Recap of Maradonia and the Seven Bridges

Maya beats up a goth and Joey tries to drown his sister. Some doves rescue her.

On the advice of a creepy old neighbor they go to a forbidden beach and find a cave into Maradonia where they join forces with a wisdom-dispensing grasshopper

They encounter an evil spider and a poison glitter tree and a fortunetelling toad. King Roach (God) sends an eagle named Sagitta who carries them to Poseidon Rock, where Joey almost drowns due to his own stupidity

They get lost in the jungle and Joey murders a snake and Maya almost drowns but Joey rescues her

They meet some crying unicorns and confront an evil creature named Gertrude and almost die but Sagitta and Cato (who we shall call Thor) save them and free the unicorns

They ride the unicorns over to a valley where everyone greets them as their saviors

Commander Justin consults a medium and tries to poison Maya and Joey, but Libertine warns them and Justin dies.

Joey tests the army by starving them. Maya swims with some mermaids

The Powers of Evil show up and Maya and Joey agree to be barbecued but Sagitta and another chap show up to rescue them

Some fishermen try to kill them but through a lucky coincidence Joey figures out what’s going on. They befriend the murderous fishermen and Maya gets a free dog

They arrive at Selinka and party.

Apollyon has a Club of Evil

They meet AstroJesus who explains that if they bathe in a pool of blood they’ll become invincible. They do. The Powers of Evil attack and kill a few people because Genarius is a bad general but everyone else is invincible

Joey gets a Deus ex Machina hat

They decide to rescue the unicorns and mermaids

Apollyon sings the Mother Earth Song

They travel to Apollyon’s fortress and walk inside without a problem. Joey nicks the Key to the Underworld, decides not to help people in Hell, and they help the mermaids and unicorns escape

Joey starts a forest fire

Some random guy tries to betray everyone and gets killed. But Abbadon is able to sneak inside the city, fights AstroJesus, and they both die

Genarius is crowned king. He and Maya and Joey use their magical powers to blow up some bombs in the enemy camp

Apollyon raises Abbadon from the dead

Genarius marries Ruchi

Maya uses her Deus ex Machina hat to discover a treasonous plot to murder Genarius and blame Maya and Joey. Maya foils the plot and her dog drinks the poison and dies.

They head home, meet up with Hoppy the grasshopper, and watch the mermaids kill some people

Joey makes out with a mermaid and sets another forest on fire

They talk to the fortunetelling toad and then go home.

Recap of Maradonia and the Gold of Ophir

Some UFOs show up in Oceanside.

Maya is having problems adjusting to being normal, so The Gothic Movement decides to beat the shit out of Maya. At the hospital, Libertine the dove shows up and says that Maradonia needs their help.

A couple of spirits show up and are looking for Maya and Joey. They kill the principal.

Libertine brings some magical athelas which heals Maya.

The Gothic Movement consults a Ouija board to figure things out, but when the spirits shows up, Alana Terrence loses her shit and runs outside and is killed by a car.

Maya and Joey’s aunt has some perfectly timed cancer, so their parents take off to go visit her. They head for Maradonia, are intercepted by the evil spirits and the UFOs, but Joey pulverizes them with the Key to the Underworld.

They go to visit the fortunetelling toad, Oraculus, but the Evil Fairies beat them and kill Oraculus. Joey stands around and lets it happen because he’s forgotten that he’s completely invincible, invisible, and in possession of the most powerful magical object in the known universe. Joey frets about this. Then they meet some more toads and have their fortunes told anyway.

They board a ship but a cyclone pops up and the ship crashes but everyone makes it ashore an island. Danny is bit by a snake, but they get some magic potion from some chick and heal the kid. Then they heal someone else with a Miracle Swing Word of Magic.

They wander around and eavesdrop on random people and catch a few traitors who discuss their treason openly in bars.

They go diving to look for the gold. Assassins come to kill them but fail because they’re incompetent. Candace dies, and Ginger is arrested. Some traitors try to kill Joey, so he torches them with the Key.

Some dragons show up and take them to Tyronia, where the king names Joey his heir and then dies and Joey becomes King.

Maya heads back to Selinka, chats up King Genarius, says that he needs to murder the shit out of the traitors, and plays tonsil hockey with Captain Henry.

Some nurses attempt to kill Prince Michael by choking him with a bit of apple. Maya finds Michael, hops aboard a dragon, and they fly around until the changing air pressure pops the apple loose, restarts Michael’s heart, and cures the brain damaged caused by the lack of oxygen.

