SPSFC Finalist Review: Percival Gynt and the Conspiracy of Days by Drew Melbourne

The end of the second annual Self-Published Science Fiction Competition (SPSFC2) is within sight, with the winner to be announced in mid-July. My team advanced three of our semifinalists to the finals, before being given four more books to read on the way to determining an overall winner. Today, we’ll be looking at the comic space fantasy Percival Gynt and the Conspiracy of Days by Drew Melbourne.


Jay’s Review and Rating

Opinions on comic SFF will always vary based on the reader’s sense of humor, but I found Percival Gynt and the Conspiracy of Days a pleasant surprise. The humor may not rise to the greats of the subgenre, but it stays amusing throughout, and despite a miss on the romantic subplot, the main plot comes together very well. The balance of humor and plot was just about perfect, avoiding the dual traps of a plot that’s solely a vehicle for jokes and jokes being mere varnish on a generic plot.

Jay has rated Percival Gynt and the Conspiracy of Days 7.5/10. For more detail, check out his full review.

Josh’s Review and Rating

None of the absurd bits, jokes about the future of our society, or just things in general really made me smile all that much, and the plot of Percival Gynt never really gets that interesting, even if it’s put together mostly well. The main character in Percival is enjoyable at times, as are some others, but the book insists upon a mutual romantic interest between two characters pretty much immediately despite portraying basically no chemistry on page between them, which made it hard to care about actions those characters take due to their sudden love and caring for one another. Add in a final act that sort of disposes of the biggest antagonists with a whimper and then deus ex machinas away all the remaining lost plot threads/consequences of certain actions, and well, the result was a book that was never “bad” but also just made me shrug when I finished it.

Josh has rated Percival Gynt and the Conspiracy of Days 7/10. For more detail, check out his full review.

Matt’s Review and Rating

Matt was not able to read and score Percival Gynt and the Conspiracy of Days before the completion of the round. His score will be listed as Did Not Attempt, which does not affect the overall rating.

Sarah’s Review and Rating

Percival Gynt is quite the amusing and confusing ride. Things move at a rapid pace, with a mix of self-aware absurdity and meandering time jumps. This adventure style doesn’t typically appeal to me, so I know I’m not the target audience. There were elements of cleverness I appreciated, but it was hard for me to connect meaningfully amidst the chaos. Readers who are down for a nonlinear roller coaster with a droll MC will surely get a kick out of it.

Sarah has rated Percival Gynt and the Conspiracy of Days 6/10.

Official Scores

Jay 7.5
Josh 7
Matt DNA
Sarah 6
Team 6.83

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