I’d never read any Tom Holt before, and this was a moderately pleasant experience. It was very reminiscent of Robert Rankin, but might best be described as the kind of thing Terry Pratchett would write if he wrote fantasy set in the real world.
Bianca Wilson, having been commisioned by Birmigham City Council, has sculpted St George and the Dragon. These statues are then promptly inhabited by the spirits of their - what’s the word I’m looking for? effigy-ees? – by the spirits of the individuals they represent. And lots of other stuff happens, too, some of it involving five rather inept demons.
If you haven’t already guessed, Paint Your Dragon is a comedy, and comedies live or die by how funny they are (how Roseanne lasted so long, I’ll never know). This book made me smile on numerous occasions, but I don’t remember ever laughing out loud at it. The novel’s voice is conversational and distinctly British, but not quite original enough. It crams an awful lot into its 311 pages and the plot moves along at a fair old lick. As a result, it’s a little confusing and sometimes feels disjointed.
But it is likeable. It lacks the sheer random brilliance of Rankin or philosophical weight of Adams, but it’s a darn sight better than the limp offerings I’ve had the misfortune to read by Gaiman or Fforde.