Instead of taking Michael home to Genarius, who thinks his son is dead, Maya heads off on a road trip, where she learns sword fighting and becomes a warrior equal to Eragon within a few days.

Plouton betrays Abbadon and chains him to a rock to have vultures feed on his liver for all eternity. Apollyon’s ravens fuck a bunch of hawks and create an ungodly crossbreed called Rawkens.

Genarius, convinced his son is dead, drinks hemlock. Maya shows up and Genarius isn’t annoyed at all that she has been gadding around letting him think his only son is alive. He names her queen to rule until Michael is of age.

A bunch of rebels storm City Hall. Maya gets out her sword, slaughters forty of them, and has the rest arrested.

At Maya’s coronation, Joey flirts with Princess Krimmy and then is lured away and abducted by the mermaid, Morgana. Morgana tries to turn Joey into a merman but fails and Joey is rescued and they recover all the gold of Ophir.

Plouton blames Abbadon’s disappearance on Joey and the Powers of Evil decide to attack the good guys.

They head out to catch General Felipe, the traitor, when he tries to recover the gold. There’s a sham trial, Felipe and his compatriots are found guilty and executed, except Maya lets a few of them go free through her own incompetence.

Maya and Joey decide to forge a new treaty with some people in order to kick King Apollyon’s ass once and for all.

Team Tesch has really kicked it up a notch. The interior of this book actually looks like someone took some time to create a design that doesn’t look completely amateurish.

That’s not to say it looks good, however. They’ve picked a spooky gothic font for chapter titles which is okay, I guess, but it feels overly dramatic.

There’s a little section titled “Books by Gloria Tesch,” which is great and all that, except for this is the list:

Maradonia – The Seven Bridges

Maradonia – The Escape from the Underworld

Maradonia – The Gold of Ophir

Maradonia – The Dragon Riders

Maradonia – The Law of Blood

Maradonia – The Battle for the Key

Maradonia – The Lost Secret of Kra

And no…she didn’t go back and retcon the titles. They’re still titled the way they always have been. They just for some utterly retarded reason decided to list them that way on this page.

And, of course…the last two books haven’t even been published yet. Isn’t it a little disingenuous to claim you’ve written books that haven’t been published?

The book begins with a page with…uh, I dunno, I guess it’s a quote:

The people who sat in darkness saw a great light…

And those who sat in the region and shadow of death…

Light has dawned!

The Prophecies of the Seer

I’m guessing that this is supposed to be a quote from The Prophecies of the Seer, whatever or whoever that is, but….that doesn’t make any sense, grammatically or otherwise. So I’m not even going to bother trying to make sense of it.


There’s a very short preface that gives a very, very short recap of the previous books. It’s much shorter than my recap, which I think means that Tesch thinks even less of the previous book is relevant than I do.

You know, I just realized that in the split versions of the series, the last book is called Maradonia and the Dragon Riders, which has to be one of the dumbest names for a book that I’ve ever heard. Yeah, a few dragons are ridden, but it’s not like it’s a major, or even a minor part of the plot.

Chapter One – The Gahanna

That picture is actually a bit scary.

King Apollyon is angrily trying to explain something called the law of blood, but his son Plouton doesn’t understand. Apollyon is frustrated, because this is something that Plouton should know. Apparently the law of blood is supposed to be common knowledge, but Plouton doesn’t know about it. I’m guessing this will not be expanded on or explained.

Apollyon explains that the law of blood is that someone has to die so someone else can live. And Plouton needs to understand this and then use it. Plouton asks how, but they’re interrupted when a bunch of people come in. The Titans, who helped Plouton whack Abaddon, are worried.

Plouton glared with cold eyes over his shoulder and signalized… ‘There is no reason to be concerned.’ (page 30)

According to, signalized is actually a word, but it’s still used incorrectly here. The word is “signaled”, Tesch.

Plouton and Apollyon ramble about laws of nature and Tyronia and it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, but eventually everyone else shows up and the meeting gets started.

Apollyon is very angry and hollering and screaming. He screams that Tyronia needs to be conquered.

Electric shockwaves, ponderous thunder and blinding lightning inflated and filled the hall. Several dwarfs materialized suddenly out of nowhere, bowed down and nodded as the boisterous voice of King Apollyon echoed a hundred fold through the main hall of the palace (page 5).

Right. It inflated the hall? I don’t think that word means what you think it means. Also, what point is it to introduce the dwarfs if they’re not going to do anything?

