Marvin, the Not Worthy by Wayne Greenough
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (32 pages)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review by: Astilbe
King Mortus grunted and groaned in an effort to think harder. He was close to giving up when an idea shattered his crown and scorched his never combed royal hair. Now he knew exactly what to do. He would become the ruler of that insignificant little world his people were always gabbing about. What was its name? Ah, yes, it was called Earth, a most unusual name for a planet. He would conquer Earth and make miserable slaves of its people. Yes, that is what he would do.
Every quest needs hero. Will Marvin be that hero?
The dialogue was well done. The plot was full of funny lines like “gadzooks, but you are a longwinded oaf.” Since the descriptions of everything else were written with the same quirky style, I felt like I’d walked into a completely different time and place when I read this book. This is exactly the kind of world building that I look for in the fantasy genre, and I liked the fact that the author used the dialogue to make it even more vivid.
There were pacing issues. The narrator spent a lot of time setting up this world and describing what all of the characters were like. While I enjoyed having such detailed images of everything, it did slow down the pacing of the storyline quite a bit. This sort of thing would have been perfect for the first chapter of a full-length book where there would be a lot of time later on to focus on the plot development, but it felt awkward to me in a short story of this length.
What I liked the most about the ending was how clever it was. I can’t go into details about it without giving away spoilers, of course, but it was exactly how this kind of tale should have been wrapped up. The narrator had surprised me once or twice before with how unconventionally he decided to describe certain scenes, so I was glad to see him continue this habit up until the final paragraph.
Marvin, the Not Worthy should be read by anyone who loves fantasy.