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A. Lee Martinez

A. Lee Martinez was born in El Paso, Texas. At the age of eighteen, for no apparent reason, he started writing novels. Thirteen short years (and a little over a dozen manuscripts) later, his first novel, Gil’s All Fright Diner was published. Since then he has published or is about to publish five additional novels, including the forthcoming Divine Misfortune. His hobbies include juggling, games of all sorts, and astral projecting. Also, he likes to sing along with the radio when he’s in the car by himself. Learn more at A. Lee Martinez’s website.

In the Company of Ogres: Funny with an actual story

In the Company of Ogres by A. Lee Martinez

When I read fantasy comedy, I compare it to Terry Pratchett. In many ways, In the Company of Ogres resembles many of Pratchett's Discworld novels in the sense that a) it actually is quite funny and b) it makes fun of existing fantasy tropes and elements.

A. Lee Martinez, however, has his own distinguishable style which is evident in In the Company of Ogres. His writing style is quite functional and isn't weighed down with flowery prose or detailed descriptions. In fact, perhaps some would say it can be too sparse at times and relies on the reader's familiarity with fantasy clichés.

As for the plot, I was impressed that Martinez manages to successfully juggle three antagonists. And, d... Read More

A Nameless Witch: Trips along merrily without any pretensions

A Nameless Witch by A. Lee Martinez

This silly little tale is about a beautiful witch who doesn’t have a name. When she was young she was taken in by an old ugly witch who educated her in magic spells and other witchiness. Part of her education involved learning how to make herself appear ugly with sloppy clothes, hair coverings, and warts, because nobody trusts a beautiful witch.

After the death of her mentor, the young nameless witch was on her own, though she acquired a few companions: an enchanted broom, a troll, and a demonic duck. After they settled into a friendly village, a brave knight came along and warned them that a goblin horde was approaching. The witch, her companions, and the knight teamed up to defeat the goblins and an evil magician who had plans to remake the world. During the process, the witch realizes she’s got the hots for the knight, but she worries she may eat him alive since she is starting to have so... Read More

Monster: Engrossing and funny paranormal fantasy

Monster by A. Lee Martinez

In this humorous paranormal fantasy, a young human by the name of Monster works for a subsidiary of the local animal control services. This agency locates and captures cryptobiologicals: "things that go bump in the night." Aptly named Monster hunts and captures trolls, unicorns, yetis, dragons and all sorts of animals with his employee, a sixth dimension paper gnome.

Monster's life is thrown upside down when he meets Judy, a seemingly normal human woman, a bit down on her luck, but otherwise just as incapable of seeing the creepy-crawlies Monster captures as anyone else. But it seems that no matter where Judy goes, more and more cryptobiologicals keep appearing. Meanwhile, an evil old granny by the name of Lotus is seeking to capture and subjugate Judy for a nefarious purpose. It is up to Monster to save Judy and in doing so, save the world as we know it (much as he hates the id... Read More

Chasing the Moon: Heavy on laughs, light on depth

Chasing the Moon  by A. Lee Martinez

Diana’s had a tough time of it lately, but finally a stroke of luck comes along: after a long search, she finds the perfect apartment. It’s affordable. It’s furnished exactly the way she likes. There’s even a jukebox with all her favorite songs. Maybe she should have been more suspicious about how perfect it was, because once she’s moved in, she discovers that the apartment has an extra inhabitant: a monster who goes by the name Vom the Hungering and who tries to eat everything in his path. Before Diana knows it, she has acquired a small menagerie of eldritch horrors from the beyond, and she learns that the universe is infinitely more complex — and dangerous — than she ever imagined.

