Title: Gorgon in 69 Seconds (College of United Monsters #3)
Author: C. B. Archer
Publisher: Deep Desires Press
Release Date: April 16, 2019
Genre(s): Fantasy, Humour, Short Story
Page Count: 57 Pages
Reviewed by: ColinJ
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
The once elite College of United Monsters (C.U.M.) is still having financial troubles. In order to stay afloat, it has been forced to allow humans to register. Humans, in a monster school? Preposterous! Also, monsters are real and that was probably a bigger shock to the world than one school of them allowing humans to enroll.
Nape MacGuffin is a regular, ridiculous human. A student in the suddenly popular Historical Pottery Studies course, Nape finds himself facing off against his class’s biggest rivals: the students of Automobile Theory & Repair, who are convinced the pottery class is out to destroy them. Naturally, they have to get to the pottery students first. But, honestly—with a name like MacGuffin, you know the entire reason he’s in this story is to get kidnapped later on to serve as a plot device. You did know that…right?
It serves him right for having a punny name and attending monster college.
The third in the series is so much better than those that have gone before. The language used is clear and has good structure. There is still the use of slang terms but these have been moderated down to manageable proportions, similarly, the use of branded items only appears occasionally. This provides the opportunity to develop a reasonable plotline that offers the occasional twist and offers interesting ideas. The plot is a play on the movie with a similar name; it is not known to what extent it is an homage. There are asides to the audience as well as a repeated recognition that this is merely a plot in a book.
The humour is more noticeable in this book and it even managed to raise the odd chuckle. That aside, the context to the story is articulated well and there is a better attempt to provide a purpose to the story. The puns are pretty good too. The characters are also fleshed out more and therefore there is a limited opportunity to gain some empathy for the lead character.
Unlike the other books in the series, the sex is toned down a little. There is a sense of purpose to the sex when it occurs. It is still regarded with superficiality within the social environment, but actual sex is not flaunted as much and therefore becomes more meaningful.
With the twists and turns, this is quite a fast-paced story. That said, it feels to be the longest of the books so far, despite the fact that as short stories they are about the same length. Perhaps the reason for this is that the structure allows for more interest and concentration on what is going on.
As there is a plot of sorts, the end to the story is neater and there is more time spent making sure that the themes are addressed and resolved. Prior to this book, it would have been a struggle to want to read any more from this world, but this story has changed that view.