Gamadin: Word of Honor by Tom Kirkbride

KirkbrideWordOfHonorWhy I Read It: Surfers meet aliens and save the world: even I had to know what this was all about.

Where I Got It: Review copy from the publisher (thanks!).

Who I Recommend This To: Did you like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure? Then you probably want to give this a try.

Narrators: Ian Alan Carlsen, Philip Hobby, Aaron Lockman, Kat Moraros, Kymberly Dakin, Harris Cooley, Christopher Price

Publisher: The Audio Comics Company (2013)

Length: 2 hours 14 minutes

Series: Gamadin Book 1

Author’s Page

While the book briefly starts off in perhaps the 1970s in New Mexico, showing a little back story to two side, yet important, characters, it then swiftly moves to the meat of this scifi thriller set on the beaches of California. Harlowe and Mat, who just as often go by their last names of Pylott and Riverstone, are two teen surfer dudes who have their minds on three things – surfing, cars, and women. I’m sure food surfaces to the top of the list every once in a while, but don’t quote me on that. In challenging authority, because that is what surfer dudes do (see job description), they end up surfing on a beach that is closed for safety reasons. But don’t worry, they guys are indestructible. They quickly become the hero of the story by saving a famous movie star, who spurns them, and Pylott gets to watch one-time hottie girlfriend Leucadia walk off with asshat. From there, we finally get thrown into the scifi element. Leucadia and her mom have been protecting this large, flyable, interstellar life form called Millawanda for decades. The story quickly picks up with chase scenes, crazy robobs, alien jerks, and the rescue of the century.

Now, what did I think of this 2 hour + adventure? Well, it was so-so for me. First, let me start with a little confession – I liked Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure way too much during what must have been some formative years (try not to judge, though I am!). Surfer idiots save the work through time travel. So why can’t a different set of surfer idiots save the planet? There’s plenty of ‘dude’, ‘whoa!’, and ‘babe’ throughout this performance. I liked the aliens (good and bad and vehicular).  I liked the geeky friends and the crazy robobs (robots with attitude).

So why was it so-so for me? Well, for the first half of it, the various cars had more of role than the women. And for most of the book, the women were delegated to looking hot, cooking, and screaming. Though the book did show promise at various points where Leucadia’s mom took front and center in the action, entering combat with competence. Alas, that was brief. Then we were back to awesome cars and 16-year old men firing alien weapons, while sending the half-alien daughter (Leucadia) – the only one besides her mom who would know anything about the alien tech- off to rustle up a meal. Sigh… So, yeah. I only had this one complaint about the book, but it was pervasive.

Still, if you have about 2 hours to kill, it was silly and fun. And there’s cool tech. And the hope of some competent, and sexy, women taking charge and showing the guys some martial expertise.

The Narration: As you can see from above, this was a pretty large crew for such a short book. They did a great job with the distinct voices and emotion (excitement, fear, surprise, etc.). There were a handful of times where I had trouble hearing the words for the exciting background sounds, but usually the words were some basics – Help! Get out of here!, etc. – or simply just screaming, so I didn’t miss any of the story.

What I Liked: Cool tech; aliens; constantly exciting; the cover art is gorgeous (even though the book is a bit silly).

What I Disliked: Often the vehicles had a bigger role than the women, who were busy screaming and clutching some protective male.

2 thoughts on “Gamadin: Word of Honor by Tom Kirkbride”

  1. The cover made me a little curious too. I confess, I’ve watched Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure more than once and enjoyed it every time. This would probably be fun if I needed a reading break.

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