Apollyon is pissed because Joey has his key. And other things:

King Apollyon tilted his head down and said with a saddened voice, “It seems to be a fact that King Joey of Tyronia killed my son Abbadon with the power of the Key to the Underworld.” (page 5)

Seems to be a fact? Really, Tesch?

The Titans say there’s actually a chance they could make another Key, because their dead brother, Remmilos, left behind some manuals. Of course, that’s not really possible because there’s no way to get back into the Underworld…except that Apollyon reveals that there is a way, it’s just very, very difficult. You have to climb down through the Craters of Juno into the third level of Gahanna. Plus there are monsters in there.

So let’s get this straight. The Key is incredibly powerful, and it was stolen months and months ago. You even went so far as to sent flying saucers between worlds and into Florida to try and retrieve the Key, because it was the only one in existence…and now you’re just going to bring up, now that it’s convenient for the plot, that oh yeah…there’s another way into the Underworld to retrieve designs for a new Key? After everyone specifically discussed that there was no possible way to make another Key? Bullshit, Tesch. Stop trying to retcon your story.

Apollyon exposits that the first level of Gahanna is full of Lycanoids, otherwise known as werewolves. However, the werewolves tend to be cowards and will only attack if cornered or if they have superior numbers. So that level would be pretty easy to get through. Next, there’s the kingdom inhabited by gargoyles and goblins, and lastly, the third level, which is ruled by King Gardofat, king of the dwarfs, who Apollyon hates. The dwarfs that appeared speak up indignantly, but Apollyon shouts them down. I stand corrected. The dwarfs didn’t show up to do nothing, they showed up to say something irrelevant and then fade into the background and have no more impact on this scene. I guess I owe Tesch an apology.

Apparently, Gardofat’s security guards are spirits that try and enter people’s bodies. They’re called Dybbukims, which is the most unthreatening name I think I’ve ever heard. The only time I can visualize someone saying ‘Dybbukims’ is while pinching the cheek of an adorable infant.

There’s an awkwardly written scene and I think Apollyon is ordering the Titans to enter the Underworld through this route and retrieve the Key, but it’s not clear because of the terrible writing. The characters keep referencing the ‘trail of tears,’ which is apparently the journey through the Underworld, and also pretty offensive to Native Americans.

Apollyon outlines his plans, which is to dispatch the Rawkens against Tyronia, until Joey is forced to use the Key against them. Once Joey does that, they are free to use their own supernatural weapons against the good guys. This is important, because without their supernatural weapons, they’re probably going to lose in a straight fight. I don’t really understand why, since the powers of Evil had their city pretty much surrounded in the first book before they decided to call it quits and go home. But whatever. At least Apollyon is actually using some basic logic, which is a first for him.

Of course, Plouton doesn’t get it, and he tells his father than he doesn’t understand. Apollyon tousles his son’s hair and tells him it’s not a big deal. Actually, wait, that’s something I expect Apollyon to do. His response is more like something you’d expect from someone who is evil:

“My son, I have a problem with you!”

“Another problem…?!” Plouton asked annoyed.

“Yes, my problem is that you don’t understand me when I speak with a normal voice with you. It’s a pity that I always have to scream at you to make sure that you understand me.” (page 13)

HAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAH. That is undeniably awesome. I wonder if Tesch has finally figured out how to make her unspeakably evil villain an asshole? Even if he’s just a bit sarcastic, it’s miles ahead of the mother-earth and teamwork-loving hippie of the first two books.

Apollyon explains that he’s fully aware that their Rawken army will be decimated and Tyronia will celebrate, thinking that they’ve won. However, the Powers of Evil will be losing a battle to win a war.

Chapter Two – The Attack of the Empire

A scout warns Joey that the Rawken army is massing for an attack. So his bodyguards carry in the royal armor and King Pergamon’s awesome sword, Adar Cory, which is the dumbest name for a sword since Titus, and his awesome dagger, Prontos, which I guess is a better name than Immediatos. Also, wouldn’t Pergamon’s armor be designed for a grown man, not a 15-year-old boy?

We get some backstory. Apparently Joey went through military boot camp recently.

Although King Joey was slick and fast in dealing with different weapons, he was highly specialized in the art of a bow and arrow (page 16).

Goddamnit. Really, Tesch? Is there anything these two idiots won’t be good at? You try and throw me a bone by saying that he’s not the greatest sword fighter around – that would be Maya, of course – but now he’s highly specialized? What the fuck does that even mean?

