Publisher: Del Ray
Authors: Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne
Released: April 16th 2019
I received a copy of No Country for Old Gnomes through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
No Country for Old Gnomes is the second novel in the Tales of Pell series. It’s a series born from joint effort, being written and developed by both Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne. If you’ve read the first novel, Kill the Farm Boy, then you already have a strong idea of what sort of inane humor you’re going to find within this one.
The series has been described as being a cross between Monty Python and Terry Pratchett. And honestly? There’s unlikely to be a more accurate description out there.
As the title suggests, this novel focuses on a different cast of characters than the first novel did, some of whom are gnomes. I am happy to report that the original characters do make appearances as well.
Warnings: Like the original novel, there are some…peculiar moments in the series. And that sometimes results in graphic deaths, animal deaths, and things like that. It’s kept mostly light and bubbly, despite the content. Some may find that more jarring though.
No Country for Old Gnomes quite possibly exceeded my expectations. I’m not going to say that I enjoyed it more than Kill the Farm Boy – I think I liked them both equally well. But I did truly enjoy the sudden shift in focus for the series.
This is a whimsical novel, but it’s also quirky, odd, and utterly unique. I still maintain that the description above is the most accurate one you’re going to get though. I personally enjoyed the unique form of storytelling, and I’m not just talking about the tone of voice or style itself. We don’t see enough author team-ups, in my opinion, and I would absolutely adore to see more.
I must confess that in this instance I am not a reader of both authors – I’m an avid fan of Delilah S. Dawson, but have read very little of Kevin Hearne. Clearly that’s something I ‘m going to have to change, based onhow much I’ve enjoyed this series.
I can’t praise the decisions made for this novel as much as they deserve. I love that an entire new cast was made, while also allowing for moments for the original characters to make appearances as well.
The new set of characters allowed for a new perspective, a new set of issues and dilemmas, and a better understanding of the world of Pell as a whole. And of course the specific characters chosen helped to enhance the whimsical and sometimes silly nature of the story.
I think in some ways I liked this cast better, though I honestly couldn’t quite explain why. They were so cute and endearing on the whole, with such big tasks on their small shoulders. I guess it was impossible not to root for them.
The world of Pell is proving to be surprisingly rich and full of diversity. Best of all, it’s filled out with references upon references. That may break the immersion for some, but I personally loved the added touch. Some were references to classic fairy tales, which makes sense, others to more modern writing (relatively speaking), and others yet to modern day events and issues. It’s a fascinating blend.
Where Kill the Farm Boy shocked me with a decision made early on in the novel, No Country for Old Gnomes surprised me with it’s conclusion. I won’t say what specifically, for obvious reasons. But I will say that I actually teared up a little bit, and truly hadn’t seen it coming. And that’s coming from somebody who thought they had steeled themselves to expect anything and everything from this series.
I know that No Country for Old Gnomes just released, but I honestly can’t wait to hear more about the next novel. So far I just know the name, Princess Beard, and even then it’s not listed on Goodreads yet, so grain of salt with that title.