Hmmm, perhaps the cover should have given me some inkling as to what I was letting myself in for when I picked up T.E. Hodden's book to read. This is the second book of Hodden's that I have read, but it was nothing like the first; in fact, it probably couldn't have been any more different if it tried.
My initial reaction to "A Little Trouble" was "A Little Perturbed". I'm not sure what the genre of this is in the new vernacular, but to an old-school reader like me, it was simply Science Fiction. When we meet the principal character in A Little Trouble, Ed Reaper, he is preparing for Christmas, with his living "toy" companions. These companions are living, furry,toys but are also co-workers in the organisation Ed works for; DREAD!
Ed, his companions, as well as a next-door neighbour, and her nine-year-old daughter are about to be pitched into battle against one of many alien forces who wish to take over the earth for their own nefarious purposes. To complicate matters, Ed is also forced to deal with his dead father who has come back to join forces with the alien invader, known as The Madness, and create a world in his father's vision.
The interactions between Ed and his Father were definitely one of the more interesting aspects of this book. Hodden addresses many of the issues that come up when someone seeks to force their interpretation of utopia on an unsuspecting population. I always like it when an author questions issues relative to today's society in a science fiction/fantasy setting. This was exceptionally well done and added greatly to the book's appeal.
The whole idea of little, furry, toys being living creatures and helping Ed and his team to fight The Madness took a while to get my head around, but in many way ended up making the story much more fun and light than it could have been. The companions each have their own distinct personalities and this makes the characters and the story flow well.
If this is your genre, you will love this story. It has everything you need in a good, rollicking, fantasy tale; heroes, quests, evil beings, battles, great courage, humour and an affirmation of the human spirit. I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who wants an adventure with a bit of fun.
Why not 5 Stars? Firstly, although I did enjoy the book and I do love reading outside of my comfort zone from time to time, A Little Trouble really is not my preferred genre and there were times when I had to force myself to accept some of the things Hodden introduced into the story. Secondly, there were a few too many editorial issues in the book, that could be tidied up. I heartily give this 4.5 stars though. It was a different and a fun read.
I admire the author for producing two excellent books (that I've read so far) that were so completely different. Authors can often become stuck in a genre and their books become formulaic. I suspect this will not happen to Hodden. A good job and a good read!
You can check out this book here: http://amzn.to/1NPnccQ