This place was known for their master archers. These men taught Joey the art and the deeper knowledge of the ancient bow and arrow secrets. They trained and educated him well. King Joey was finally so good that he was able to pin a single horse fly with an arrow to the wall (page 17).

Oh. Okay. He’s fucking Legolas.

The army mounts up and flies over to this mountain and everyone chills out on the mountain until they see a cloud approaching fast…and against the wind.

We jump over to Big Bertha, who is leading this Rawken army, along with her sisters Beebe and Dodoo, and the two Rawken commanders, Brawn Brandon and Tough Robby.


Tough Robby?


Anyway, a bunch of dragons have been flying around really high and they dive-bomb into the Rawken army and the dogfight begins. It’s related to us in a tedious, matter-of-fact way that gives absolutely no sense of how the fight actually is.

A few dragons tumble out of the sky and drown. Joey and his dragons realize it’s because the Rawkens attacked their eyes and the dragons couldn’t see anymore, because everyone knows that if you can’t see, you suddenly lose, along with the ability to tell up from down, the capability of flying.

They order the rest of the dragons to protect their eyes. How? Well, the dragons don’t have a way of protecting their eyes, so that’s kinda like telling your soldiers “don’t get shot”. Utterly pointless.

Joey and Danny shoot Rawkens until they run out of arrows, so they pull their swords out, and the battle is joined! By which Tesch means that they stand there and wait for birds to approach them, because if you’re standing on the ground without a ranged weapon you can’t do much for an aerial battle.

Drinks: 49

[shameless pimping]
For those who care, I’ve recently begun sporking the latest Pride and Prejudice sequel, over at my website.
[/shameless pimping]

Tagged as: ,


  1. Requiem on 19 November 2011, 23:48 said:

    Hooray for a new spork, hope your liver has healed from al the damage done from gold of ophir.

    Tough Robby….not exactly the most threatening name to run away from in terror.

  2. Fireshark on 20 November 2011, 00:59 said:


    Nice illustration for Chapter One, although I would have photoshopped it to be literally black-and-white. The gray and white pencil sketching just looks a bit unprofessional.

    Hey, it’s the Artemis Fowl font!

    Why do they always credit Tesch with books she never published? Couldn’t they at least write “Coming Soon?”

    “Another problem…?!”

    I’ll admit that I like to do this, but DAMN that is a lot of punctuation!

    You know what would be awesome? A Maradonia trading card game. We’d have Goldie Capes and Tough Robbies and all kinds of bizarre stuff.

  3. LoneWolf on 20 November 2011, 03:09 said:

    Actually, the Dibbukim are spirits from Jewish folklore that enter people’s bodies. Tesch didn’t invent the name here. Though she would be better off getting rid of gratitiuos “s” in the end.

    it’s miles ahead of the mother-earth and teamwork-loving hippie of the first two books.

    For Gloria, being a hippie and worshipping Mother Earth is probably evil enough, considering her Fundamentalist influence.

  4. T on 20 November 2011, 03:11 said:

    The Gahanna picture is admittedly impressive. It reminds me of something Thunt or Mookie might draw.

    Although King Joey was slick and fast in dealing with different weapons, he was highly specialized in the art of a bow and arrow (page 16).

    I wonder if this has anything to do with Gloria’s recent attempts at pretending to do archery?

  5. WulfRitter on 20 November 2011, 03:28 said:

    The Chapter One picture is actually full of win. Oh no, that really-talented-I-can’t-believe-somebody-draws-that-awesomely full of win. No no. It’s the same type of win as when your senile grandma knits your cousin a sweater with three arms. That type of win.

  6. Requiem on 20 November 2011, 05:02 said:

    I’m guessing Gahanna is a reference to Gehenna also in jewish lore.

  7. BlueMask on 20 November 2011, 05:03 said:

    That’s the first thing I thought when I saw the font- oh, so she’s ripping another book off now.
    Actually, the picture is not that terrible, when compared to the Barbie Maya and other horrors of the past.
    Nice sporking!

  8. LoneWolf on 20 November 2011, 05:46 said:

    I’m guessing Gahanna is a reference to Gehenna also in jewish lore.

    Ah, exactly. Gloria Tesch, Author of the ‘Maradonia-Saga’ is a very erudite and knowledgeable young lady who uses her ‘Terrific Knowledge of World Mythologies’ to amazing and educational effects. The ‘Maradonia-Saga’ Educates Children and should be used in all Schools, Universities and Learning-Institutes worldwide.

