Wednesday, April 22

In the Company of Ogres - A Lee Martinez

When Never Dead Ned is transferred to head up Ogre Company, his commanding officers expect his posting to be like all the others – annoying, ultimately inconsequential, and rapidly disposed of. But Ned is more than meets the eye – his sobriquet is something of a misnomer, more like “Never Stay Dead” Ned, thanks to a red witch who for some reasons keeps resurrecting him. More out of boredom than anything else, Ned begins instituting drills, somehow manages to win over his command, including attracting the attentions of both a man-hating Amazon and a sultry but undeniably fishy siren. When Ned discovers the perilousness of mortality his retreat is swiftly followed by his discovery of why the Red Woman kept raising him, and the special role he had to play.
This unique and very readable offering from the author of Gil's All-Fright Diner is charming, absorbing, and quite difficult to summarise. If you like fantasy that stands alone, is laced with humour but not comedic, and is peopled with well-rounded, unique characters combined with strong and engaging plot, Martinez’s work may be for you.

“I know what it’s like to feel sorry for yourself…But life doesn’t always go the way you want. You can either grumble and moan about it, or you can do what you can with what you’re given.”
Ned took another drink. “I think I’ll just stick with grumbling and moaning.”
“Always play to your strengths, I suppose.”
Now that’s something I can relate to – Alex

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