Title & Author: Klubbe the Turkle and the Golden Star Coracle, Philip Dodd
Genre & Publication Date: Science-Fiction, March 26, 2015
Book Description: “On the planet Ankor, Klubbe the turkle lives as a hermit. A marine mishap inspires him to be an inventor. His inventions and explorations change his life, his entire planet. Turkles are close cousins of turtles. Unlike them, they have yellow golden skin and back shells, walk on their hind legs, have the gift of language, and the ability to create their own culture. The life of Klubbe may read like a light-hearted science fiction story, but it actually happened to him. Princess Corka thinks his invention is sublime. Ubbtosh, the pyramid priest, promises to guide him to the core of the cosmos. In space, there are no sign posts, he finds, but there are other beings. And on Ankor, there are mysteries to be solved. Is the Great Glom more than a myth? And what about the Great Archy Eopta?”
First Line: Deep in the midst of the cosmos, the planet Ankor spins.
My Take: This book was provided to me by the author for review.
With a tone like a cross between Tolkien’s chapter “Concerning Hobbits” and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, this insightful, yet lovably unique Science-Fiction novel was a joy to read.
The Turkles of Ankor are a refreshingly optimistic people and a great departure from the usual muck and mire depicted in the political landscape of Sci-Fi books. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good space intrigue, but sometimes it’s nice to see a bit of the inspirational in the galactic setting as well.
Now, one might be concerned that there’d be a lack of tension in a story based on such upbeat folk, but I found this one had a tantalizing carrot at the end of its creative stick: Curiosity, of the explorer variety to be precise. This was embodied by the main character, a thoughtful and ingenious turkle named Klubbe. Quirky and plain spoken, I enjoyed following his adventures.
Fantastic world building as well. Everything from Klubbe’s country hometown (adorably located in an area called Snug in the Pillow) to the barge traveled waters surrounding the capital city, to the marine-like names of the many foods, teas and juices of the turkles, made Ankor feel like a real place just beyond my known galaxy.
I must also call out that this was a perfect example of the use of the omniscient voice. As one of the more challenging forms of writing, I applaud the author on his skill and his consistency when deploying it here. It never interrupted or invaded the storytelling, rather it added greatly to its humorous tone. Very well done.
The Magical: A couple of lovely lessons came to my attention in this one, interwoven with some dry humor and good will. The First: Finding your purpose and striving to contribute to the world through that talent. This was summed up beautifully in this quote from the book: “We have to dig deep, to find our roots, our skills, our bulb that will produce our stem, leaf and flower.”
The Second: A reminder not to forget to enjoy the the life you’ve made. It shouldn’t always be about reaching for the next amazing thing but appreciating that which has been accomplished as well.
The Mundane: A clearer denouement at the end would have ended the story a bit more fully, such as a summation in line with the book’s optimistic theme to round off the journey we took with Klubbe and his kind.
Summary of Thoughts: Perfect for anyone with a touch of the adventurer and the philosopher in their veins. A great story told in straight forward language without the use of a lot of fussy words. And no need to worry about freaky dreams with this one if you like to read before bed, or indigestion if you tend to take your afternoon tea with a side of literature. This wonderful story is like a Science-Fiction cozy, with a healthy dollop of exploration on top.
Many thanks to author Philip Dodd for providing a copy of the book to review!
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To learn more about the author and his other works, explore his website here