Sunday, March 23, 2008

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness 1: Dang the Fangs! Full Speed Ahead!

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. He was probably hiding from On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson. But if you're braver than the average hobbit, you may find this humorous fantasy to your liking.

The story (even with copy and paste I'm not going to refer to it by name more than once per post) involves a world where the reptilian Fangs of Dang have invaded the much nicer continent of Skree and its hapless, witless inhabitants. The Fangs are running and ruining everything now.

Enter the Igibies. (No, not that way! What do you think this is, Fantastic Voyage? Get back to your normal size this instant!) They consist of one grandfather and former pirate, Podo; one frightened yet noble mother, Nia; and three adorable muppets, Kermit, Gonzo, and Fozzie. No, wait--that's moppets. Hmm. Okay, that would be Janner (the writer), Tink (the artist--no relation to Peter Pan's friend, apparently), and the token sister, Leeli, a young songstress who doubles as Mephibosheth in drag. (That more or less makes sense if you get even a few chapters in. It makes even more sense later on.) There's also the kid's presumably defunct father, apparently dispatched by the Fangs some time before the story opens. None of the Igibies (singular "Igiby") is quite normal for the area, so of course they run into trouble with the local Fangs of Dang.

Faster than you can say "xpltrnmn" (which doesn't mean anything but is really hard to say), the Fangs are chomping at the bit, evidence of the fabled land of Anniera (east of the Lost World of Roi Rama) arises, and one or more of the good guys nearly gets snuffed several times.

But what of Anniera and its mysterious "jewels" that could mean the end of the Fangs of Drang (and perhaps even of the Fats of Drat)? Anniera is like Camelot or Avalon or maybe even Rich Mullins in one of his moods. It was the first place the Fangs conquered, and the only one tough enough to make them say "Please" first. (There was also a dispute about whether the Annierans said "Simon Says" at a critical moment, but the story passes over that in silence.) The jewels vanished, but the Fangs are on the lookout for them. Guess where they turn up. (And, yes, there is a cute twist involved. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge, and so on.)

Will the Igibies survive? Will the Fangs finally discover a decent dental plan? Will Smeagol ever get back with his Precious? (Okay, the last one's a yes of sorts, but that's another story.)

Tomorrow: the good points of the story. Maybe it'll even make sense.

Other links that are probably more informative:
Sally Apokedak
Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Janey DeMeo
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Todd Green
Jill Hart
Katie Hart
Michael Heald
Timothy Hicks
Christopher Hopper
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Mike Lynch
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Pamela Morrisson
John W. Otte
Deena Peterson
Steve Rice
Cheryl Russel
Ashley Rutherford
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Donna Swanson
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Robert Treskillard
Jason Waguespac
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise


Christopher Hopper said...

Great summary; and filled with your own catching phrasing, parodies and comparisons I see! Nice wit you have there! Perhaps you should write the next in the Wingfeather Saga...oh, say, Return From the Darkest Part of the Dark Sea of Darkness.

Great post! Look forward to tomorrow's thoughts.


Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

For anyone who's READ the book, Steve, your post makes perfect sense. A good summary indeed. All without giving away crucial information.

Mostly I think you've captured the tenor of the work—not an easy thing to do.


Michael A. Heald said...

Hello! Nice review.

I loved this book, but I found the title and cover to be distracting. Best regards.

Michael A. Heald

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