Book Review: Buried in Angst


Genre(s): Fantasy, Oversized Sword and Sorcery
Format: Paperback
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Description: Imagine you live in a Medieval Fantasy World. You are short, a bit pudgy, and on the far end of 40. Things couldn’t be any worse right? WRONG! Imagine that the only thing you have ever wanted to be is a hero. A noble Knight, loved by all the savior of the land. Well, Angst is all of those things, or at least he was until he broke his bond with the magical sword Chryslaenor. Now he is back to middle-aged and dumpy. The powers the sword granted him have left and mysterious changes in the world are killing him slowly. Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse for Angst, an entire coastal city has mysteriously disappeared and a series of huge sinkholes are slowly making their way to Unsel, the country where Angst hangs his hat. Dogpiling onto all of that, Chryslaenor the sword has been stolen, and one of Angst’s dear friends Rose is missing. There is a new kid in town trying to usurp the throne, the warring elements are mad at Angst, and even Princess Victoria, Angst’s biggest fan, has grown angry at Angst for his incessant flirting. This novel is truly a midlife crisis in Medieval Times.

Review: If you haven’t read Pedersen’s first novel, Angst, I highly recommend you read it before you get buried in this novel. This is the second novel in the series, but so much happened in the first novel that to truly enjoy this one, you need to do a bit of back-tracking. Don’t worry! Now you have two good books to read instead of one. There was a decent gap between Angst and Buried in Angst and if it has been awhile science you read Angst, go ahead and re-read it to brush back up on all of the events that have transpired. I mention the refreshment, because I felt like even though Buried in Angst was clearly marked as the second book in a series, Pedersen still made a few too many assumptions about just how much the reader may or may not have remembered. A prologue might have helped, along with a few more “historical” descriptions of the characters.
Assumptions aside, this is a great book. It is much darker than its predecessor, but it still has that unique humor that makes Pedersen’s writing so enjoyable. One thing that I had forgotten was just how uncomfortable Pedersen can make flirting. I almost found myself screaming at the book several times, frustrated by Angst’s ability to not only do the wrong thing, but to choose the most dangerous course of actions when he does flirt. Writing like that is why I read. When a book or an author can cause me that much angst, you know it is good.

The first book in the series, Angst, definitely focused more on the characters whereas this book shifts to about even coverage of the characters and the story. Buried in Angst still has the ensemble cast that made Angst so charming, but the change in focus indicates that Pedersen is growing as a writer, yet still staying true to what works. This story has several plot twists that you can sort of see coming, but you still want to see how Pedersen gets there. Some things in this story, as Ron Burgundy would say, “escalated quickly” but I didn’t ever feel like I was being left behind. This book has all of the elements that make fantasy novels so beloved, and Pedersen better hurry up on the next book or I will be Drowning in Angst and you wouldn’t like me when I’m Drowning in Angst!

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About Cape Rust

Cape has led a life of adventure and excitement. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas he joined the Army where he served six years as a Military Policeman and six years as an All Source Intelligence Analyst. He served in such diverse places as South Korea, Germany, Bosnia, Serbia, Hungary, Croatia, Kansas, Alabama, Kentucky and Arizona. After leaving the Army he spent 4 years training African Soldiers for peacekeeping missions. After visiting ten different African nations (some several times) he developed training materials for counter IED training. He now builds web sites for the Army. He enjoys PC Gaming, Table Top RPGs, reading and shooting. He has been married to his wife Laurie for almost 18 years and has two daughters Mallie and Megan. He is currently the caretaker of one of the world’s largest corgis Truman and a clowder of cats that includes Midnight, Smokey and Tum Tum Monster Destroyer.