  9. Kurt on 20 November 2011, 07:27 said:

    Let another sporking adventure begin! Fantastic spork as usual, Rorschach! I’ll pay your rehab bills when you’re done. :)

    ponderous thunder and blinding lightning inflated and filled the hall.

    And then, the pillars collapsed and the ceiling fell down, killing the entire club of Evil.

    You have to climb down through the Craters of Juno into the third level of Gahanna. Plus there are monsters in there.

    So the Key to the Underworld is like the Amulet of Yendor?

    @Requiem and LoneWolf: No folklore or mythology seems to be safe from Gloria Tesch. I’ll give her that credit, she must have read some mythology books.

  10. BettyCross on 20 November 2011, 08:45 said:

    Ah, so that’s what that font is called, the one where N looks like the letter Pi in Greek. It seems de riguer for fantasy book covers these days.

    I’ve never liked it, however. Foreign and ancient alphabets are one of my fascinations, and it takes me about a second to figure out that titles like that really are in English.

  11. Kurt on 20 November 2011, 09:01 said:

    Back after some Googling.

    The Preface turns out to be a mangled Bible quote from Isaiah 9:2 . I’ll assume it means that the Encouragers are the light shining on the people of Maradonia, who live in the shadow of death. Heaven help us.

    Also, teleporting dwarves??! Arent’t dwarves usually known for their hatred of magic?

  12. LoneWolf on 20 November 2011, 09:30 said:

    Gloria Tesch is an ‘Original Fantasy Author’ that often subverts ‘Common Cliched Motives’ with brilliance and talented.

  13. BettyCross on 20 November 2011, 09:47 said:

    Joey and Danny shoot Rawkens until they run out of arrows …

    I’m scratching my head. Rawkens are a hawk-raven hybrid, so they can’t be very large, and they’re probably too fasting-moving to be shot down at a distance by archers on the ground.

    So Joe[y] and Danny probably hit no birds at all, and ran a grave risk of hitting a dragon instead.

    Now, if the rawkens had twenty-foot wingspreads, it would be possible to shoot them with arrows, because they would be much larger and therefore slower-moving.

  14. Fireshark on 20 November 2011, 11:19 said:

    Now, Betty, remember that our ‘Wonderfully Realistic Young Author’ mentioned earlier that

    King Joey was finally so good that he was able to pin a single horse fly with an arrow to the wall (page 17).

    Joey is obviously ‘Endowed with Great Skill,’ and can accomplish anything the forces of Good need him to.

  15. Fireshark on 20 November 2011, 11:25 said:

    I looked for it, and the font appears to be called Mason Alternate Regular. You can find it for free if you run a quick search.

  16. Fireshark on 20 November 2011, 11:32 said:

    Or at least from a group of fonts called Mason (Downloaded it, and it was a tiny bit different).

    Sorry for triple post.

  17. Vikingboybilly on 20 November 2011, 13:49 said:

    I lol’d at Gardofat.

    Why does nobody else find gardofat lulzy? Rorscach must have been too fazed by all the other stupid non-threatening villain names in this series.

  18. BettyCross on 20 November 2011, 14:07 said:

    Maradonia and the Dragon Riders … has to be one of the dumbest names for a book that I’ve ever heard. Yeah, a few dragons are ridden, but it’s not like it’s a major, or even a minor part of the plot.

    But thanks to Paolini, you have to have dragon riders in fantasy now. Gloria is merely following the convention.

  19. Requiem on 20 November 2011, 14:17 said:

    There were dragon riders before those two got a hold of the idea. Tolkien’s Nazgul and fell beasts were probably one of the first in modern literature and they were the villains. All they’ve done is taken the idea and watered it down and given the protagonists the dragons.

  20. Prince o' Tea on 20 November 2011, 14:26 said:

    Electric shockwaves, ponderous thunder and blinding lightning inflated and filled the hall. Several dwarfs materialized suddenly out of nowhere, bowed down and nodded as the boisterous voice of King Apollyon echoed a hundred fold through the main hall of the palace”

    Wait, wait, didn’t Gloria write that paragraph almost word for word in the opening to Seven Bridges? Lazy Gloria. You’ve had almost four years now, you’d think she would realize how awful that chunk of word vomit was by now.

    Gardofat…. normally it would be cringe worthy, but in a universe of Brawn Brendons, Doodoos and Beebees and TUFF ROBBEEZ it doesn’t really blip on the radar that much.

    As for the archery… you would have thought that since it’s a hobby of Gloria’s, she would have realized you don’t become a “master archer” in a few weeks from first hand experience, but apparently not. She even seems to think she’s one herself from taking a few lessons.

