I have some good news and some bad news.
As per the prevailing belief that bad news should always be delivered first, the bad news is this: humour has died.
However, before you start weeping uncontrollably while tearing at your clothes and wailing “Why?! Whyyyyy?!!!” to the heavens above, it might be prudent to wait for the good news, and the good news is this: humour has moved to the city of Gloomwood.
Now, if you aren’t familiar with the city of Gloomwood, all you need to know is that it’s, well, a city, and that it’s situated in the afterlife. Which is why humour must have died to go there, right? Well, maybe. Whatever the case may be, though, you don’t have to worry, because humour is alive and well, despite its change of address.
DEAD HEADS, the debut novel by Ross Young, is the first to introduce our universe to Gloomwood, and what an introduction! As per usual, I won’t go into the specifics of the story, as there are many book reviewers out there more qualified than me to do this. So, again, I’d rather share my personal experience of the book overall.
Firstly, I cannot believe this is a debut novel! While the witty, well-written narrative had me chuckling at times, it certainly had me smiling from start to finish. And that, for me, is worth gold. Although not exactly like the late Sir Terry Pratchett – and neither should it be, because it’s unique in its own right – it felt cosy and familiar, like lounging in a comfy chair in front of a fireplace while having a whiskey with a dear old friend, reminiscing over good old times.
In fact, it made me feel so at home that I’m ready to move to Gloomwood. And, no, I don’t have a death wish, but I’ll be sure to visit Gloomwood again with my next book haul.