Cryptofauna by Patrick Canning

A young man is inducted into a hidden world of magic and super-beings enagaged in a mysterious competition.

Whether you enjoy this book or not will largely depend on your sense of humour. Obviously, I did. Apart from the general daftness, there’s a familiar urban fantasy premise and conventional plot structure, which holds the story together well.

The plot begins with the protagonist, Jim, about to kill himself, but he’s instead offered an opportunity to join a secret world of magic and power. There’s the usual tasks to prove his worthiness, companions to collect along the way, and a psychopathic rival who isn’t playing by the rules. The originality lies in the thoroughly bizarre and bonkers detail.

Well written and edited, this a very readable fast-paced adventure packed with fantastic and ridiculous invention.

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