Book Review: Mad Shadows: The Weird Tales of Dorgo The Dowser by Joe Bonadonna


What can I say about Dorgo? He is the Mike Hammer of the Fantasy World?

I love this guy.

I was going to spout something poetic about this book, but I decided that wouldn’t match up with the hard boiled noir style of this fantastic read.

So here goes nothing….

Once I started this book, I could not stop. It was like a freight train, pulling me through all the stories and all the events that occur within them. This is a book driven by its characters and an incessant need to figure out the mysteries encapsulated within the story. There is always just enough to keep the reader entranced by and invested in the actual mystery itself. Unlike so many mysteries where formula and tired old clichés drive the story, these are new and fun—partly because they are embedded in a dark fantasy world and partly because they aren’t prepared in any obvious formula.

It isn’t the setting that draws you into these stories, like so many deeply woven fantasy stories (although I must admit that the setting is quite deep for a book like this, and filled with great detail and research). This story is all about Dorgo and how he deals with the mysteries that are thrown at him. He is at once a deeply hard-boiled guy, and a caring, concerned person looking out for the wellbeing of his beloved city. Think The Grey Mouser mixed with Magnum P.I. … without the Ferrari.

Heroic—The hardboiled tradition usually has this sort of troubled hero that rises above his faults and crustiness to become endearing. He pursues the mystery to its end, often times despite his personality flaws, often times through sheer determination. This Dorgo guy continues that tradition. We find ourselves liking him despite his sarcastic nature, despite his winning personality. We want this dude to rise above, despite knowing he may not be the smartest, most capable guy. He is just plain diligent, plain spoken and more intuitive than you initially can see—a la Columbo.

Have I said it enough? I love this guy!

I would recommend this story to anyone that enjoys either noir mysteries or sword & sorcery fantasy. It does not conform to any norm that I am aware of and encapsulates all the great things we look for in our heroes. Take a read, you won’t regret it.

Find the book here.

Find the Author’s Web page here.

I’ll keep the lantern lit.



  2 comments for “Book Review: Mad Shadows: The Weird Tales of Dorgo The Dowser by Joe Bonadonna

  1. July 21, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Reblogged this on Library of Erana and commented:
    This is on my to be read list but what I have seen and heard so far looks great.

    Liked by 2 people

    • jpbonadonna
      July 21, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      Thank you very much Jp for a wonderful review! And thank you, too, Eranamage!

      Liked by 1 person

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