Bonus Book Review Monday! Seeing as I’m not writing blog posts, I figured I’d get you an extra book review or two. Today, a bit of humor!

 

Dance of Chaos

Lazy, frivolous, conceited and totally self centred, Fiona MacDougall is not an asset to the workforce. When she applies for a transfer to the Infotech department of her company, she does so only in order to get an afternoon off work.

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Can she succeed in her challenging new job?

Can she save her little brother from the consequences of his evil deeds?

Will Moses do something embarrassing to the vicar’s leg again?

In this prequel to the acclaimed Gift of Continence, we see the hapless Fiona at work and in the bosom of her dysfunctional family.

 

My Review: 4 Stars

Written/Reviewed by Samuel Denberg

Fiona has decided to become a computer programmer, and save the world from evil aliens.

“The first big computer I ever saw was in a science fiction movie. It had kerzillions of flashing lights, and tapes going round and round. When it wanted to talk, it made a great booming voice come out of the ceiling, a bit like the Hollywood God. It talked freely, and even made jokes whenever it felt like it, without having to wait for anything as mundane as input.”

Clueless meets Bridget Jones in Fiona. An incredibly naive, optimistic, and big hearted klutz. Her boss is an addict who takes credit for her work. So, when she gets the chance to leave him behind and become a programmer she thinks her problems are behind her. Little does she know, they’re just beginning.

From asking an Aborigine if she is an Australian citizen, to shutting down the main frame computer when the low paper alarm sounds, Fiona’s life is one crazy, embarrassing and ever turbulent adventure. When she is not at work she tries to help her little brother, Patrick, hide his magazines from their always cleaning mother. This situation goes from bad to worse when Patrick’s Jesuit teacher finds him sharing dirty magazines with his class mates. In a fit of teenage self righteousness Patrick decides his older sister will help him get revenge. Meanwhile Fiona must keep her brother out of more trouble, hide from her boss who hates her, and perform a burial service for a plastic tarantula.

As an American I probably missed a lot of the Australian humor. That said, I found this book to be light hearted and very funny. The humor is over the top and unrealistic. Yet, close enough to reality that anyone can relate.

I rarely find this form of humor enjoyable, yet I had a great time following Fiona through one misadventure after another.

 

Here’s a Taste:

The next half-dozen or so branches weren’t really all that difficult, but then they started to look a bit thin. I wondered nervously if the next one would hold my weight. I remembered that I was a lot heavier than Moses. I looked down; the ground seemed to be a long way off. I looked up. This was a bad idea, as Moses, catching my eye, became excited and started scrabbling around on his tiny branch, dislodging all kinds of crap which fell into my face.

“Get a move on, Fiona, it’ll be dark before you get up there at this rate.”

It’s wonderful to have sympathetic family members to aid you in your endeavours.

“Darling, are you quite sure it’s safe?”

Safe? Who did she think she was kidding? From where I was, it seemed anything but safe. I wondered whose neck I would wring first if I got out of this alive. I scrambled up a couple more branches and stopped.

“Get on with it, Fiona. God, an arthritic old granny could climb a tree faster than that.”

“Hang on, I’ve got something in my eye.” I hoped it was only a bit of bark, and not an insect. It had occurred to me that there might be spiders in the tree. I finally managed to get the speck out of my eye. My hair was full of pine needles, and bits of crud that Moses had knocked down. I was less than halfway up.

“Oh God, I can’t bear to watch. She’ll kill herself. Patrick, you look and tell me what’s happening.”

“Well, she’s sitting on a branch about ten feet up. She looks mighty silly.”

“You shut up, you little rat. I asked you to go up and you were too chicken.”

“I was not!”

“Oh, yes you were. Patrick’s a scaredy cat, cowardy cowardy custard, your mother -” I stopped myself hurriedly, remembering that our mother was still there.

Another branch. They were closer together now, and they were all filled in between with little twigs and needles that brushed against my hair and got in my face. Something slipped down my back inside my shirt; I shuddered, and my foot slipped off the branch I was standing on. I clutched frantically at the nearest branch, and managed to stop myself from falling. With the other hand I managed to pull my shirt out of my waistband, and whatever it was fell out. I told myself firmly that it had only been a piece of bark.

I thought about giving up, but Moses was still up there crying, and Patrick was down there laughing. I tried an appeal to his better nature.

“Hey, Patrick?”

“Yeah?”

“If I get killed trying to climb this tree, then will you go up and get him?”

“Oh, yeah, sure, if you get killed.”

Damn. It’s so hard to negotiate without blackmail.

The rest of the climb was a nightmare. I snagged my shirt on a twig and ripped a great tear in it. Every time something brushed against my hair, I was convinced it was a huge spider. My clothes became more and more filthy and torn. At one stage I heard a ripping sound from my skirt, and knew with horrible certainty that the back seam had given way.

I finally got within about three feet of Moses, and I just knew that, if I got onto a branch even a millimetre thinner than the one I was on, it would break and send me crashing to earth, which was now so far down that I couldn’t even see it through the branches. Moses, presumably heartened by my presence, started wailing like a banshee. I pressed in closer to what I was fairly sure was still the trunk, and prayed.

“Moses? Puss, puss puss, puss, puss, come down to Mummy.”

I heard muffled sniggering from Planet Earth. I couldn’t imagine what Patrick thought was so funny. Moses looked at me as if he thought I was insane, and howled even louder.

I went up two more branches; they were bending like anything now. Finally, I could almost touch him if I stretched my arm right out. I held out my hand to him reassuringly. Moses stood up, arched his back playfully, and danced backwards up the branch. He stopped several feet away, sat down, and looked at me. I looked back at him.

As I climbed around to the other side, a branch finally did break. I shrieked, dangling by my hands, for the moment not even caring if I looked ridiculous. Finally, I managed to feel around and find another branch under my feet. I was soaked with sweat, and my shirt had given way under the arms. I was no nearer to Moses than I had been before.

I pondered the situation for several minutes. I had read somewhere that when you’re really stuck, you should reflect quietly, without pressing for a solution. Whoever wrote that had obviously never tried to get a cat out of a tree. After several minutes of quiet reflection, I was standing awkwardly on a very thin branch near the top of a pine tree, with a cat sneering at me from several feet away, a grazed knee, ruined stockings, half the seams on my clothes ripped open, three broken fingernails and God knew what in my hair. I decided it was better to press for a solution.

 

About the Author:

Tabitha Ormiston-Smith was born and continues to age. Trained in private investigation, computer science, philosophy, combat shooting, dog grooming, clinical aromatherapy, and many other fields, she stumbled into the most reproachable field of knowledge: law. As a repercussion, she’s become a lawyer. However, she miraculously managed not to become evil. How, you ask? By the same arcane magicks that cause her toilet to flush in the wrong direction.

That’s right, she’s from the underworld. Yes, they call it Australia, but we all know the truth. Dividing her time between her houses in Melbourne and the country, she is ably assisted in her editing business and her other endeavours by Ferret, the three-legged bandit.

Find Dance of Chaos on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dance-Chaos-MacDougall-Tabitha-Ormiston-Smith-ebook/dp/B00KNL0KLU

Or Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/443098

Connect with her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tabitha-Ormiston-Smith/137637486306612

And read her rants on her website: http://tormistonsmith.wix.com