by Jonathan Raab, S.L. Edwards, Charles Martin, Jared Collins, R. Morgan Crihfield, Matthew Bartlett, Sean M. Thompson, Tom Breen, Colin Scharf
Freaky Tales From the Force is the often mentioned TV show in the other two Kotto stories. This book covers season one of it, and is it great? Yes, it is.
The format allows the overarching story to keep switching points of views and subjects, keeping it constantly fresh and not suffering from the usual ever-diminishing returns of weirdness that often happens in such tales. It manages to retain the over-the-top crazy in the others but has good characters and keeps offering all kinds of viewpoints on the absolute insanity going on. You know, it’s not just going LOOK HOW WEIRD AND GOOFY I am; it’s still offering good plot and meaningful development to ground it.
But of course, it IS weird and goofy. Space vampires, nazi mages, slime monsters, wendigos… well, that’s SOME of it. The battle against the space vampires is the plot that runs through the different stories or episodes. Some of these are written by different authors, and that also plays into keeping it fresh throughout the collection.
The main characters are back, and Kotto is once again his crazy conspiracy self. There are a lot of small character things thrown in, Veronica with her tree monster dreams, Richards musing about his soldier past, and poor Dean running around with his camera, always annoyed and lost. A story has Richards and Kotto seemingly switch attitudes between skeptic and believer, and it was really funny. Some stories have other deputies sworn in, which pays off in the end.
Well, really, most of it is funny. Kotto yelling at monsters to stop eating his constituents, an undead being promised “Train Weirdos,” fidget spinners being said to have mind-controlling properties, and the line “Against Goblinry, For The People.” just making me laugh… I could go on and on.
It ends finely after the “Season Finale,” which contains a bar fight and Richards firing on a big rig with a machine gun purchased with taxpayer funds, which he believes makes Kotto proud. And, of course, so much more action-packed into that one, but I’m done going on. Just go read it.
***** Five out of Five Stars (Great)