  21. Kurt on 20 November 2011, 15:10 said:

    @Prince o’Tea: You must have a good memory to remember that paragraph. Another proof that Gloria does not understand how terrible her writing is.

    @BettyCross & Requiem: Plus, it looks cool with a dragon on the book cover. Except when it’s drawn by Momma Tesch, and the dragon is only three times as long as the rider is tall.

  22. swenson on 20 November 2011, 15:39 said:

    Ooh, this one is better already. At least the bad guys have a sort of a plan1 and Apollyon was semi-menacing in a hilarious way. Seriously, that was a pretty good burn to his son, who really is a moron.

    Names are still stupid, I see (although I actually didn’t mind “Titus” as the name of a sword), as is the writing itself. But the chapter picture was OK, or at least better than some of the other stuff in previous books.

    And the Legolas reference was pretty good, Rorschach. :D


    1 Which, as far as I can tell, is to send out the Rawkens. This will force Joey to use the Key (allowing the bad guys to use supernatural weapons without King Roach complaining). This will defeat the Rawkens, obviously, but that’s OK—it will only make the good guys complacent and buy the bad guys some time to retrieve the plans for the new Key and build it. Then they can use the new Key to defeat the good guys

    Actually, kind of a logical plan. It’s still stupid (how can they be certain the Rawkens will force Joey to use the Key? How do they know they’ll be able to build a new Key in time? Why does King Roach not step in right now anyway? Why does having a new Key automatically mean they win, especially considering that, well, the good guys have a Key too?), but at least it sort of makes sense.2

    2 I figured out how to make footnotes! I’m so proud of myself! :D

  23. Vikingboybilly on 20 November 2011, 15:43 said:

    What is this flak about the dwarves’ materialization being inconsistent? Gloria did it in the prologue chapter of Seven Bridges, and never gave any indication they disapprove of magic or refrain from using it.

  24. Ridureyu on 20 November 2011, 16:06 said:

    A Dybbuck is a type of Jewish demon that possesses people. The plural is Dybbuckim, of course. Therefore, calling them Dybbuckims is like calling them Demonses.

    Or Hobbitses.

  25. Deborah on 20 November 2011, 16:39 said:

    All that Dybbuckims made me think of was the Dibbuns from Redwall. Apollyon will be menaced by baby mice!

  26. Kurt on 20 November 2011, 16:51 said:

    @Vikingboybilly: It’s not that Gloria is inconsistent with herself on the subject of dwarf materialization. She’s just inconsistent with the general depictions of dwarves in fantasy, where they don’t deal with magic; that’s the gnomes’ domain. It might be silly to pick on her because of that, but it just annoyed me.

  27. BettyCross on 20 November 2011, 18:00 said:

    @Fireshark, thank you for setting me straight.

    King Joey was finally so good that he was able to pin a single horse fly with an arrow to the wall (page 17).

    I forgot all things are possible to a Gary Stu.

  28. Vikingboybilly on 20 November 2011, 19:03 said:

    “Another problem…?!” Plouton asked annoyed.

    I love that Gloria infers we’re all too dumb to know he’s annoyed just by the sheer punctuation, and after that heaping helping of punctuation doesn’t bother to put a comma after ‘asked.’

  29. WulfRitter on 21 November 2011, 01:47 said:

    All that Dybbuckims made me think of was the Dibbuns from Redwall. Apollyon will be menaced by baby mice!

    So long as I’m not the only one who thought that.

  30. Deborah on 21 November 2011, 11:22 said:

    Apollyon will be defeated by an army of baby mice, moles, squirrels, and hedgehogs. He will end up covered meadowcream, and have strawberries stuck in his ears.

  31. swenson on 21 November 2011, 11:51 said:

    @Vikingboybilly – she probably used up all her punctuation in trying to finish that sentence and didn’t have enough left to do more than simply stick a period at the end.

    On the topic of that sentence, I know sometimes it’s hard to express a particular emotion in text, which is why people use exclamation points and italics. But I’ve been learning—especially in NaNo this year—that honestly, you don’t need to go all that overboard. Simply saying “‘Another problem?’ Plouton asked, annoyed.” or even “‘Another problem?’ Plouton asked with a sigh.” would get the point across much more effectively.

    @Deborah and everyone else mentioning Dibbuns – that’s it! That’s exactly what I was subconsciously thinking about at that point, I just couldn’t put my finger on it!

