The Adventures of JoJo Smith by Tony Leslie Duxbury

The-Adventures-Of-JoJo-Smith-cover

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This a tongue-in-cheek fantasy tale about a young man who, through no fault of his own, is transported to a medieval world. Scared witless, all he wants is to be sent home. Considered harmless, he is ignored. Deciding to take things into his own hands, he hits on the idea of making a revolution to gain his ends. Recruiting some unlikely helpers, he forms a plan and puts it into action. Of course, things go wrong from the start, but they win through in the end.

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We follow a story of a guy named JoJo, who ends up in the medieval times due to an ancient spell. The wizard, who conjured the spell, has no idea what happened and neither does our protagonist. To make things even worse, he does not want to send JoJo back to his own world, because he has yet to translate the remainder of the spell and he has much more important business to attend to. Cannot really blame him; look after your own ass first. Because JoJo gets bored with feeling sorry for himself, and does not want to sit around anymore, he decides to start a revolution. Because, you know, why not?

As you have all picked up by now, it is a fantasy book with quite a humorous story. The story is written in first person narrative, so we are actually looking through the eyes of JoJo and following his thoughts and interactions with other characters along the way. This is fairly well done, but some of it is, sadly, a bit of a drag. And I felt the drag right from the beginning. There is just some heavy descriptions going on in some parts and it is absolutely unnecessary. If you skip those descriptions, or lets say, fly through them with your eyes, you will not miss anything. And that is quite bad, because you can easily take away quite a substantial amount of pages out of the book.

The characters are well constructed, they all have their roles in the book and they fulfill them well. They are not that flat, which means that they do not go on and on about one particular thing and show no progress. They do, and they change their temper and thoughts and you can see it in the sentence structures. For example, at the beginning of the book, when JoJo is scared shitless of Shadlow (the wizard), right after mouthing off at him, the sentences get shorter and the pace picks up. So you can feel how he is regretting the decision and is like “Oh shit, should not have said that!”.

Speaking of which, I believe that there should be quite more dialogs. The parts where the descriptions drag could quite well be erased and give space to lengthier dialogs. JoJo only exchanges a few sentences per day of his new adventure and that is quite unrealistic. I mean, I know it is dumb to say that when we are talking about a completely made up story, but nobody in their right mind would only say a few sentences each day. Even if you are crazy, you probably talk out loud and form a dialog with the wall. So that really cannot be an excuse.

While I was thinking of dialogs, I was reminded of one small little thing. The book needs an editor, to check out the spelling, and the use of punctuation. It is not too bad, but I have stumbled upon some quote marks, where there should not be any. I guess that this is something that was left over after rewriting certain things, but it just unnecessarily breaks the flow of reading. It makes me, as a reader, stop and check out what the hell are those supposed to be quoting.

All in all, it is a fun read, especially if you enjoy something with a lighter theme.

Book recommendation: 7,5/10

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