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A Book About Stuff and Bears, but Mostly a Stuffed Bear. Patreon reward for A.P.O.N.I. · 2:35am Mar 27th, 2018

Hey readers,

With this patreon reward for A.P.O.N.I. I’ll be all caught up with my rewards from last month and get to start the mad scramble to get things done before I’m late again! Wheeeeee!

I was asked to read and review a book called Threadbare: Stuff and Nonsense. I’ve never attempted to review a book or part of a book before, so I decided to give the first two chapters a read before writing up a… mini-review? Perhaps I’ll be asked to read more chapters and review those! Perhaps not! Who’s to say? Probably A.P.O.N.I. that’s who.

Anyhow, the cover of the book looks like this:

I don’t know if I’m going to come up with a lot of pictures for this blog, so enjoy that one.

First point of order, this is what 20 pounds of black cat looks like:

Thanks, Molly! And hey! I figured out another picture.

The cat in the story is twentyFIVE pounds, so… Points off for the cover for not properly conveying what a morbidly obese cat looks like.

Now, I stopped a chapter before the showdown depicted on the cover, but another note is the bear Threadbare (Yes, you’re very clever Mr. Seiple) doesn’t seem smart enough to use weapons yet but does seemingly have tiny claws at his disposal.

Okay, enough nitpicking the art. On to the writing!

Have you ever felt like there was something an author was trying to tell you via repeatedly smashing your eyeballs in with words? That’s kind of what watching Threadbare’s D&D/video game like stats level up look like.

Okay, I’m maybe jumping the gun a bit and not sharing some crucial details. Threadbare is the result of a golem spell cast on a stuffed animal. He seems to have the same six stats as depicted in D&D plus a handful of other standard RPG stats, though with 10 not seemingly being anywhere close to human average, or like… 10 being an average for a small child, perhaps. As interesting as it would be to find out the scale, the Threadbare is constantly leveling up his base stats like… I dunno… a low-level Morrowind character seems like an app description. Every time this happens, we get told in bold and are given a blurb of what transpires in regards to Threadbare specifically. Likewise, with various attributes such as “adorableness”. I might consider this a novel approach (yes, you’re not the only one who can make puns, Mr. Seiple) except it happens SO often in the 1st and 2nd chapters, it’s basically half the content. I’ll grant it’s slowed down a bit in the 2nd, but in a “the book is tired of hammering your face so it’s decided to kick you in the ribs, instead”.

So yeah… I found it kind of annoying. I feel if one reads on the idea would be more a treat that makes the character feel like its developed in a rather overt way, but maaaaan… does this stat increase thing get old fast initially.

Threadbare himself is pretty unremarkable as well, though that’s to be expected.

Other characters are Threadbare’s creator, an animator wizard who is experimenting with dolls and other stuffed animals and likes to explode his mistakes because apparently animators have rather little regard for bestowing sentience on things. The creator's daughter, who is also an animator and can at least work magic scrolls. Finally, Pulsivar, the above mentioned fat cat who is the best character by virtue of a being a fat cat full of spite and cat apathy.

The cat also dropped an f-bomb in its internal dialogue, which was odd as these people have their own made-up curse words much like ponies.

Regarding this start, I’ll just say there’s a reason why some stories don’t necessarily start at the very beginning. Basically, this is Threadbare’s origin story, and watching him grow from stuffed animal to barely-coherent stuffed animal is a bit of a slog.

Initial reaction of the writing is that it’s rather “tell” heavy for my taste, but then again I can fill an entire chapter with almost nothing but dialogue, so my personal sense of pacing is a bit different from this piece. That being said, it makes for writing I feel is mostly unengaging, but there’s nothing wrong with it, per se, that I can tell.

On the plus side, the world is certainly interesting and I am simultaneously annoyed and intrigued by a magic system that feels rather video game RPG (complete with magical menu screens) in nature. The general world-building is the most interesting thing so far, so if I am asked to continue, hopefully Threadbare will get smart enough in the next few chapters that we can dive into the inner workings of magic here and this curious little family.

I also expect Pulsivar will destroy more stuff, as that’s what fat cats that are persistently filled with piss and vinegar do.

Oh, I will point out one great like that happened right at the end of chapter 2. One I might need to alter to suit my needs, though is similar to lines I’ve used in the past.

“And there was no time for anything but violence…”

In short, we’re off to a slow start, but it is a start with promises of filling in the gaps, so all is not misery and woe.

There! Now onto the other stuff I should get to before this month full of pollen and nasal spray ends!

Oh, avatar created by ncmares, You’re so useful in conveying my current mood. Now if only your eyes were more bloodshot.

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Comments ( 4 )

It's too bad that you didn't like the book more, but then I myself was halfway through before I decided that I liked it enough to buy it. So, here's to paying you to read more of it in the future! :pinkiehappy:

Author Interviewer

...Holy shit, I used to play D&D with Andy Seiple in college. @_@

It's got potential, which is as backhanded as it sounds. The idea is certainly interesting, I just kinda hope the execution gets better as I go along.

And it's not like all great authors publish great work on their first go round. Jim Butcher himself personally thinks the first three Dresden Files books are pretty rough. Having read the first one and listened to some of the second, I'm inclined to agree with him.

It's actually kind of interesting how sometimes you only notice the problems with a work by comparison to later improvements. (I think that says what I mean it to say. :rainbowhuh:)

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