Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Comedy
Read Again? Yes
The Stuff of Legends continues right where the first book left off!
Cornelius and his half-pint friend Tuppe have a plan: they will modify an ocarina to add the special notes that will open the Forbidden Zones scattered around town. Then they'll open them one by one and liberate the loot hidden therein!
To this end, Cornelius shoplifts an ocarina and a young woman from a music shop. The trio hijacks an ice cream truck, which gains them a place to store loot and a PA system to boost the ocarina's signal.
In the meantime, one Inspectre Hovis is hoping to solve the Crime of the Century. This would involve the theft of a sizable quantity of diamonds years before which suddenly turned up scattered all over the road. His prime suspect is a cab driver who claims that he was minding his own business when a train--a TRAIN!--came barreling out of a solid wall and scattered those very diamonds all over the street. This really did happen, at the end of the first book.
In the meantime again, Team Cornelius open one of the Zones and find a wonderous car designed by The Man Himself, Hugo Artemis Solon Saturnicus Reginald Arthur Rune, master of the unpaid bill, guru of gurus, reinventor of the ocarina, hater of Bud Abbott.
They soon find themselves in Rune's very presence. He has a plan to enter the Forbidden Zones and destroy them utterly, to reveal the beings who lurk within and secretly control the lives of humanity!
At the same time, there is to be an enormous rock festival headlined by Gandhi's Hairdryer, Prince Charles meets an interesting young woman, the Queen is an alien, and the very forces of the underworld whom Rune wishes to reveal are working to keep him from succeeding!
I'd have liked this book more if I hadn't taken so long--several months--to read it. I kept putting it aside and forgetting it. No fault of Rankin's, just me doing other things and ending up too tired to read.