Podcaster, writer, and all-around good guy, R.B. Wood has released his debut novel, The Prodigal’s Foole. If you’re looking for a fun, fast read with a strong creep factor, this might be the book for you.
For the last ten years, Symon Bryson, a hard-drinking, snarky Irish anti-hero, has turned his back on his friends and his…uh, rather unique set of skills. Suddenly he receives an urgent message regarding his old mentor, and he grudgingly decides to come back, bringing his baggage with him.
First off, Symon is a likable protagonist. He has the ability to use magic but hates every second of it. I dig the scathing sarcasm that hides a lifetime of secrets and pain, and some of the dialogue is laugh-out-loud funny. Symon’s constant reference to a mysterious incident of ten years ago was equal parts intriguing and at times a little frustrating until the reader is let in on the secret. I was interested in each of the characters. Wood built a world filled with the demonic, bitter ex-best friends, mystical old lovers, and—my favorite part—priests in Kevlar. The relationships between the characters are delightfully painful and intricate, and unfold throughout the novel, giving me several “Oh, cool!” moments.
All in all, I’d suggest that you pick up The Prodigal’s Foole, if you want some fast, funny, dark fiction that doesn’t cross into the world of horror. It’s an enjoyable read with a satisfying conclusion.