G. Eric Francis asked me to read his novel "Cluck the Undercover Chicken". It's about a humanoid chicken cop infiltrating a cult that wants to take over the world, while arguing with the person writing the story. I will examine plot, characters and polish before assigning a grade.
This book is trying to be funny not thrilling. Thus, the plot isn't as important as the comedy. The plot is generic, silly, and braced by a shallow straw feminist thing. It reads like a simple minded James Bond parody. If you read this for an engaging plot, you'll be disappointed. You should read this for the comic banter between Cluck and ST (StoryTeller A.K.A. G Eric Francis). That is what kept me turning pages. It's like a two person comedian act with something happening in the background.
You see, Cluck is the only character in this story aware of the fact that he's a character in a story. Not only that, he can communicate with the person writing the story. From the perspective of other characters, he's talking with ceiling tiles. They think he's nuts.
This book deserves recognition for the most shameless use of Deus Ex Machina I've ever read, that is also funny and fits in with the book's overall feel. Only the Freakazoid series tops it in this regard.
Cluck: Did you just write in some new ammo?
ST: Actually, come to think of it, I just did! (...........)That is the fun part about being a writer, you can change things on the fly, get it?
Good ending. There's conflict resolution but still more adventures to come.
There are two main characters, Cluck (the protagonist) and ST (the Narrator), and like I said earlier, they are basically a two man comedy routine. Cluck brags about how awesome he is and gets into trouble, and ST reacts to this.
Cluck reminds me of Marvel's Deadpool because of his tendency to talk a lot, his Medium Awareness, and his violent profession. He's like a lite version of Deadpool; doesn't talk as much, not as crazy, not as violent.
ST is a foil. He's quieter and less inclined to toot his own horn. Since he's also the one writing this story, he's effectively a reality warper that can both introduce and resolve random difficulties in Cluck's path. His goal is to make a good story. Considering how he exists on a different level of existence, there's a lot of room for Alternate Character Interpretation and Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory faux symbolism.
No spelling or grammar problems. It's easy to follow the character conversations vs those that Cluck has with ST. However, the main plot feels too much like an excuse plot to give this book a perfect grade.
Trickster Eric Novels gives "Cluck the Undercover Chicken" a B+
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