Despite a reputation for the bittersweet (I swear I'm working on fixing that!) my true joy of reading is in laughing. While making me sob and snivel at something moving is a big deal and something I do enjoy, it's the moment of barking laughter that's pulled out of me completely by surprise by some wonderful prose that makes me most likely to shove a book into the faces of everyone and say "You need to read this!"
What can I say? I like fun. I like funny. I adore wit and bon-mots, and the perfectly executed set-up before the massive follow through. And if it's unexpected? All the better.
Which brings me to the next story I'll be discussing...
Quick reminder - the reason there are preview stories available from the not-yet-released This is How You Die is due to the wonderful Machine of Death Card Game Kickstarter currently underway. As backers are eliminating goal levels, stories have been flying into the 'net.
Okay. This story? I freaking loved it. It's part Bond, part Archer, part Christopher Moore circa Dirty Job, all painted with the wonderful strokes of Tom Francis, who made me laugh out loud multiple times throughout. When a supervillian (okay, well, more like a radical inventor of a new fission technology that seems to have pissed off the world governments) keeps getting invaded by soldiers who want to stop him, he hires henchmen, right? Except, well, in the world of the Death Machine, if those soldiers have been tested and their slips say, for example, "Banana Peel," then there's just no way any amount of henchmen with guns is going to take that soldier down.
Enter a special henchman, who tells this tale, and is tasked with taking captured agents and using their test results to ensure they don't mess with the boss's plan to finish the reactor. He's creative. He's a total nerd. He's completely tongue-tied around the lady who runs the diagnostic tests on the prisoners. And he's hysterical.
Thank you, Tom Francis. Seriously. Virginia Falls? Oh. Man.