7 Things About Dymon's Lair
Beyond the farthest reaches of space, the crew of Fallon's Angel find themselves broken down and out of fuel. In order to get back home they must reach out to a primitive planet, Earth, and seek out. But the planet is run by Dymon Wesker, the richest and, consequently, most ruthless person in the world.
As he moves his resources to help the aliens and farther his own nefarious scheme, the crew must make a choice. Leave the planet in the control of a cruel madman or run afoul of Universal Law and save the people of Earth.
1. Let's Talk Villains:
A good villain can carry a story by themselves. If you don't believe me, check out my son's dresser. He has a lot of Star Wars clothing because my friends are fucking geeks. (Not sure how that happened but so be it.) And of them a decent percentage —let's say half— feature Darth Vader. Yoda is probably number two None of them feature Luke Skywalker. Because fuck that whiny bitch.
Which brings me to Dymon Wesker. He's a good villain in the sense that I'm not going to forget him anytime soon. The problem is that he has exactly zero redeeming characteristics. He's a cruel, selfish, greedy son-of-a-bitch who's every utterance sounds like is was written by Ayn Rand and rapes people for sport.
2. The Darkness Inside:
To me a good villain is one complex enough that people can, on some level, relate to them. They do horrible things but they make sense. Maybe you got to warp your brain a little bit in order to fully understand their actions but the path is there. In our darkest times we might even see ourselves going down that path wherever it might lead.
The problem is anyone who can relate to Dymon should probably seek out professional help. The man is just Evil with a capital E. Cartoonishly so. He's basically one of those Persian-cat-stroking, cackling-in-his-secret-lair, mustache-twirling bad guys from Saturday morning. Which are fun, don't get me wrong, but there's not a lot of complexity there.
3. The World of Flat Land:
Which is indicative of an over-all problem I had with this book. All the characters feel flat. Dymon with his sheer audacity looms large but, in the end, he is less a character and more of a caricature. And the rest are so forgettable that... well I've pretty much forgotten about them already.
I noticed some attempt to round out some of the crew members with some side-story arcs and even a ham-fisted love tale but it just didn't work.
4. Let's Talk Mood:
Mood is a fickle thing in a book. When it works one doesn't notice. The wine is poured, the candles are lit, Barry White is crooning on the stereo, there's flower pedals all around, and it just feels right. It's only when the goat charges in and machine-guns ass pellets across the bedspread that one notices something is wrong. The mood is broken.
I mostly liked this book. It was a fun, light-hearted escapist fantasy with some witty moments and some appropriately deadpan humor. But scattered aroun were a few things that became that incontinent goat.
5. Goat Moments:
I get that Dymon is supposed to be a completely unredeemable human. But making him some kind of gleeful serial rapist is way over the top. And it's pervasive all throughout the book. It's how he keeps his people in check. Which... yeah that would work, but in a story that has a light-hearted, fun feel to it, it's feels out of place.
And then there's the journalist scene. On it's own its a great scene. A journalist runs afoul of Dymon and is graphically and quite creatively tortured. And in a book with a darker, more horrific feel it would be perfect. In this book, it stands out. And not in a good way.
6. A straight shot to Hell on Earth
As a whole, the story is good though. It was very linear and reminded me of a lot of short stories and books in the scifi genre where aliens arrive at Earth and are mystified by the bizarre way these humans organize themselves and set about trying to fix it for these silly over-evolved apes. And like the titular villain the world this all takes place in is a caricature of reality. It's a late-stage capitalist dystopia in which the meritocracy has run it's course and now its time to the last man standing to feast on the flesh of the entire population.
7. The Verdict ⭐⭐⭐
It's a fun book. Especially for those that need an escapist fantasy where aliens arrive to fix this broken down world. I can definately see where that would be appealing to some. The aformentioned problems do get in the way but, if one can overlook that, it's a fun journey through a predictable