I’m the sort of reader that enjoys really gripping narratives that rip at my soul and make me think about life on a deeper level. As an avid fan of science fiction, fantasy, and every sub-genre under the sun, it’s probably fair to state that I enjoy a degree of escapism from the normal world. A good book for me has compellingly conflicted characters, a creatively contrived world, and creates an arena for deeper reflection on things that exist in our daily reality. While KLUBBE THE TURKLE AND THE GOLDEN STAR CORACLE by Philip Dodd certainly fulfills my need for venturing into a wild world of the imagination, it doesn’t actually meet any of the other things that I look for in a book. So why five stars then?! Why finish the book? Why even bother writing a review? Well, although this novel is not in line with what I typically read, I found that I loved every moment that I spent in this vibrant and whimsical world.

As with Henry Fox, this author introduced himself to me on Goodreads and let me know he was about to begin DIGITARUM. This made me curious to see who he was and what he'd written and that is when I found KLUBBE THE TURKLE AND THE GOLDEN STAR CORACLE. That's when I thought to myself that this was a rather odd name for a book so I read the description to discover that it was a sort of humorous science fiction and then I was sold. So I picked up a copy and never looked back.


5/5 This is a story that was simply a fun/happy read. Thee's nothing super deep or complicated going on here, but it has a sort of Suessical splendor that I found intoxicating. I was utterly charmed by this work from beginning to end and so happy that I read it. 

The characters could certainly not be called compelling or at all complicated, but they are some of the most magnificent personas that I have enjoyed the company of in a long time. The majority of the cast is made up of Turkles which we find out are bipedal turtle-like aliens that live on the planet Ankor. The very foundation of who these people are is just silly and their perpetually cheery personalities only play into how fun they are. The main character is named Klubbe, but the cast around him play an immensely important part of the story and in the end it felt more like the heroes’ journey rather than the hero’s journey. Turkles are some of the kindest, most foolish, and charmingly innocent characters to cross the pages of modern literature. They are a scatterbrained race with high dreams and big hearts who might not remind me of anyone I have ever met in real life, but I still loved them all the same.

I mentioned before that the concept of the hero’s journey is present, but that is not to say that this story is at all predictable in any way. No, in fact I found it to be quite the opposite. There is certainly a central theme to it all which I will not disclose because I think you ought to discover it for yourselves, but much of the action seemed random when I read through it. Not random in a bad way, mind you, just whimsically unpredictable. I never knew what sort of oddball character I would come across next or what strange feat Klubbe would pull off. The events of this book are so extraordinary that I felt I had no real way of anticipating what would be done or said next. I also noted before that this is not simply Klubbe’s story. While I do love stories that fully develop a single character and allow readers to watch them grow, there was something really special to me about getting to read about the growth of all these other personalities that exist around Klubbe. As our main character, Klubbe is still the most important presence and he is to be credited for a lot of the opportunities that other Turkles benefit from, but it was still really lovely to get to read a story that built up its side characters in such a way that they felt just as special and important to me as Klubbe did.

The immediate hook of this tale is its magical tone. It sucked me in and just made me happy. I don’t know that I have ever only been able to say that a writing style simply brought me happiness and genuine smiles from time to time. It has all the charm of a Dr. Sues picture book, but in a full length novel. Both the dialogue and the grammar are just out of this world wacky which either made this work the easiest piece of writing to edit or the stuff of editorial nightmares. The language is so deliberately and consistently strange that never once did it feel off-putting or distract from the story in any way – if anything it is what makes this tale so special.

The one thing that really defines the world of Anchor and the other worlds that the book took me to (it is space-centric science fiction so yes there are other worlds and other species) is the way that the author makes use of color. I made the comment before that reading this reminded me of a Dr. Seuss picture book. To be clear, this book has no illustrations or graphics of any kind beyond what is present on the cover. Despite this fact, I felt like I was looking at this magnificent painting the entire time I poured through this book’s pages – a swirly, cartoonish painting filled with vibrant colors that burst off of the page. While I would hate to spoil any of the specific locations in this book since they are directly related to how the plot unfolds, I do need to commend the way that the author makes this feel like such a visually engrossing experience when in actuality, I was only looking at words on a page.

I still love my dark, thought provoking, and heart-wrenching science fiction and fantasy novels, but KLUBBE THE TURKLE AND THE GOLDEN STAR CORACLE was an absolutely delightful break from the heavier sort of literature that I tend to engross myself in. I went in hoping for something light and fluffy to act as a short departure from my normal literary choices and I could not be happier with what I got in return. It may very well not be the sort of thing that appeals to everyone, but if that’s the case then you have probably stopped reading this review well before now and already turned your nose up to this work. If you’re still with me, though then I cannot recommend this book enough. It’s a fairly short read so if you’re just in between books or you need a break from your typical reads, then just give this one a shot because I don’t think you’ll regret it one bit. It’s not deep or really all that thought-provoking. It’s just silly and fun, and is all about bringing childish joy to those who read it. 5/5 for me, loved every word of it thoroughly and I’m not really sure what else I could possibly have asked from this book. It’s just a happy read, it’s a light read, and it’s something everyone should get the chance to indulge in.

Available in eBook and Paperback editions on Amazon


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