When sorting through my batch at the beginning of all this I wasn’t really reading the blurbs for my batch. Instead, I was looking at publisher, length, release date, etc., just to see if it qualified for the contest and moved on to the next title. I totally missed the fact I had a comedy in my batch. The title should have given it away, I guess. But I’m not particularly observant.
The book opened with a fight scene. It’s got a couple of our MC’s and they’re killing twisted dark elves and whatnot. There’s a lot of action going on, some magic, some sword stuff and I got an old school fantasy feel, almost like Skyrim vibe since there weren’t just elves, dwarves, humans etc., but there were lizard people, and halflings, cat people, and bunch of others.
So, as I’m reading the fight scene I start chuckling from the stupid back and forth between Grilk and Josephus. Grilk being the magic wielding lizard-person and Josephus the warrior companion. Josephus believes himself to be the Chosen One TM and boy does he lean hard into the Chosen One tropes. Golden flowing hair, charismatic, natural warrior etc., but this is all super self aware parody in the narrative. The pairing of Grilk and Josephus is kind of like Zapp Brannigan and Kif from Futurama. A pretty arrogant and self centered person who thinks everything revolves around them, and the sad amphibian/lizard person who follows him around as a slave taking orders. Grilk was actually ‘given’ to Josephus to help fulfill the prophecy. I would say that Josephus is far less obnoxious than Zapp, though.
To finish out the trope of a hero and his raiding party, Josephus is also joined by a thief and a priest to aide him along his quest. Penny is a halfling and she’s got a chip on her shoulder about big people and how they treat her. A lot of her motivations in life come from trying to prove herself to be the best thief there’s ever been. She’s not though, she does try though – bless her heart. I was not a huge fan of Penny early on but she did grow on me as I got to know her a little more. She also thinks super highly of herself like Josephus does, but she’s also impatient and can be super mouthy to her comrades. Which leaves the priest dwarf to round out the party and who is cranky and awesome. After Grilk, he was probably my second favorite character.
With this many POVs it’s really important to have distinct voices for the characters, and I think this did that well. I was never confused about whose chapter I was in and I never felt like two of the characters were more or less “the same” and got bored reading.
I wouldn’t say that the world building offers anything earth shatteringly new, or really new at all. But, that’s okay. This book leans hard into the themes, races, magics, and fantasy tropes we’re all familiar with and reimagines them in a warm parody — and it does so without any awkward phrasing or clunkily written info dumps which I always greatly appreciate.
The pacing here was great, this really does not have any bloat at all. It clocks in at 217 pages according to Amazon so this is a tightly told story. And even given it’s short length, this definitely has enough meat on the bones to be remembered as more than “just a comedy”. As time went on the characters became endearing and I found myself invested in their story, and I’d check out more work by this author.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with You Can’t Prevent Prophecy and if this piqued your interest maybe check it out.
- Plot: 11/15
- Characters: 12.5/15
- World Building: 11/15
- Writing: 12.5/15
- Pacing: 13/15
- Originality: 12/15
- Enjoyment: 8/10
Final Score: 80/100