The year is 20018. The famed magician Illuminari is dead, and his greatest illusion has died with him. Dark forces now seek the Engine of Armageddon, the anceint, sentient doomsday weapon that Illuminari hid amongst the stars. Enter Percival Gynt, accountant and part-time hero, whose quest to find the Engine before it falls into the wrong hands may be our universe’s last best hope for survival. It is a quest that will take him from the highest reaches of power to the lowest pits of despair and through every manner of horror and absurdity between. But beware. This accountant has a secret. A secret that may damn us all.
In this offbeat, enjoyable adventure set in the far-flung future of 20018, a mild-mannered accountant with a dark past reluctantly teams up with a three-armed alien cop and a mysterious young woman to save the universe. Percival Gynt and his allies must crack the mystery of the long-hidden Engine of Armageddon before it can finish unmaking all of creation. Along the way, they have to cope with a galaxy-spanning church, relentless space Nazis, and an evil wizard whose very existence was erased from memory. Melbourne’s zippy, often tongue-in-cheek debut reads like postmodern Douglas Adams: a mixture of self-aware humor, existential crisis, and cultural satire. Modern brand names such as Apple, Viagra, and Walmart persist millennia from now, juxtaposed with clones, temporal manipulation, and magic. Percival is a contradictory everyman, a dapper-dressed nobody with unexpected heroic qualities. Though the plot is occasionally too twisty and clever for its own good, the underlying sense of good-natured excitement makes this a fun, frenetic story. (BookLife)