I’m afraid that this author has a lot to learn about writing. This book is difficult to read with a confused and rambling storyline. I do not recommend it.
The land of the gunts is dark for most of the time but every ten years it lights up with a white light dawn and the sunshine continues for a year. This story starts shortly before one such white light dawn.
The gunts inhabit the city of Livernor (sic) and are the lowest form of humanity for they are lazy slobs interested only in getting drunk and fighting. They are caricatures of the worst in English yobs and much of the description of them reflects the attributes of soccer hooligans. The gunt anti-heroes of this story are two brothers Berk and Lofty and the first few chapters describe their every day behaviour as they get drunk and argue until they collapse into an inebriated stupor.
We then meet another particularly nasty gunt, Slick, who lives in what is basically a junk yard. He has decided that he wants to travel and builds a carriage powered by half starved wilderheeps (creatures that look like sheep but act like wolves in that they eat meat and are aggressive). Slick recruits Berk and Lofty to travel with him in the search for adventure.
Due to the wild nature of the wilderheeps the carriage becomes uncontrollable and so the group are rushed across the land to a huge dividing range. The three gunts manage to cross this range and then meet another group of more sophisticated gunts as well their enemies, the Asumon, who are led by the evil woman Mascara. Along the way one of the wilderheep miraculously begins to speak and basically becomes another member of the party. The story then becomes a fight between the gunts, Mascara and the Asumon leading to its final conclusion in epic battles between the light and the dark.
This book has many basic mistakes in its presentation that it is very difficult to read. Its pace is slow especially at the beginning and the presentation is vague and confusing with random changes of viewpoint throughout. These problems are unfortunate as they distract the reader from the basic plot which is actually good.
It appears the story lacked an independent reader or editor, except possibly for grammar and spelling which is very good. For example, it is narrated by a multi-dimensional alien with the ability to see all that is happening across all of time and space, but, other than randomly interrupting the flow of the narrative, the alien did not have any useful purpose to support the development of the story. Thus the narrator actually became even more of a hindrance to the pace and presentation. An editor would soon have suggested that the narrator be dropped.
Overall, there are many points where the narration wanders off into irrelevant details that are probably meant to be funny – perhaps in the style of Terry Pratchett’s footnotes – but I found the characters too simplistic, the situations too predictable and the scenes too poorly presented to be funny.
The plot is based on “Overcoming the Monster” (see The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker).
I give it the following positive awards, which the author will probably like. Each award is out of five.
• Three Star Trek extras for bravery in publishing without any editorial support.
• One Star Ship Enterprise (from the first movie) for a good plot hidden by the poor presentation.
I also give it the following award which the author may not appreciate quite so much.
• Four scenes of a fake flying saucer from Plan Nine from Outer Space for publishing what is clearly a disorganized first draft.
To summarize, this book is a very amateurish attempt at writing and should really have been used as a learning process. The author demonstrates some ability at plot development but he needs to learn how to present a story. I do not recommend it.
Review by Wayne J. Harris