Amazingly Avoidable Adventures of Hammerbang and Rice

Precarious Chronicles Book One

Fiction - Fantasy - General
312 Pages
Reviewed on 01/15/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite

Amazingly Avoidable Adventures of Hammerbang and Rice by Michael G. Temple is the first installment of the Precarious Chronicles series. With her unique gift of invisibility, Rice is the best cat burglar in the kingdom of Precarious. However, her hitherto unbroken record of successful burglary comes to a halt the night she tries to rob Hammerbang the wizard. He prevents Rice from pilfering her targeted object, a painting that also carries a powerful spell. Intent upon learning the secret of invisibility, he offers to assist Rice in her missions. Hammerbang’s potent spells help them dodge a few unwanted circumstances. The only downside is they also release various extra-dimensional monsters among the unsuspecting populace of Precarious. The duo must eliminate these fiendish side-products of their spells before proceeding further.

Amazingly Avoidable Adventures of Hammerbang and Rice is a quirky tale of magic, fantasy, and adventure. The hilarious names Michael G. Temple assigned to the cities and ports of Precarious made me laugh out loud. The odd pairing and the resultant good-natured bickering between Hammerbang and Rice kept the story amusing. Their never-ending escapades involving misshapen corpses, endlessly thirsty vampires, and scimitar-wielding bipedal wolves will mesmerize readers. Despite the plot-driven narrative, Temple’s portrayal of the characters made them endearing. I loved Rice’s determination to live life on her terms and Hammerbang’s reluctance to compromise his integrity at any cost. The book ended on a cliff-hanger that will make readers yearn for the sequel. I recommend this book to readers who appreciate the fantasy genre.

Romuald Dzemo

Amazingly Avoidable Adventures of Hammerbang and Rice is the first entry in the Precarious Chronicles by Michael G. Temple. Rice is a thief for hire and life gets even more exciting when she acquires the magical gift of making herself invisible. When she meets the wizard Hammerbang, he offers to teach her some more spells and all he asks in return is that she allows him to watch how she manages to disappear. Thus begins a special bond between the two characters and an exciting journey filled with mischief. But when an incantation goes wrong and the life of the island is threatened, they must remedy the situation and fast. But can they make things right?

This is a gorgeous, humorous tale for fans of adventure and magical stories. The story opens with the description of the characters and the author writes them with the kind of quirkiness that compels readers to follow the characters. The details are abundant and they add depth to the story, touching on elements of the setting and character traits as well as the scenes. The character traits are well-written and they fit the personalities. The peculiarities of the town in which the story takes place are well-captured. The reader is introduced to a world that is almost lawless, and as they move from Precarious it becomes a land of fewer laws the farther north one goes into the Hinterlands. The story has strong plot points and Michael G. Temple takes the reader through the thrill of following a skilled thief to relishing magic to watching the powerful characters caught up in a crisis they never saw coming. The writing is cinematic, composed of scenes that evoke vivid imagery. Amazingly Avoidable Adventures of Hammerbang and Rice is a pulsating story by an author who has an exceptional gift for humor and entertainment.

Foluso Falaye

"You are the sneakiest of sneaks. You can see them, but they can’t see you." Michael G Temple brings together two interesting characters in Amazingly Avoidable Adventures of Hammerbang and Rice: a gifted thief and a powerful wizard. When Rice (a thief for hire) tries to steal from Hammerbang (the wizard), she has no idea that she is invisible, which the wizard later reveals to her. In exchange for letting Hammerbang study her with his wizard glass when she uses invisibility, he promises to teach her some spells. However, they discover that the world is empty and instead of humans, some extra-dimensional beings and dangerous creatures roam about: bandits, spider-beasts, shamblers, demons, witches, vampires, archers, wolfmen, necromancers, and many more. Will Rice and Hammerbang find a way to reset the world?

You never know what to expect in Amazingly Avoidable Adventures of Hammerbang and Rice, which is Book One of the Precarious Chronicles. The adventure-themed plot is mixed with many random fantastical creatures, putting the protagonists in different fight-or-flight scenarios that had me on the edge of my seat and eager to see how the protagonists would make it out. Since staying to fight means learning how to defeat each creature according to their weaknesses, I enjoyed reading about the details of the many supernatural enemies. Also, I loved how one of the main characters is depicted as someone with a conscience, in spite of her questionable line of work, and a feminist who wants to use her gifts to make a statement that women should be given the same opportunities as men. Michael G Temple's book is recommended to readers seeking a humorous and adventurous fantasy.

Rabia Tanveer

Amazingly Avoidable Adventures of Hammerbang and Rice is the first book in The Precarious Chronicles by Michael G. Temple. Our protagonist Rice is a freelance thief who is ready to learn some new tricks to make her work easier. Just becoming invisible is not cutting it for her, so she teams up with a wizard called Hammerbang. He will teach Rice new spells, and she will allow him to figure out how she turns invisible. However, they have no idea of the challenges that lie ahead of them. They have to fight off strange creatures who seem to be very intelligent. Rice and Hammerbang might not be ready for the adventures that are waiting for them.

The descriptions are magical. Michael G. Temple lures readers in with the promise of adventure from the very first sentence and never lets the reader down. The story picks up momentum from the beginning, and the action remains relentless until the end. Rice is the kind of protagonist that takes up space inside the mind of the reader and stays with them for a long time. Her relationship with Hammerbang is unique. They are not the best of friends, and their relationship is a work-in-progress. They don’t fully trust each other, but they are ready to make things work to survive. The circumstances around their meeting add to the buildup of their relationship. I find the complex plot to be the highlight of this novel. The dialogues are crisp, the descriptions are rich, and the overall feel of excitement is great. The story is intriguing enough to make readers look forward to more. I cannot wait to see what else Michael G. Temple has in store for Rice and Hammerbang. Amazingly Avoidable Adventures of Hammerbang and Rice is a brilliant start to a new series.

Vincent Dublado

Book One of the Precarious Chronicles presents the Amazingly Avoidable Adventures of Hammerbang and Rice. Author Michael G. Temple introduces us to two characters whose adventures may well become a part of your fantasy reading fare. Rice is the best thief in the business, with a thieving career that dates back to her cat burglar years in her native Southlands. If you covet someone’s possession and are willing to pay dearly for someone to steal it for you, Rice is the person for the job. When she accepts a job from Xendor from the Hinterlands, outside a town named Frostbite, she has to steal a painting from a little man named Hammerbang in exchange for a promise of gold. The heist turns out to be favorable for both the thief and the painting owner. Rice can make herself invisible, and Hammerbang is a wizard who offers to teach her more if she allows him to study her abilities. Little do they know that their partnership will soon become a force to contend with when an incantation goes awry.

The Amazingly Avoidable Adventures of Hammerbang and Rice is a great story in which to invest your reading time with a promising new fantasy series. It is enjoyable how Michael G. Temple develops his characters from the first page to the last, and this is best explored in the mentor-mentee relationship between Hammerbang and Rice. And just when you think that this thief and wizard duo has faced the worst to save the inhabitants of their island, you'd better buckle up because this is just the first installment. This book is highly recommended to anyone seeking great fantasy thrills. It is a very entertaining journey that is hard to put down. It is the type of story that you can read in one sitting if you have nothing else to do.