Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: "Willful Child" by Steven Erikson

I want to preface this by saying I was - initially - a great fan of Erikson's "Malazan" fantasy series. It was great stuff until it collapsed under the weight of its insane mythology and became a muddled mess of WTF.

I actually was so disgusted with the series, I never did read the conclusion. I'm not convinced it will offer me closure or satisfaction.

So when my friends recommended Erikson's "Willful Child", I was skeptical. I was told it's a parody of Star Trek and quite funny. Erikson does do funny very well (his novellas of a pair of wandering necromancers in his Malazan world were quite entertaining), so I ultimately gave it a chance.

I devoured it in about two days (pacing myself on BART). I couldn't put it down, frankly.

"Willful Child" is indeed a parody of "Star Trek" in every possible way and it does so gloriously. Indeed, the intro reminds me of the only episodes of the terrible "Enterprise" prequel series that I enjoyed: the ones that dictate how the mirror universe starts.

At first, "Willful Child" seems to be about a macho idiot. Give it a chance. The story does seem to be going somewhere (and yes, the protagonist is an oversexed, macho sort, but he's not really an idiot so much as he's sort of insane).

If you like humor, "Star Trek", and insane, I suggest giving it a read.

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