Sunday, 14 December 2014

#19. "Shattered Prophecy" by David Standeven

Won't someone think of the children!?


By Peartree

(Submitted by David Standeven)

Editor's Note: This is the second time the Piece of Shit Book Club™ has been asked to review a book by its author. The rest of us were so fucking busy that we really didn't have the time but thankfully Peartree is an anti-social loser.
Maybe David will write a review of another book or something or we'll get him to guest post or some shit, what the fuck do I know. Shattered Prophecy is available for purchase here.

Why do dogs circle three or more times before sitting down? Why won't McDonald's sell me hot dogs? And why are the necromancers at war with the knights of Fristad? These are questions to which I fear I will never know the true answer.

Sure dogs have always circled, McDonald's hasn't sold hot dogs in a coon's age, and the necromancers have been at war for two hundred years, but just because it has always been doesn't give it a reason. Ovine acceptance don't cut it here David.

Had we known what their motives were for waging war against the 'metal men' perhaps we could have figured out why the hermitic (hermitish? hermitical?) Guardians had named a bunch of kids as their saviours. Perhaps the Guardians secretly knew that the necromancers were actually decent dudes that were fighting because it's what they believed in, and that they would be taken aback by seeing children on the battle field, thus leaving them shocked and vulnerable. Since child recruitment is a Grave Violation on the United Nation's Conventions on Children and Armed Conflict, and since producing material advocating the violation of those laws is also a crime, this book is not only a Piece of Shit™, but also a war crime.

The 'snakes' (that's the necromancers), who are probably accustomed to fighting off battalions of men, should not be subjected to the killing of twelve year old girls. That is entirely too much, even for hardened warriors. And the Guardians knew that would happen too, just reread the name of the book!

What is it about fantasy that elevates children to legendary heroes? It's always some kid from some backwater no-name-town who is thrown into an adventure where they are the only ones who can save the world. It's never the actual armies and generals who have trained their whole lives and studied battlefield tactics. At least Standeven somewhat addressed that issue by having his children warriors brought up as knights for most of their lives, but that probably only exacerbated the Dunning-Kruger effect on their impressionable young minds.

The other issue with having child soldiers is you have to deal with childish antics. Teen rebellion, unrequited love, brash and impulsive decisions, and a general sense of confusion manifest in our protagonists as their bodies go through changes they can't even bring up and talk about because they are on a fucking battlefield. Had they had the time to sit down and mull through their feelings, they probably would have come to the conclusion that kids make poor dragon slayers despite what classic JRPG's would have us believe.

I mean, if you were planning a suicide mission to charge the enemy to allow your squadron time to retreat and only wanted to recruit a small team, how would you do it? Would you go around camp and collect a small team together of those you knew would be willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good, or would you build a huge funeral pyre, light it on fire, and stand on top of it as you gave out a rallying and emboldened retreat speech only to have it backfire and encourage those you didn't want to die come and join the suicide mission? Kids don't think this shit through. That's just self-aggrandising pompousness. He just wanted everyone to know he was going on a suicide mission more than he wanted to help save everyone. I suppose you can't be a martyr if no ones knows what you did but the symbolism of standing on a funeral pyre to get your martyrdom across is laying it on a bit thick.

Personally, if I were to advocate my own martyrdom I would simply let the world know I read Piece Of Shit Books™ on the internet. We sacrifice so much here.

- Peartree

Editor's Note: If we're going to be martyrs, does that mean we get 72 virgins? I'm willing to negotiate down if I have to. All right, I'll take one. One virgin. Provided it isn't Peartree. Speaking of virgins, you can pick up Standeven's book, "Shattered Prophecy," here.


  1. "this book is not only a Piece of Shit™, but also a war crime" - pure magic as always!

  2. Hilarious review! I like it much. I'll defend one aspect of the book, however.

    It is meant to be a subversion of the "Young characters chosen by prophecy (that is sure to be fulfilled) get magic powers, save the day, and defeat the big bad". The characters are young, immature, and don't understand their new-found powers which results in... consequences. That is, in fact, the point.