Wotan, Fafner, Alberich
Wotan’s Dilemma is the latest book in Hank Quense's Strange World series. Much like Hank’s Falstaff's Big Gamble, Wotan’s Dilemma seems at first to be quite a random book. However, with Hank’s humour and style, he manages to bring all this randomness into a really funny and unique novel!
Wotan’s Dilemma is based in a post-apocalyptic Earth far into the future. In this new world, humankind has resorted back to its medieval ways of living in small towns and clans, whilst fighting with primitive weapons such as the sword and the spear. However, what’s different about this new (but old) world is that Earth is inhabited by aliens, some bad and some good. The most evil of the aliens living on Earth is Fafner, a black, slimy, octopus-like monster who is a professional criminal on the run from the Inter-Galactic Police. Another alien living on earth is Alberich, a puny pale-green Nibelung who was exiled to Earth. Alberich may be puny but he has a brilliant mind and after finding some magical gold, invents a helmet and a chip that can see into the future. Fafner hears about Alberich’s great invention and as a criminal mastermind, robs Alberich and steals his inventions, setting himself up as an Evil God and ruling over the local populace.
Meanwhile, the Norse god Wotan has a dilemma. The gold that Alberich found was the Rhinegold, the magic gold that gives the gods their powers. Without the gold, Wotan and the other Norse gods will become old and weak and eventually have to go to the Old God’s Retirement Village and live with other forgotten gods such as Ra, Horus, Zeus and Jupiter. However, Wotan cannot just take the gold back as it has to be given freely, and after it is stolen by Fafner, he knows that it will never be given back willingly.
Nevertheless, Wotan is resourceful and plans to create a mighty, if slightly dim, warrior to battle and kill Fafner and return the Rhinegold to the gods. However, to create this warrior will take a generation (which the god doesn’t have) and his plan doesn’t go as smoothly as he planned…
As I said, this was an entertaining, amusing and interesting book. I especially liked all of the Norse mythology and the link between Wotan and the composer Wagner. I also thought Hank left the ending open for another novel in the series, so it will be interesting to see if another book comes out of this story!
I would suggest this book to anyone who is a fan of sci-fi and fantasy, especially novels such as The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett as Wotan’s Dilemma has that same quirky, humorous feel. I’d also suggest it to anyone who would like to try something a little different as this book won’t disappoint!
If you’d like to purchase this novel, it is available for Kindle at Amazon.co.uk and at Smashwords.com.
For author’s website click here.