    Interesting, though, that she’s now stealing from Jewish tradition as well as Christian. Expanding her horizons somewhat!

  32. WulfRitter on 21 November 2011, 17:01 said:

    Interesting, though, that she’s now stealing from Jewish tradition as well as Christian. Expanding her horizons somewhat!

    I kind of fear for her, though, if she starts pilfering from Islamic tradition. I’m not sure the Prophet (or his followers) would be stoked to find himself included in this delightful little series.

  33. Fireshark on 21 November 2011, 18:46 said:

    While she’s at it, she could throw in Buddha too. Only she’d change his name to “Wise Steve” or something, and then he’d tell Maya and Joey how awesome and enlightened they are.

  34. Requiem on 21 November 2011, 19:25 said:

    Yeah maybe they’ll fight Xenu, Cthluhu, and the flying spaghetti monster too.

  35. BettyCross on 21 November 2011, 20:45 said:

    I would actually enjoy seeing Gloria skewer Scientology.

  36. Vikingboybilly on 21 November 2011, 23:29 said:

    Quick! Somebody write a Maradonia and Battlefield Earth crossover fic!

    Hmm… come to think of it, they have a lot in common. Bland main characters who are apathetic to their family and loved ones, convincing people to become their personal army because they’re so awesome, and pathetic, stupid villains that the author wants us to take seriously.

  37. Thea on 22 November 2011, 00:42 said:

    King Joey was finally so good that he was able to pin a single horse fly with an arrow to the wall (page 17).

    You know, she doesn’t actually specify how far away the wall is…

  38. BettyCross on 22 November 2011, 11:30 said:

    I got Battlefield Earth for a holiday gift once. My well-meaning mom, knowing I liked to read sci-fi, got it for me. Fortunately, the receipt was in the book so I exchanged it for something else.

    I’m somewhat better acquainted with the movie version because I saw it critiqued by Doug Walker on It’s also awful.

  39. Fireshark on 22 November 2011, 12:02 said:

    I watched the movie. Its worst offense is just that it’s boring and ugly. It wasn’t really funny-bad in my opinion, just bad.

  40. Doctor Flibble on 22 November 2011, 17:52 said:

    “Apollyon exposits that the first level of Gahanna is full of Lycanoids, otherwise known as werewolves. However, the werewolves tend to be cowards and will only attack if cornered or if they have superior numbers. So that level would be pretty easy to get through. Next, there’s the kingdom inhabited by gargoyles and goblins, and lastly, the third level, which is ruled by King Gardofat, king of the dwarfs”

    What is it with crappy modern YA fantasy books and the tendency to feel like video games?

  41. BettyCross on 22 November 2011, 18:07 said:

    I know plenty of fantasy writers who are or used to be gamers, Flibble. That doesn’t make them all crappy writers.

  42. swenson on 22 November 2011, 18:39 said:

    You know, she doesn’t actually specify how far away the wall is…

    Or whether or not the horsefly is still alive and not, say, held against the wall by a minion or something.

    @Flibble – no, Glo hates “gamers”. Apparently if you play videogames, you don’t read books. Because enjoying a particular medium of entertainment automatically makes you incapable of enjoying any others. (?!)

    On a side note, however, all mentions of Gehennom (or Gahanna, as Tesch has brutally murdered the spelling to) actually do make me think about videogames… specifically, the lowest levels of Nethack. If they run into demon princes and fire traps and they have to stand on the vibrating square with a candelabrum, bell, and the Book of the Dead to enter Moloch’s Sanctum, I might actually start liking this book!

  43. Prince O' Tea on 22 November 2011, 20:39 said:

    Plus there was a part that felt like a direct ripoff of Final Fantasy IV… I can’t remember when, but I know I wasn’t the only one who thought it.

  44. Requiem on 22 November 2011, 22:36 said:

    Thanks for reminding me Prince, i’m still stuck in the underworld where dwarves live.

  45. LoneWolf on 23 November 2011, 10:04 said:

    I wonder whether Gloria actually played some ‘Vieo Games’, or did she invent the “fantasy novel uses video game motives” flaw originally. If the latter, she has an uncanny ability to independently invent hacked and clichéd fantasy motives.

  46. BettyCross on 23 November 2011, 11:06 said:

    @LoneWolf, if you’re the inventor of a cliche, it’s not a cliche yet.

    Maybe her brother’s a gamer and she picked up some ideas from listening to him talk about it.

  47. LoneWolf on 23 November 2011, 11:06 said:

    Replace “invent” with “come up with”, then.

