Reviews by cherylo
Another bizarre turn
From the dangers of allowing library fines to accumulate to the contemplation of gourds, the wacky and sublime create a melange unseen anywhere else. Cowboys, Robin of Loxley, and African explorers alike do the unexpected. You will never view the line between normal and abnormal quite the same. It becomes much more of a squiggle.
Beyond Bizzaro
Whether you are looking for a primitive device to shred beetroot or steel pants, you will find it here. Cowboys, snoods, and vikings blowing soap bubbles also populate this bizarre collection of comics. Some truly inspired juxtapositions will be seen, and a lot of puzzlement will be your companion.
Several years ago, I read a short story entitled "Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore" that was a sample piece posted by Robin Sloan as the come-on for a Kickstarter called "Robin writes a book, and you get a copy..." The book produced from that Kickstarter, Anabel Scheme, was okay, but I felt it did not entirely live up to the quality of the teaser short story. When Robin emailed to his Kickstarter followers and fans that he was expanding Mr. Penumbra to novel length, I literally squeed. I have not been disappointed at all. For design and data geeks, and, I suspect, every 20- or 30-something freelancer as well, there is a lot to be excited about and recognize in this book. The humor is dry and nerdy, just how I prefer it. It does not stop me from enjoying books from either of them, but it should be noted that, like Neal Stephenson, endings are not Robin Sloan's string suit.

Also, I'm very glad I checked out a physical book to read, even though I purchased the novel for Kindle immediately on release, because the cover is subtly glow-in-the-dark, for extra cool factor. I may have to buy a physical book now too.
Spoken word vocals sometimes a jarring distraction
I very much liked the music of this album, but the spoken word vocals on some tracks were odd and creepy at times. That may have been the intended effect but it was not to my taste.
Lots of action, not so much sense
Lots of action and comedy, and fun performances, but the story has a lot of rough edges. If you don't think too much about it and just enjoy the ride, you might be okay, but don't expect it to all hang together.