Today’s selection from the literary pantry is a light, fluffy pastry of a novella, but the size of the meal is never a measure of culinary quality. To be more specific, Out of Ordure promises a mix of humor and fantasy with a tale of a most unusual fairy. Will Mr. Terrell dish out the perfect mix to fill that pastry or will it just be too little to be filling?
Before we take a bite, let’s recite the Starving Reviewer’s pledge:
- I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre
- I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible
Well, I am happy to report that this is indeed a tasty, bite-sized treat. Centering around a company of fairies in the modern world tasked with the maintenance of the natural world, Ordure focuses on Fecana, a particular fairy whose job is, well, let us call a spade a spade: a poop fairy. Tasked with the proper distribution of excrement in the natural world and cleaning up horrible messes humanity leaves behind, it’s a job no one asks for and no one desires.
While it would be easy to play this concept purely for cheap laughs, the chef instead focuses more on the comedy of the situations presented and the interplay of Fecana and the rest of her team of fairies. That being said, you can’t approach the subject of an excrement engineer without the occasional poop joke but they are properly spaced out to avoid cheapening the jokes. I definitely got some good laughs and more than a few smiles.
The strength of the meal is naturally in that humor and the characters. The cast is kept appropriately tight, fitting the length of the piece and allowing them to be developed enough to fit their purpose in the story. If I have any criticism, it is in that some of the plot is a bit formulaic, with several turns and twists that most diners will see ahead of time. Still, as a character-centric tale, this doesn’t ruin the meal at all.
To sum it up, Out of Ordure is a fluffy, comedy-filled pastry of a tale, a bit by-the-numbers but the fun prevails over it! If you are looking for a fun, comedic fantasy or a quick, enjoyable read, definitely check this one out. If you’re in the mood for a deep, serious piece, you might want to save this one for when you’re in a lighter mood.
FINAL VERDICT: **** (A fluffy, comedy-filled pastry of a tale, a bit by-the-numbers but the fun prevails over it!)