  48. Kurt on 23 November 2011, 11:42 said:

    @swensson: I thought the same thing. Maradonia also has the silly mythology ripoffs in common with Nethack. Not that I think Gloria would have the patience to play that game.

    @Prince: It was the part where Joey ignited four crystals in King Pergamons’s temple with the Key to the Underworld. (Yes, I’ve been reading the onld sporks. Am very bored.)

    @BettyCross: Gloria has starred as “Agent Ada” in a zombie-movie uploaded to Youtube by her brother “Joey”, so at least she knows about Resident Evil. BTW, she has two brothers, as “Benji-mouse” also comes from real life.

  49. Vikingboybilly on 23 November 2011, 11:45 said:

    so someone has to die to make abbadon’s revival legal? Seems kinda late to me. He was revived ages ago. I would predict plouton’s the one that’s going to get the axe, but I think he’s crossed the point of being a developed character, so he’s inexpendable to Gloria. Some new character will pop up that nobody cares about (but will have a hilarious name) and appollyon will kill them 3 chapters within their introduction.

  50. LoneWolf on 23 November 2011, 11:47 said:

    What are you talking about? Isn’t Abbadon still alive, just chained to the rock, tortured by the birds of prey?

  51. Fireshark on 23 November 2011, 12:01 said:

    I think that anyone Gloria’s age has some experience with video games, although I doubt she is an avid gamer. I mean, I never was bought a full video game console, but I still had handhelds, PC games, and Internet games. A few years later, mobile games have become popular. Even if she hates hardcore gamers, I doubt she is completely unfamiliar with games. There are so many types that most people have tried one at some point.

    That said, unless you’re saying that Dante time-travelled to the future to play video games, I think that dividing a fantastic realm into distinct levels with different types of people and monsters is not a video game trope. It also comes up in a Narnia book, and a couple more places that I forget. Using the word “level” sounds awkward in our post-video game world though, so I could see why it sounds that way to you.

  52. Requiem on 23 November 2011, 13:03 said:

    I know people dislike the use of religious names and tropes for a book but they can be justified if your story involves things such as gods or faiths or takes place in a world where those faiths were once a part of the world, but it would make sense if you are trying to do this to either have it be a part of your books history or linked to the story at hand. But just using those names without justification makes them useless in a story, same with using titans and anything else unless you can reinvent them in some way and not just have them in there to make a story more epic.

    As for the whole video game thing, it can provide some ideas for writers but modeling a story after a video game isn’t the thing to do if you are trying to be original. Again it might be cool to have some shout outs to the things you like ( tolkien did this regularly in the hobbit with old norse tales).

  53. Vikingboybilly on 23 November 2011, 18:17 said:

    In the Popol Vuh, Xibalba (the Mayan Underworld) has four houses of trials called the House of Knives, the House of Fire, The House of Darkness, and the House of Jaguars that the heroes have to overcome, so I guess this is a common underworld trope even across cultures that are chronologically and geographically separated.

  54. Prince O' Tea on 23 November 2011, 21:42 said:

    So am I.

    Or I can’t find the way to get back into the Underworld.

    Oh and Holy looks crap in this game.

  55. HamsterZerg on 14 December 2013, 10:59 said:


    Or Alienses.

  56. Mr. A on 9 June 2023, 20:31 said:

    @Kurt #11:

    Technically Tesch could have pulled it from Matthew 4:16, which quotes that part of Isaiah, rather than from Isaiah directly.

    Does this mean that Isaiah is “The Seer”? Or is “The Seer” a Maradonian prophet who happened to receive the same message in a different context? Probably the second one, right?

    Hmm…I’m beginning to see a parallel to something that Jack Clark wrote about the Left Behind series.

    In the Left Behind books, most of the world population completely fails to notice that they’re in a Rapture story, even though every single sign and event points inescapably towards that conclusion. They’re simply not familiar with the concept. This makes them seem very dense, because in our universe these concepts bled into pop culture decades ago, due in no small part to the Left Behind books themselves.

    These books have a similar problem. The Biblical references are so incredibly frequent and on-the-nose that I’d expect Maya and Joey themselves to notice or acknowledge a few of them. But they don’t. Granted, the kids in the Narnia books never pointed out the similarities between Aslan and Jesus, but that didn’t feel unnatural because C. S. Lewis was skillful enough to make the parallels feel like parallels instead of copy-pastes. He certainly never had Lucy read twelve columns with the exact text of Ecclesiastes carved into them.