Fans of time-traveling fantasy adventure, here comes your new third-favorite character. His name is a mouthful: Thaddeus Archibald DuBois. He’s a Victorian hero sent through time (via giant crossbow) to give a young would-be hero his Call to Adventure.
There are two basic kinds of science fiction stories. The first portrays a bleak, sterile world that has more head than heart. It’s the kind of thing you read because it appeals to your brain. Basically, it’s every movie Chris Nolan has ever made.
The second kind is actually fun.
It’s been around forever, the kind of swashbuckling adventure story that thinks it’s perfectly reasonable for the first human being on Mars to swordfight his way through hordes of enemies to rescue a Martian princess. It’s the kind of story that gives its main character a bright blue police box as his spaceship. Above all, it’s not worried about being taken too seriously.
That’s the kind of story you will find in Daniel Rodrigues-Martin’s ongoing book, The Quantum Fall of Thaddeus Archibald DuBois. It’s more worried about being fun than being smart, and thinks it’s okay to have a talking gorilla as its hero’s faithful partner in adventure.
I am a huge fan of sci-fi and fantasy (as you can see from the kinds of things I review on this site). Chances are that you are too, since no genres belong to the geeks more than those. And while I love all kinds of stories, I’m biased toward those that have a heart of philosophical truth coated in a sweet, chocolatey layer of pure fun. I want to read about dapper circus strongmen bestowing upon young heroes swords forged by Japan’s most legendary swordsmith before going to meet the pirate Blackbeard. (Yes, that is the story in Quantum Fall, or part of it; there’s way too much to give a good and concise summary here.) This is the kind of story that feels like it was written for me.
The eponymous hero of the story, Thaddeus Archibald DuBois, is good company. He’s not necessarily the main character—our viewpoint character is traveling with him, kind of like how Doctor Who’s* companion joins him on his adventures. But Thaddeus is the one who is most likely to catch your eye and make you glad you spent the money on this story, instead of going to McDonald’s to buy the latest girl’s Happy Meal toy because the ponies are back. (Actually, the episodes of Quantum Fall are even cheaper than a McDonald’s toy and will bring magic-loving grown-ups far more enjoyment.) Thaddeaus is charming, wise, funny, and just over-the-top enough that you feel like you need to see what he says and does next.
Also, for the single guys out there: I can’t prove this, but I feel like my time spent with Thaddeus has actually increased my masculinity by at least 2%. I’m not certain, nor am I making any promises here, but I welcome the testimonies of others in this matter.
The other characters are also people you’d want to spend time with. Since most of us have more ordinary everyman in us than Victorian adventurer, chances are we’ll identify with Daniel, the viewpoint character, as he’s swept along by forces greater than himself. His voice throughout the story is one of the main sources of its humor and quirky charm. Hastings the gorilla needs to be on boxes of breakfast cereal right now. And I can tell you with confidence that I plan to vote for “Catgressman Ron Paul” next year; we need more felines in political office.
There’s plenty of quirky humor in Quantum Fall. It actually made me laugh out loud a couple of times, which is no mean feat to accomplish with nothing but words on a page. And during those pages that didn’t manage to make me laugh, I was usually smiling. That may be the best thing I can say to recommend it: this is a story that makes me smile.
It’s a good read for Christians as well, though it’s by no means a “For Christians Only” sort of story. If you like your fantasy without uncomfortable incestuous sex scenes, or if you want your sci-fi without not-so-subtle anti-faith morals, you will feel at home here. It doesn’t read like a Gospel tract either; it manages to feel infused with the grace of God without ever being “preachy.”
For geeky Christians looking for a fun adventure that costs considerably less than a Hot Topic keychain, with quirky characters that you enjoy spending time with, and smart fantasy/sci-fi sprinkled in next to talking gorillas and cat puns, I highly recommend The Quantum Fall of Thaddeus Archibald DuBois.
And follow the writer, our very own Daniel Rodrigues-Martin on his Facebook page, for the latest updates on Quantum Fall.
*I realize the hero of Doctor Who is called “the Doctor.” I just wrote that title to annoy my fellow Whovians.
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