The Last Great Hero, by Scott J Robinson (9:24)

IOD-LastGreatHeroSometimes I feel cheated when the minor WTFs mount up and the rules say I have to stop a story I’m otherwise enjoying.

What I gleaned about the story: An aging and over-complacent hero tires of the celebrity life he leads and wishes for a bit more of the old adventuring. But when that comes, he quickly realizes he is not the young man he once was, and to an old man, adventures are downright terrifying.

Find this book on Amazon.

Kudos #1: Fun premise.

Details: I quite like this opening scene, in which the aging hero seems a bit down on his luck, pimping himself out as a roadside attraction to whichever tavern owner will pay him to show up. It’s not that the idea is entirely original, but I don’t recall seeing it in the medieval fantasy milieu before and it seems well executed.

WTF #1: “Shut up…” Rawk bit back laughter as rubbed his side. 

Analysis: That should either be “as he” or “and,” but as written, it threw a stumble into my reading stride. And since it’s on the first page…

WTF #2: “Weaver outlawed magic, which meant there were no sorcerers…” That should be “had outlawed.”

Analysis: He did it years ago, which is what led to the current drought of magical creatures to fight. So this reference back to the earlier event needs to be in past perfect. He didn’t just do it now. Sadly, this was not the first such grammatical omission, and the pattern has now become noticeable enough to pull me out of the tale.

WTF #3: The two of us on the road like old times. Free to do what we like when we liked. Sex whenever we want, with who ever we wanted. I would love to go back.”

Analysis: Verb tense train wreck. He’s talking about what he wants now, harkening back to what was so great about the old days. It could work either as a present tense declaration of what he wants now, or as a past tense declaration about what was so wonderful about the old days, but it can’t work as both. You need to pick a tense and lived in it.

Note: This is actually a pretty strong story so far. The issues that caused immersion to break were minor, so in keeping with previous reports, an immersion break is an immersion break and I stop at three. But I’ll be putting this one on the “read more later” pile for sure.

Follow up: Having now read the story to completion, I can report that it was a thoroughly entertaining yarn. It needs a complete proof-read and I was disappointed that a real plot never fully emerged, but Rawk was an engaging protagonist and his world was an enjoyable place to inhabit while it lasted.

Love Without Gun Control, by M Christian (10:51)
Eye of the Moonrat, by Trevor H. Cooley (8:31)

About the author

Jefferson Smith is a Canadian fantasy author, as well as the founder, chief editor and resident proctologist of ImmerseOrDie. With a PhD in Computer Science and Creativity Systems compounded by a life spent exploring most art forms for fun and profit, he is underqualified in just about everything. That's why he writes.