Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, April 3, 2015

Eviscerated Panda Volume 4 - Sarah Tipper

And so Eviscerated Panda make their triumphant return after far too long away. Sarah Tipper has rounded up her recurring and lovable cast for another series of adventures. While her writing style continues to improve (And the evolution is in fact part of the charm of the series) I still occasionally have doubts about the direction of these books. As is though, the Eviscerated Panda trilogy er.. series, ...cycle ... what have you remains fun to read, a veritable heavy metal sitcom of a rather Terry Prachettian bent. 

Though I'm a huge Discworld fan it was only just this time through the book that I realized the full influence that Mr. Pratchett has had on Sarah Tipper's work. The seemingly silly asides are in fact a tribute to the fun and imaginative tangents that make the Discworld books (Or hell, even the Hitchhiker Guide To The Galaxy series) so much fun to read.It gives everything a rather profound charm and marks Tipper as part of a generation of authors who view those seminal writings as crucial to good fiction.

My main issue with this book is that, though the prose continues to improve, I kind of get the sense the series is stalling. Asides from the character of Ian finally meeting his mother after years and breaking up with his girlfriend not much seemed to happen. Yes there was character growth and much needed dialogue, but as I progressed I felt a lack of direction. The entire book I was waiting for something strange and exciting to happen, as had been the case with previous tomes, perhaps the Pandas would get signed to a label or make real progress on their next record. As is though, I kind of was left struggling for a sense of direction.

At the end of the day, there is not enough fun and lighthearted fiction in the world of heavy metal and Sarah Tipper fulfills a much needed void. Her writing is far too much fun to read and the pages fly by. You will get lost in the work and truly charmed by the characters in a way that I hadn't felt in previous Tipper works. Sarah is coming into her own as an author and I am more curious than ever to meet this cancer-researcher in the flesh. Tipper clearly has great things in store as a writer, and I'm sure as the adventures of Eviscerated Panda continue we will see them, and Tippers writing soar higher than ever before.

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