby Dragon reminds of Jack Burton, both in word and in deed, at first. When he finally comes into his own and steps up as The Deathmaster, it's almost orgasmic.
The Deathmaster is both a hero's journey tale and a combination of every crappy sf/fantasy movie made during the glorious decade of the 1980's. If Highlander, The Beastmaster, Deathstalker, and The Last Starfighter had an orgy, The Deathmaster would be the fruit of that glorious union. It's full of cheesy dialogue and ridiculously over the top action sequences. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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