The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear (Zamonien #1)

The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire, #2)

The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers
Pub­lisher: Overlook TP
Pages: Paperback, 704 pages
Series: Zamonien
Pub­li­ca­tion date: August 29th 2006

Captain Bluebear tells the story of his first 13-1/2 lives spent on the mysterious continent of Zamonia, where intelligence is an infectious disease, water flows uphill, and dangers lie in wait for him around every corner.

"A bluebear has twenty-seven lives. I shall recount thirteen and a half of them in this book but keep quiet about the rest," says the narrator of Walter Moers’s epic adventure. "What about the Minipirates? What about the Hobgoblins, the Spiderwitch, the Babbling Billows, the Troglotroll, the Mountain Maggot… Mine is a tale of mortal danger and eternal love, of hair’s breadth, last-minute escapes." Welcome to the fantastic world of Zamonia, populated by all manner of extraordinary characters. It’s a land of imaginative lunacy and supreme adventure, wicked satire and epic fantasy, all mixed together, turned on its head, and lavishly illustrated by the author.

I enjoyed reading The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear in the beginning. However, after making progress with the book, I started to lose interest.

The characters are extremely unique to say the least. The world concepts are amazing, but the storytelling is far from good. The book needs a serious cleanup, say four hundred pages erased. I felt like more than half of it was pure filling. A bunch of chapters were useless, they had nothing to do with the story and the book could easily live without them.

The story lacks consistency; it feels like a to-do list rather than a story. I woke up today at 8 am, ate some yogurt for breakfast, took the bus to work, shot my boss is the face with my shotgun, and then took a dump on his desk.

The things I love the most about The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear are the illustrations. Walter Moers is a very skilled artist, and he managed to create a very interesting universe. I think Walter Moers needs some work on his storytelling, since this is his weakest point from what I’ve observed.

2.5 stars

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