Novels about writers seem to be a proven method for engaging an audience, and P.A. Piatt’s Redcaps Rising was no exception to the rule. In Redcaps, the protagonist, Walter Bailey, is a fantasy writer looking into the suspicious death of his grandmother. A mild-mannered gentleman with a propensity for living in his own mind, Walter finds himself in… unusual circumstances almost from the beginning of his investigation.
When he stumbles into the Secret Garden Shoppe and is treated to the first hints of an otherworldly conspiracy, Walter starts to indulge the belief that his “gram,” had not, in fact, perished in a failed carjacking.
This sardonic novel should come with several disclaimers. First, it is hilarious. One needs to steer clear of hard floors and fluids when perusing this first effort by the indie author. Because there is a reasonable chance one will fall on the floor in fits of laughter. Or pee their pants.
In addition, the novel exposes the reader to a dark and vulgar brand of humor. It works well within the story, complementing the various characters and their personalities. It adds some level of poignancy to the story, even, which might have been missing had this profane element been elided. However, this book probably is not for kids. Despite the fantastical nature of the story.
Redcaps Proves Fantasy And Humor Can Mix
On a related note, it is not often that we hear fantasy and humor used in the same description for a novel. Combining the two can be difficult. Yet, P.A. Piatt achieved with some competency what many other authors, including esteemed names like Piers Anthony, could not. Redcaps was funny and enjoyable. I’m rating it as above-average; I recommend it.
Ultimately, the creativity and tension of the story overcame its many weaknesses. The chapters are short, and these truncated divisions help supplement the pacing of the story. While the novel meanders a bit at times and offers a liberal dollop of exposition, it also makes the otherworldly seem human.
Within the first few pages, Walter Bailey is drinking excessively and playing poker with elves. If that weren’t odd enough, throughout the story, the reader is treated to an orcish gangster, nymph prostitutes, an ugly garden gnome, and an eccentric Uber driver. The search for Walter’s grandma’s assassin quickly becomes a road trip.