CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 29. . . .March 28, 2014
The novel Nuclear Dragons is set in a continuing Phantacea Mythos, a series at least in part based on comic books from the 1980s. Covering 362 pages, it consists of three pages relating to this and others in the series, a three page “Auctorial Preamble,” table of Contents, and a black and white replica of the colour cover. The story is broken into 27 chapters. At the end is a introduction to another in the series and three pages of black and white cover samples.
The author is well-versed in his mythology and knows his many characters and the universe it takes place in very well. Unfortunately, for the reader who is unfamiliar with the story, it is very difficult to follow, in part because of the style and excess of information. The tale opens with the destruction of a rocket ship and falls into the ongoing world-wide struggle between devils, witches, supermen and countless unknown creatures who are attempting to destroy a magic island, among other things. To add to the confusion, some characters, often with lengthy multiple names, take over and control the bodies of others. There are frequent narrator asides, providing additional information which does not always add to the progress of the tale.
The unsuspecting reader who began their entrance into this mythology with this novel would discover it very difficult to follow or find the plot. It would probably help if they were familiar with the comic books on which it is based, but, even then, I suspect, would find this hard going. The novel would benefit from the firm hand of an experienced editor to pare it down to the core of the story.
Ronald Hore, a member of several writing groups, writes medieval-style fantasy and fantasy detective stories in Winnipeg, MB.
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