Chasing the Moon is an unabashedly zany comedic fantasy that combines Douglas Adams-style humor and a protagonist who could be the sister of Bridget Jones with horror in t... Read More

Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain: A hilariously wacky story

Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain by A. Lee Martinez

Everyone knows that that the invertebrates of Neptune are the most intelligent minds in the galaxy. That’s how, years ago, a bored mollusk from Neptune was able to conquer the Earth and set himself up as Warlord. To subdue the planet he had to use a few nasty tricks such as doping the water supply with anti-aggression drugs, but now that he has all of humanity under his tentacle, Emperor Mollusk is actually a pretty swell guy and he has even developed a soft spot (or should I say “softer spot”) for planet Earth, though he’ll be quick to tell you that he’s not reformed — just retired. Nowadays, he spends most of his time tinkering in his laboratory and coming up with ways to solve Earth’s numerous problems. He fixed the energy crisis long ago and so far he’s been able to protect Earth from aliens from Mars, Venus, and Saturn. Pretty good for a slimy cep... Read More

More books by A. Lee Martinez

A. Lee Martinez fantasy book reviews: Too Many Curses, A Nameless Witch, In the Company of Ogres, Gil's All Fright DinerGil’s All Fright Diner — (2005) Publisher: Bloodier than Fried Green Tomatoes! Funnier than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre! Welcome to Gil’s All Night Diner, where zombie attacks are a regular occurrence and you never know what might be lurking in the freezer… Duke and Earl are just passing through Rockwood county in their pick-up truck when they stop at the Diner for a quick bite to eat. They aren’t planning to stick around-until Loretta, the eatery’s owner, offers them $100 to take care of her zombie problem. Given that Duke is a werewolf and Earl’s a vampire, this looks right up their alley. But the shambling dead are just the tip of a particularly spiky iceberg. Seems someone’s out to drive Loretta from the Diner, and more than willing to raise a little Hell on Earth if that’s what it takes. Before Duke and Earl get to the bottom of the Diner’s troubles, they’ll run into such otherworldly complications as undead cattle, an amorous ghost, a jailbait sorceress, and the terrifying occult power of pig-latin. And maybe — just maybe — the End of the World, too. Gory, sexy, and flat-out hilarious, Gil’s All Fright Diner will tickle your funnybone — before ripping it out of its socket!

A. Lee Martinez fantasy book reviews: Too Many Curses, A Nameless Witch, In the Company of Ogres, Gil's All Fright DinerToo Many Curses — (2008) Publisher: The wizard Margle the Horrendous takes special pride in never killing his enemies. Instead, he transforms them into various accursed forms and locks them away in his castle. His halls are filled with his collection of fallen heroes and defeated villains, along with a few ordinary folk who were just unfortunate enough to draw Margle ’s attention. It’s Nessy’s duty to tend this castle. It’s a lot of work, but she manages, taking pride in housekeeping talents that keep the castle from collapsing into chaos. But when Margle suddenly dies, everything begins to unravel. Nessy finds herself surrounded by monsters, curses, a door that should never be opened, and one very deadly dark wizardess. Nessy doesn’t have might or magic on her side; she’s just a kobold: short, furry, and sensible. Her allies aren’t much better: a voice without a body, an angry fruit bat, a monster under her bed, a wizard in a jar (or some of him, anyway), and a one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple, people eater. It would be smarter to walk away, but taking care of the castle is Nessy’s job, and that’s just what she intends to do. If only she could find time to polish the silver while beating back the forces of darkness.

A. Lee Martinez Divine MisfortuneDivine Misfortune — (2010) Publisher: Like many people in this world, Phil and Terry are just looking for their personal slice of divine assistance. It’s not their fault that they decide to settle on Lucky, a raccoon god of good fortune. At first, everything seems to be working fine. But they will soon learn that the world of divine powers is not to be entered into casually. Lucky, it seems, had a falling out with another ancient god long ago. And while Lucky has moved on with his life, the ancient twisted deity is still nursing a grudge. Add to this a scorned goddess looking for revenge and it starts to become clear that Phil and Terry may have taken on more than they ever bargained for.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsHelen and Troy’s Epic Road Quest — (2013) Publisher: Witness the epic battle of the cyclops! Visit the endangered dragon preserve! Please, no slaying. Solve the mystery of The Mystery Cottage, if you dare! Buy some knick knacks from The Fates! They might come in handy later. On a road trip across an enchanted America, Helen and Troy will discover all this and more. If the curse placed upon them by an ancient god doesn’t kill them or the pack of reluctant orc assassins don’t catch up to them, Helen and Troy might reach the end their journey in one piece, where they might just end up destroying the world. Or at least a state or two. A minotaur girl, an all-American boy, a three-legged dog, and a classic car are on the road to adventure, where every exit leads to adventure. Whether they like it or not.