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The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, by Richard Yancey Book Review | SFReader.com
The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, by Richard Yancey Genre: YA Fantasy Publisher: St. Martin's Press Published: 2005 Review Posted: 11/3/2005 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 9 out of 10
The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, by Richard Yancey
Book Review by David A. Olson
Have you read this book?
In The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, a boy steals the sword Excalibur (in modern times) and gives it to the one man he shouldn't. Alfred is chased by a motorcycle gang, drives very expensive cars, and has his life threatened at every turn. He isn't much good at anything, nor is he particularly bright.
The dialog in this book is sharp and witty. When Alfred talked to the psychologist I nearly laughed out loud. I never knew what to expect next and I wasn't bored. That is, for the first third of the book.
Then the story enters a road trip phase where Alfred and a knight travel cross country in a variety of cars. The conversations become incredibly dull as the knight rarely answers any of Alfred's questions nor seems interested in conversation. The action scenes are competently written at this point, but did little to advance the plot. It felt like a movie that was all explosions and special effects but was devoid of any meaning.
In the final third of the book, the plot finally begins to advance again. This section has interesting dialog but plenty of worn plot devices. If you've seen Star Wars and the Matrix, then you probably won't encounter many surprises. To make the surprises less surprising, the climax of the book is revealed in the first sentence of the book. It ruined a lot of the mystery for me.
One thing that really bothered me about this book is that a big deal is made out of what one particular acronym means. No one answers Alfred when he asks them about it. When it was finally revealed, I felt very disappointed because there was no reason that people couldn't tell him.
The book has a campy element that some people may like. The knights use swords and bows and arrows, but not because they are better. They use them because it is more fun. Swords don't make much sense against guns without special powers like the Jedi's force.
All in all, this is an amusing book filled with action and witty dialog. However, the middle sags and the ending has an overly familiar feel to it.
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