Book Review: The Strange Tales of Brennan and Riz by Peter James Martin
When I first came to know Peter James Martin over a year and a half ago, I was intrigued by his ideas and story. I’ve always been a fan of paranormal detectives and supernatural tales in the modern world. I think it’s fascinating to see how authors tie mythological elements from other cultures into the present.
Enter Martin’s Book(s): The Strange Tales of Brennan and Riz. Through a collection of short stories, you are introduced to Brennan and his companion Riz, a talking rat that is much more than he appears. Martin does an excellent job of giving you tidbits about Riz as the stories continue, but he also does well showing the relationship between the two characters.
Through each story, you see different facets of both Brennan and Riz and the struggles they are forced to endure with each new case they take on. Sometimes the money isn’t worth it, but for Brennan, it’s not really about the money. Riz, on the other hand, well you’ll just have to read his thoughts on the matter *grin*.
You also get to see aspects of a larger story unfolding in some of the stories. Martin gives you little hints that aren’t just passing comments or barbs. So it’s definitely important to pay attention to the details as they are revealed.
Something else I really appreciated as a writer was the cliff note references at the back of one of his books that show the research he did for the stories. It’s really great to see a writer take local tales, or lore, and transform them into something else. Sometimes it becomes a very different story, but with elements of creativity that can be appreciated.
Overall the relationship as it develops between Brennan and Riz is constantly evolving. At times they can be outright frustrated with one another, but in the same token, the bond the keeps them together still shows. At least, that’s how it feels for me.
What I’m most excited to see is the origin of these two. I spoke to Martin a while back and I’ve been watching his tweets on Twitter. I won’t spoil it for you, but keep an eye out for a novel telling how this crazy relationship began.
In my honest opinion, if you like Dresden Files and are a fan of Constantine, you’ll like The Strange Tales of Brennan and Riz. I’ve come to love these characters and I would love to tell some deeper details, but you’ll have to see for yourself.