Emperor Mollusk. Intergalactic Menace. Destroyer of Worlds. Conqueror of Other Worlds. Mad Genius. Ex-Warlord of Earth. Not bad for a guy without a spine. But what's a villain to do after he's done... everything.
With no new ambitions, he's happy to pitch in and solve the energy crisis or repel aliens invaders should the need arise, but if he had his way, he'd prefer to be left alone to explore the boundaries of dangerous science. Just as a hobby, of course. Retirement isn't easy though. If the boredom doesn't get him, there's always the Venusians. Or the Saturnites. Or the Mercurials. Or... well, you get the idea. If that wasn't bad enough, there's also the assassins of a legendary death cult and an up-and-coming megalomaniac (as brilliant as he is bodiless) who have marked Emperor for their own nefarious purposes.
But Mollusk isn't about to let the Earth slip out of his own tentacles and into the less capable clutches of another. So it's time to dust off the old death ray and come out of retirement. Except this time, he's not out to rule the world. He's out to save it from the peril of the Sinister Brain!
©2012 A. Lee Martinez (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Kat at FanLit
Everyone knows that that the invertebrates of Neptune are the most intelligent minds in the galaxy. That’s how, years ago, a bored mollusk from Neptune was able to conquer the Earth and set himself up as Warlord. To subdue the planet he had to use a few nasty tricks such as doping the water supply with anti-aggression drugs, but now that he has all of humanity under his tentacle, Emperor Mollusk is actually a pretty swell guy and he has even developed a soft spot (or should I say “softer spot”) for planet Earth, though he’ll be quick to tell you that he’s not reformed — just retired. Nowadays, he spends most of his time tinkering in his laboratory and coming up with ways to solve Earth’s numerous problems. He fixed the energy crisis long ago and so far he’s been able to protect Earth from aliens from Mars, Venus, and Saturn. Pretty good for a slimy cephalopod that you could easily squash under the heel of your boot.
Unfortunately, most of Emperor Mollusk’s experiments on Earth tend to cause unexpected and dastardly consequences, and the emperor usually ends up needing to develop even more brilliant solutions to the problems he created. Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain is an account of the Emperor’s various adventures as he attempts to save humans from all the disasters that would not have befallen them if the Emperor had never set his slippery tentacle on the planet in the first place. Disasters such as an island of radioactive dinosaurs, giant fireants, missing countries, an anti-time radio, and the rampaging brain of Madam Curie. He even has to deal with assassins from Atlantis, killer scorpions, a clone of himself, and the sinister brain who wants to challenge him for world domination.
Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain, A. Lee Martinez’s newest novel, is a hilariously wacky story with a preposterous premise, impossible characters, and an absurd plot. I’m rather picky about humorous fantasy so I’m surprised that I enjoyed the non-stop comedy here, but Martinez has his pacing down and he knows exactly when to stop. I like Martinez’s bizarre situations and droll sense of humor, and he balances all of it with a well-developed protagonist who we can’t help but love, even though he’s slimy (literally) and he keeps telling us he’s an evil overlord.
Fans of Douglas Adams’ THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY shouldn’t miss Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain. Let me highly recommend the audio version produced by Audible Frontiers and performed by actor Scott Aiello. This was the first time I’d heard Mr. Aiello (he is a new narrator) and I was extremely impressed with his performance — he made the novel even funnier. He was absolutely perfect for this role and I look forward to hearing more from him in the future.
This book was so much fun to listen to. The narration is top-notch and really brings the story to life. One of A. Lee Martinez's best so far, second only to Divine Misfortune. I highly recommend, absolutely worth the credit.
I wrote a remarkably similar review for one of this author's other novels, but the same holds true here...
If you like Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, Robert Asprin, Christopher Moore or Terry Pratchett, then this is a mug of ale or glass of wine from the same brewery my friend. Some good ol' light-hearted fun.
I give things an up or down vote. It's pretty much I did or didn't waist my time reading it. I know that's a little simplified for done people but that's how i do it.
If you get this book and like it then try "Confessions of a D List Supervillain" 1st and then get "Soon I Will Be Invincible". Try them because I loved them just like this book. We need more books like these. These stories are just FUN!! that's the best way to describe it.....they may not win some snooty literary award but they will put a big fat smile on your face.
I love a good story no matter what kind it is, and to me a good story is more that just good grammar, tight structure, colorful characters, or intricate plots. A good story makes a reader care about it.
I always enjoy a story told from the viewpoint of an egotistical villainous super-genius. The tone is refreshingly free of angst and worry; just cold, calculated, clever, and often overly polite, dialogue. Emperor Mollusk is just so damn intelligent - and he knows it - and yet relate-able, I could not help listening to the entire book with a smirk or a chuckle just waiting to come out. That is a credit to A Lee Martinez; straddling the line between likable and dastardly can be tricky.
