Saturday, June 18, 2011

Knight Post - Book Review: Runs in Good Condition

Understand why the fuss, HERE.
Picture credits on this post.
This is as special knight-post. Monica Marier has been an honorable guest before when her debut novel, Must Love Dragons came out. She told us in a very cool interview how she signed up with a publishing company through a facebook contact, and about her other work as a composer and as a cartoonist. 

This is the review of the sequel, Runs in Good Condition, which you can pre-order here

Now, please note that it's not because I'm grateful to Monica for her help that I'm not observing my review policy to the letter. Just saying. 


In Must Love Dragons, we're introduced to our hero, Linus Weedwhacker - yes, that's his name. Once a drunkard bastard, this ranger becomes a family man who has to go back to his old profession to support his growing family. In the first book, he joins a team of rangers to hunt the frost dragon, and upon his return he puts himself in a dangerous situation: he agrees to run for president of the Rangers' Union, now a corrupt and inflated organization. 

Runs in Good Condition shows us his campaign, its results and hints about this numerous and lovely family's fate. The book is filled with comedy (naturally, knowing Monica's knack for humor), danger, and touching family scenes.

What I most liked about 'Runs in Good Condition' is how Linus's old acquaintances from the Rangers' Union, who despised and even hated him, come to respect and love him once they get in touch with the better man he'd become. Vilori Reagan, one of his supporters is a great example of this change. At first he was so reluctant that I wondered if he was a playing double agent, but in time he gets to know the new Linus, the one who washes the kids diapers himself, who cares about the rangers' well being and not in the least about the privileges that come with presidency, who's willing to risk his life to make the necessary changes in the Union. Something  similar happens to Wendel Biggs, a man whose life was destroyed in Linus's "bad times". The change in these characters happen smoothly, as they follow Linus's campaign from different sides. I didn't care as much for the changes of two other characters, though. Tyrus Gruthsfield was Lynus's mentor at the time of his downfall. It feels like the author couldn't decide whether he became just a bitter old man who wanted some moral revenge, or if he'd become the true villain he appeared to be in the end of the first book. Also, Morfindel, Linus's companion from the dragon hunt adventure, was an extremely annoying character in the first book, even if somewhow charismatic. In Runs in Good Condition he lost all his annoying traits and suddenly became a most agreeable character. I prefer much better the Morfindel from the second book, but it would have been nice to see the changing process in him as seen in Reagan and Biggs.

These are small details, however, if we consider the book as a whole. The story is highly entertaining, the plot flows smoothly, the characters are likable and unique, and the ending is not only good but it irritated me because I wanted to have the next book at hand to know what will become of the Weedwhackers and their friends. 

That's a recommend.

Monica Marier is a caffeinated writer, artist, mother and eccentric. On weekdays, she's busy working on her books, recording audio files, and composing serials and short stories for her blog. On weekends she's a co-founder of Tangent Artists, a webcomic company where she writes and does art for 3 comic series. 

Her book “Must Love Dragons” is now on-sale through Lulu, Amazon, and upon request at Barnes & Noble. The sequel “Runs in Good Condition” is now available for pre-order through Hunt Press. Her serial, “Madame Bluestocking’s Pennyhorrid” is now running in the e-zine Dr. Fantastique’s Show of Wonders.


  1. Great review, Mari, and congrats on the second book, Monica!

  2. Great review - I'll have to pick up the first and order the 2nd! :)

  3. I loved the first one so I can't wait to read the second one!


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