Jun 10, 2013: I’ve been struggling with the idea of writing this review for a while, and putting it off as I read more and more chapters, hoping that I’d finally be able to connect with this story. I finally came to the conclusion that it’s just not my thing, but it may work for others.
The story follows three elves, the nominal main character Baughb, the nerdy and courage-impaired Airek, and Airek’s best friend, Filis, who is in most ways the opposite of her friend. The story itself actually starts out as a web comic and goes over to a web fiction in the 87th chapter, which caused me a bit of confusion when trying to navigate the site (link goes to most recently published chapter, rather than the beginning, so when I clicked on the ‘begin’ link, having a text story that starts as a webcomic made me think I kept ending up in the wrong place).
Elf Life reads like a fantasy parody, in my opinion. Airek and Filis are elves in a more modern village, living in a time of peace with their neighbors, while Baughb is an old hero from the more warlike past that got thrown forward into the future due to . . . bad luck, sort of.
As the story developed, it felt to me that the characters seemed to be there mostly to be mocked, which made it hard for me to connect with any of them. The numerous enemies Baughb gained during his past exploits keep showing up to carry out plots against him, but they all appear to be just as inept as Baughb, who’s something like a bull in a china shop no matter where he goes.
The names of the characters should have clued me in, I guess, since in the main they’re puns (the elves’ being essentially different spellings of common American names, and the bad guys’ usually being a pun on how inept they are – such as ‘Phoeble’ or ‘Ozmiander’). It was a bit funny at first, but after reading more than ninety chapters of Baughb bumbling around, Airek following shrinkingly behind him, and Filis trying to save the day, and the same jokes over and over (Baughb’s ineptness, the villains’ buffoonery, the attempts to kidnap one or another of the party that go awry, and the attempts of the others to get them back) just wore thin for me.
Technically, I have nothing but compliments for the story. The art that the story starts off with is excellent, and the writing that the story continues with is fairly polished. For anyone that has fond memories of Bored of the Rings, I would definitely recommend this story for you, but unfortunately it’s not really my cup of tea.
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