BOOK REVIEW: ‘PAX TITANUS’ by Tom Lucas
Pax Titanus, authored by Tom Lucas and published in Eraserhead Press’ New Bizarro Author Series, is an adventure of skull-crushing proportions. It is difficult to believe that the book was written in only 30 days, and yet manages to successfully merge the humor and audacity of the author and his creations with a story that has the heart and depth needed to affect its readers.
When Titanus, a simple galactic construction worker, saves not only himself and his partner, but an entire planet, from the peril of a malfunctioning atomic space elevator, he becomes an instant celebrity. It helps that he has the ability to expand any, and I do mean any, part of his body to exceptional proportions at will. Catching the eye of the Emperor of the Universe, Titanus becomes the every man’s man, the not-so-average Joe, the Citizens Champion.
The Emperor of the Universe isn’t the only unseemly force interested in Titanus and his exceptional abilities, though. Rebels against the Empire soon kidnap Titanus’ son, holding him hostage in a perilous world of dreams. To free his son, Titanus must fight in the greatest spectator event ever to be held, the Intergalactic Gladiatorial SkullCrushFest. Turning the Emperor’s ploy against him, they make Titanus into a true Citizen’s Champion.
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Paired with an aging, once great trainer, Titanus quickly makes an even bigger name for himself. Even against the worst odds, Titanus always seems to come out on top, winning fight after fight, and felling each of his adversaries without mercy until a terrible infestation of Reversal Worms turns him into a ticking time bomb.
Written in a voice that is unique to the author, Pax Titanus is often fast moving not just in plot, but in language. Full of satire and pop culture references, many of the worlds and characters hold an immediate sense of familiarity.
There is seldom a moment when the pace of Pax Titanus lulls, allowing Lucas to fend of boredom and waning interest with great skill. With the same skill, he ensures that the plot never ceases to move forward and that there aren’t any glaring plot holes to trip the reader up.
If Pax Titanus doesn’t grab your attention on the first page, it’s not the book for you. Set it aside and move along, because the journey Tom Lucas is about to take you on is not for the faint of heart.