Monday, November 17, 2014

Fantastic Fantasy

Heraclix & PompHeraclix & Pomp by Forrest Aguirre
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Heraclix is a golem...golem...


No, not Gollum. A golem is more like one of these...


Pomp is a fairy...




Yes, that's what I meant.

Together Heraclix and Pomp make quite the couple, an odd couple to be sure, but definitely a dynamic duo that brings the heart and soul to this fantastical novel!

Heraclix & Pomp is the sort of fantasy I've always expected, but never received from the likes of Neil Gaiman. If Gaiman had written this, our main character would've had a modern, slacker's sensibility. Instead, Forrest Aguirre has molded a hero out of the finest clay.

Heraclix the golem is created by a particularly nasty sorcerer to be used for his most heinous desires. Heraclix soon discovers what he is and then spends the rest of the book trying to find out who he is. In the process he shows his true, heroic colors.

Pomp comes from the Northern European fanciful notion of the pixie, the sprite, the forest nymph. But Aguirre doesn't just use this trope, he damn near reinvents it! He breathes new life into the fairy by inhabiting its skin. Want to know what it might be like to smurf about in a fairy's mind? Aguirre bestows that gift upon his readers. Once established he forces the outside world on Pomp and she responds like a champ.

Now and again I was surprised by the places Aguirre was taking me. In his capable hands the reader is transported to lands both corporeal and ethereal. Scene descriptions absolutely sparkle. Fantasy fans will drool over the lavish descriptions of demons and magic. This is not to say H&P is cover-to-cover perfection. There is the occasional stiff phrasing or overly chatty character acting like an exposition machine, but those instances hardly tarnish the overall affect.

And, yes, this book is affecting! I seldom become attached to characters within a single book. It usually takes a series. However, there were times towards the end that I was seriously pulling for these guys.

Sure, this is a fairytale, but it's not for kids. This is for kids-at-heart, full grown-ass adults that long for a real world filled with magic and all the horrors and happiness it can bring.

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