Review of humorous fantasy The Conjuring of Zoth-Avarex by K.R.R. Lockhaven
Kept hidden by the United States government for decades, the Site is a place where magic is real. But that doesn’t mean that everything happening there is sparkly. Soul-sucking policies and layers of stifling bureaucracy threaten to take all the fun out of magic.
Harris, a newbie Conjurer, starts his first day of work at the Site bursting with excitement: he’s been brought on for an extremely big project happening the very next day. In a triumph over its habitual inefficiency, the Site manages to carry out its plan and conjure an actual dragon to be used by the military.
The dragon (Zoth-Avarex, the self-proclaimed greatest dragon in the multiverse) immediately eats the person next to him, snatches a “princess” from the ranks of the Conjuring Department, and flies away to the Space Needle. There he manipulates the media, outwits the Site’s bumbling management, demands sixty-three billion dollars’ worth of treasure (because Smaug was said to have had sixty-two billion in his hoard), threatens to destroy the city—and installs a couple of food trucks.
This post contains affiliate links. View the full disclosure statement here.
As he neared the Conjuring Dome he was taken aback by its grandeur. It reminded him of the Coliseum in Rome in a way, maybe because it seemed to be about the same size. It looked ancient and had an undeniably numinous quality. Its golden dome was topped with an American flag that fluttered majestically in the breeze.
Everything will go according to plan.
The voice in his head was much louder this time. It resonated with both an eminent wisdom and a wry mischievousness.
You have nothing to worry about. Nothing bad will happen, rest assured.
Harris was passing the dome now. The voice in his head was all-consuming.
Just hurry up and do it already!
Harris didn’t know what the voice was talking about, but he felt an overpowering urge to obey it. He pressed down on the gas pedal and sped by the dome.
If you’re looking for humorous fantasy that pokes fun at damsels in distress, the hero’s journey, and corporate red tape, look no further. Plus, there’s a dragon! I mean, who doesn’t love a good dragon, where “good” is interesting because this dragon is definitely not the hero. He’s just amusing and kind of obsessed with having gold and a pretty human. Whatever floats your boat. As you can probably tell, I enjoyed this. I especially liked the comments on procedure and “we can’t do that because the proper forms aren’t signed.” I interned for my state government one summer in college. This brought back memories.
While I definitely got the humor and many of the pop culture references (Hitchhiker FTW), I found that this had the same small issue that a lot of humor has, which is places where the entire thing feels like it’s trying a little too hard. This may be a personal preference, but I prefer my humor more on the subtle side. This was a bit too “and now for the jokes” for me, but if that’s your type of humor, you’ll probably love this to pieces. There’s even an alternative ending in case you didn’t care for the first one.
All in all, worth a read. Recommend to humor fans who like dragons and pop culture references. Oh, and there are little cute creatures because cuteness!
About K.R.R. Lockhaven
K.R.R. Lockhaven lives with his wife and two sons in Washington State. Together, they conjured a bearded dragon named Sandy who rules over a hoard of sand and devours crickets by the dozens. When not writing or raising kids, he works as a firefighter/paramedic.
Find him online:
The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Subscribe to Kit ‘N Kabookle
Never miss a post!