Lord of Thundertown, By O.F. Cieri

When I opened this book the text of the preface was printed at an angle which prohibited me from reading all of it. Also, some pages became unglued from the binding and started falling out. Thankfully, the rest of the book remained intact, but it was an ominous sign.

Lord of Thundertown takes place in present day New York City. However, the city has an underground society that consists of all kinds of creatures including those who can shapeshift and others with pseudo-super powers. The “above ground” and “below ground” societies interact but there is a sense of tension between these two cultures.

The main story line involves Alex, Sam, and Nails, twenty-something punks who all at one point or another go missing in the below ground world. Lots of weird characters are encountered and help is needed from one of the Lords, a creature who lives above ground but controls a particular turf of the city. Frankly, I wasn’t entirely sure how these two worlds related. What is the history of this underground world? When did it come about? Was it just in NYC? I had so many questions about the origins of this fictitious world as I read Lord of Thundertown. It’s quite possible it was in there but if so, it wasn’t elongated.

One prominent theme in the book is the use of aether design, or magic spells. These aethers protect characters from some of the supernatural creatures. The story ultimately revolves around making sure that those missing humans can make their way from below ground to above ground. The ending, however, felt pretty anticlimactic.

Frankly, Lord of Thundertown was a slog for me to get through. I grew up reading a lot of fantasy and sci-fi, but found much of this confusing and lacking good descriptions. I had a difficult time understanding the construct of this world. There were many characters and it wasn’t always easy for me to figure out who they were or why I should even care about them. I believe the author, O.F. Cieri, has talent for this kind of genre, but this world didn’t draw me in and entertain me in a way I would’ve hoped. –Kurt Morris (ninestarpress.com)