Book Review | The Doomsayer Journeys by Steve Wetherell


I’ve recently finished reading the four books of The Doomsayer Journeys by Steve Wetherell, and thought I’d start a new section of my blog where I’ll post my thoughts on what I’ve read. So in this inaugural edition of what will undoubtedly be a most irregular thing, I’ll be talking about the four books in the series:

I read the first three books in this series over six months ago, so I’m going back to my reviews I left on Amazon to fill in the gaps.

For the first, The Last Volunteer, I wrote:

I waited longer than I should have to read this book. I read the sample a few months back, but since I was in the middle of a different series this one went into my “to read” list and thought little more about it. I first learned of Mr Wetherell through his participation in the Authors & Dragons podcast, and after listening to his style of humour, his dry wit and turns of phrase, I took the plunge and bought this book.

My only regret was waiting so long to do so. Once I started it I ploughed through it over one weekend: he had me hooked. As soon as I had finished it I jumped onto Amazon and bought the next two books in the series.

He’s built up an interesting world full of intriguing characters and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

Do yourself a favour and buy a copy today.

And I still stand by this today. It was an incredibly fun book to read. The heroes of the story, Bip Plunkerton and Handen Strike, set out to warn the planet Bersch of their impending doom (because they’re doomsayers, you see) from the Massive Ball of Death. As expected they make a complete hash of it as they bumble about, generally making things worse for themselves.

Their adventures continue unabated through the next two books in the series, and along the way we’re introduced to Xharon, star of the fourth book. This is what I wrote at the time after reading books two and three:

I’ve enjoyed this series immensely and like the first book I couldn’t put this one down. I knocked through this one and the third instalment in one weekend, which gives some indication of how much I had to keep reading them.

By the end of the third everything in the Doomsayer story arc had been neatly tidied away, which is what you want from a series.

The fourth book meanwhile is set on the same world after the events of the third book, where the scantily clad vigilante known as Bluetit (aka Xharon) attempts to strike fear into the evildoers of Bersch. While it’s not necessary to have read the first three books before this one it certainly wont do you any harm, if for no other reason to get up to speed with the characters backstories.

I have to be honest and say I thought it weaker than the first three in the series so far. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but there just seemed to be a little something missing that the first three had.

Is it worth reading? For sure, please don’t think I’m saying not to. It’s just I need to be honest in my opinion.

I also noticed quite a few editing issues throughout the fourth book. I’ll admit it’s been over 6 months since I read the first three but I don’t recall there being so many issues in them. When I go back to re-read them, I’ll be sure to check.

It’s entirely possibly I may be becoming more attuned to spotting issues since I started my own writing journey. That said I don’t mark books down for errors that can be easily fixed. A dodgy paragraph spacing, a mistyped word here and there or a name not capitalized can jar a little while reading but not enough for me to warrant marking a book down for it.

Even the biggest names in the business still put out books with the odd typo. It’s just the nature of the beast. Hell, the last printed copy of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy I read was filled with them and they’ve been reprinted numerous times over the last almost 40 years.

In all, book 4 was a nice, easy read that continued the story of Xharon. I’m a big fan of her as a character. Her enthusiasm for being a comic book-styled hero is charming, and I will happily read any other stories featuring Xharon or any other characters from this universe.

Final Thoughts (or the TL;DR version)

As a series it’s well worth your time to read it. To quote myself: “Do yourself a favour and buy a copy today.”