Today I’m delighted to be part of the book blitz for ‘Game of Gnomes: The Necrognomicon’ by M.J. Northwood organised by Storytellers on Tour. This is the first book in the Game of Gnomes series, and the second book ‘A Gnome Hope’ is out now, and you can find out more at the bottom of the post. There is also a chance to win a copy of the book for yourself (UK Only).
Disclaimer – I received an e-arc in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.
Every hurdle in a gnome’s life is just a little bit bigger. After years apart, the three gnomes Gassy, Borty, and Turdlet aim to scale the tallest of challenges a thief can face: The Crimicompetition.
Fighting for the clout against MagInc—a corporation of unimaginable influence—the gnomes are about to discover how small honour amongst thieves can get.
And so begins the Game of Gnomes
I don’t tend to read much in the way of comedy, because I have a particular sense of humour and it’s rarely what I find in books. Game of Gnomes, however, appealed to me because (a) it was gnomes, which really need more love and (b) the D&D inspiration (c) that cover! I love the cover so much, from the cheeky expressions to the style in general. I will say that there were places when the humour wasn’t quite to my taste and felt a little too over the top – the kind of humour that usually has me threatening my D&D party with boulders. But, this book was a lot of fun. Especially if you go into it knowing that you are stepping into the pages of a ridiculous heist, that harnesses all the chaos of a D&D party that are being allowed to run riot by their DM, and that is a book that doesn’t take itself seriously.
That isn’t to say there isn’t stakes, or slightly darker elements – violence and death and chaos. But, it’s all done through the lens of humour.
The worldbuilding was great – from the fact that it focuses on gnomes to the challenges that they face because of their size (and as a short person, although admittedly not that short, I felt that in my bones). For a short book with a relatively straightforward plot, there were plenty of layers to the world. From the fascinating creatures that were encountered throughout, which ranged from amusing to fearsome, and were vividly depicted. To the society that the Gnomes are part of, and the Crimicon itself. Northwood did an excellent job of breathing life into his world, and it’s certainly one I want to return to.
The story itself is very much character-driven, and a lot of the story and the humour itself rests on our three main characters – Borty, Turdlet and Gassy (the names should set the tone for you if nothing else does), and their interactions. I have to say I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered morally grey gnomes like this, and it’s an interesting twist, but for all that these three are likeable rogues, with a camaraderie that really carries the story and again conjures that feeling of being part of a D&D party – with each bringing a slightly different approach and unique personality to the table. Also, I felt for Gassy and his anxiety about plans going awry – and I think if I was forced at swordpoint to choose a favourite it would have to be him.
This is a fun heist-romp, with memorable characters that steal the show (I mean they’re thieves, it’s to be expected). I’ve already recommended this to some of my D&D group and I can see it winding its way into one or two stockings this year (yes, I am thinking that far ahead). A book for anyone who loves comedic fantasy, D&D and TTRPGs and of course Gnomes!
About the Author:
A Co-Founder of Critical Tales, M. J. Northwood has taken his years of storytelling experience and gathered it into his latest books.
Regardless of the media format, M. J. Northwood adores telling fresh and exciting stories that plays with the reader’s imagination while tickling that rather childish funny-bone many of us adults still have.
After winning a competition at a younger age, M. J. worked towards creating his first full-length novel under commission. After spending a few years travelling and living in Japan, he delivered his first book.
Soon after, M. J. independently developed Game of Gnomes: The Necrognomicon. He worked tirelessly with a few friends to found Critical Tales and give Game of Gnomes the launch it deserved.
Prize: One of three paperback copies of Game of Gnomes: The Necrognomicon by M. J. Northwood – UK Only
Starts: August 18th, 2021 at 12:00am EST
Ends: August 23rd, 2021 at 11:59pm EST
You can enter here:a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js
Intrigue. Explosions. Illicit Magic Abuse.
These morally questionable ingredients make up another outrageous adventure from Gassy, Borty, and Turdlet. With the Crimicon long in the past, the gnomes find themselves bouncing from one criminal caper to another until an encounter with a familiar face reveals a nobler path.
Will they answer the righteous call and save the day? Or will emotionally scarring misadventures lead them astray?
The stakes are higher, the story’s bigger, but our heroes are just as small.