Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Festival Of Skeletons A Festival Of Skeletons
by RJ Astruc
Crossed Genres

Supplied for review by Crossed Genres

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

A Festival of Skeletons is R. J. Astruc’s first novel, but she is an accomplished writer at the short story end of the science fiction and fantasy market so I had hopes of a competently written story if nothing else. If this edition is anything to go by Ms Astruc has a very promising future as a writer of comedic prose at novel length.

New writers inevitably draw comparisons to the established/known talents and for me the obvious comparator is early Terry Pratchett, with his sly satire and juxtaposition of the ordinary and the absurd; the less obvious is Christopher Moore, who treats the usual standards of horror or fantasy as fit targets for lampoons and pratfalls – so it is with Ms Astruc, who happily uses satire, lampoon and pratfall, often to hilarious effect.

Her story is populated by cross-dressing morticians, monomaniacal police, a cook with charisma and zombies, courtesy of a soupcon too much necromancy, delivered within a deftly told story populated by characters that I cared about. And more importantly, A Festival of Skeletons is a fun read – so much so I was most disappointed when I finished the book.

R. J. Astruc is fortunate that I don’t know where she lives otherwise I would be besieging her domicile and demanding, with money and menaces, a sequel…or a new novel, either will do.

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