Perhaps much of my enjoyment from this book is delivered by Scott Aiello and his masterful performance. His range of voices is rather large and none of them sounded forced or out of place. And he absolutely nailed Mollusk. I felt I could actually hear the facial expressions through his performance - which is kind of ironic given the character himself states that his species' features are notoriously difficult to read.
The story itself was good, well told, and enjoyable. It wasn't particularly original, though, so I took some points off. I thought it was interesting that, despite the fact the story takes place on Earth (known as Terra in this book), there was almost a complete lack of human characters in it. There were Neptunians, Venusians, giant robots of all sizes, pterodactyls with lazer-vision, and a rather adorable cybernetically enhanced, giant killer-centipede and all of them were well-crafted by the author. So, while I do feel like this was a rather simplistic adventure, hopping from one sinister death trap to the next, I think that is exactly what the author intended it to be. It is what it is, and the author embraced every bit of it.
This was a funny, enjoyable, worthwhile listen and I would recommend it to anyone who likes Sci-fi.
I have, but I have not convinced too many to try it...yet.
The story was extremely fun and the cast performance was very fitting to the characters. Mr. Martinez has a touch of Adams in his delivery.
No, it was a great motivator to get the kids off to school on time. So we got an installment every morning!
The narrator was FANTASTIC. His tone, accents, use of voices, etc. made the experience
The attitude of the bored super-genius villain was a nice change of pace.
This is the first of his I have heard but I will put him on top of my list.
LOVED the narrator.
This book is definitely unexpected. With the evil overlord becoming the protagonist and fighting against an unknown entity, it becomes a "tongue in cheek" romp across a number of "Saturday Afternoon Movie" b-movie plots and unexpected twists. Giant Sea Creature, check. Extraterrestrial space mercenaries, check. Rampaging dinosaurs, check!
So sit back and enjoy, because Emperor Mollusk is at the wheel.
This was "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Creatures" but set in a 1950 b-movie lot.
Refined, british style of speaking that added life to the protagonist
Forget Earth, Emperor Mollusk is saving the Universe this time!
Favorite author: Alexander McCall Smith Favorite narrator: Gerard Doyle Favorite listen : Burton and Swinburne Trilogy
As far as comedy/ adventure books it is a great listen.The narrator puts on a good performance. The characters put me in the mind of bumbling cartoon evil geniuses like Wile E Coyote and Pinky and the Brain.
I just got done listening to Dimensions of Miracles which has been compared to HItchikers Guide to the Galaxy. Also reminded me of Voltaire's Candide. Stories about going all over the universe finding where you fit in. The Emperor Mollusk was on the same quest.
My favorite scene was when he came to a planet and announced that he had taken it over. The inhabitants of the planet said they would fight for it. And the Emperor was like "No need I have already taken over past tense." It showed a pattern with the Emperor Mollusk, because although his job was world conqueror he really did not like confrontation. LOL
Although not particularly moved, I may have been inspired. Because I too am not cut out for my job and I am sure nobody else feels that way. Basically, I was moved to tears from laughing nonstop.
When listening to the book I imagined that the mollusk was actually conquering worlds that were contained in a giant Aquarium. Something so small to us was like a universe to the mollusk.Or maybe in small part of a vast ocean. The point being is obstacles that seem small to us could be world changing to others. Also I imagined it like a Saturday morning cartoon
I am all in favor of farce and absurdity. I will admit that I have been wanting to read a book by Martinez for a while now and just haven't gotten around to it. Taking this audio version of one of his books was a good way to fit him into my schedule and be introduced to his books. I will also freely admit that it was the absurdity of the title which brought me along with my love of old time radio sic fi, which took concepts like Martinez's seriously - oh the 40's and 50's, when life was so much simpler.
So can Martinez compare to people like Pratchett, Adams, Holt? I will need more books to know, but I think this was a fun start. Aiello's narration and characterizations were good. I had read one review that wasn't kind to Mr. Aiello for another book, but I believe he did a good job of showing the pomposity of the main character, the barely contained fury of our heroes companion, and the fanaticism of the pulp antagonist. The secondary characters all had distinct voices and personalities that I felt were spot on.
Was the ending predictable? Yes, saw the big reveal from a mile away.
Was the book with it's "reformed" anti-hero still fun? You bet!
I'm looking forward to another trip into the odd mind of A. Lee Martinez and sharing his works with my daughter. 11 year olds and 40 year olds can both be delighted by this quick read (listen).
"Great book, well read."
I took a chance on this based on the sample, not having read anything by Martinez before, and came away impressed. It's a very fun book, quite unusual, and with a great lead character.
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