The Vegan Charade by James Allinson

Book Description

Fast-paced satire for fans of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.

Now established in People Town, George is enjoying his new, civilised life. However, back in Dragonville trouble is brewing. 
A war has been declared! Sworn enemies, the Ogreton Ogres have heard that a huge, poncho-wearing dragon refuses to eat people and also, that it won’t let the other dragons eat them either. There can be only one explanation for this nature-defying dietary-finickiness: They have all gone soft! 
Tasked with averting the conflict, George is dragged back from his idyllic existence. His only hope is to convince the ogres that they’ve got it wrong; that dragons are still mental monsters who will happily gulp down anything put before them without making a huge fuss. But actual people-eating isn’t an option, because he’s a vegan, you know! 
Fortunately, People Town’s largest resident isn’t alone in his laborious, meat-free charade. The members of the Amateurish Amateur Dramatics Society / Production Company are waiting for their curtain call.
Will George’s thespian abilities be up to the challenge? Will he be able to find his motivation? Will all terrifying losses of self-control be strictly as per the script? Tickets available now!

My Review

I was sent a kindle version of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

The Vegan Charade is the second book in The Chickpea Chronicles series by James Allinson. It starts soon after the end of the previous story, The Quest for the Holy Hummus and camp vegan dragon George is now living in People Town, working happily as an organic chef at Farmer Fred’s, his favourite place in the whole world. He has also found himself a new hobby by joining People Town’s Amateur Dramatic Society. The author is merciless in his treatment of the stereotypical lonely members of the Amateur Dramatic society. In fact the whole story is imbued with the same irreverent wit I enjoyed in book 1.

Meanwhile, there is trouble brewing in Dragonville, the ogres of neighbouring Ogreton have heard rumours that dragons are not as fearsome as they thought and don’t even eat people. They want to take over Dragonville, since their leader believes the town is full of his favourite food – kale.

The ogres are a bureaucratic lot, compared to the chaotic dragons, and they are plagued by internal leadership battles and concerns about insurance claims, taxes and vocational training. To the dragons’ horror the ogres find out that they are allergic to pollen and are going to be able to use this information to their advantage in the war:

“The ogres discovered we’re all allergic to nature,” said Sandra very matter-of-factly. “Our intel – your Doris’ nephew and his tail-holding friends – suggests they’re stock-piling weapons of mass runny noses and red eyes, which they plan to use to incapacitate us. Without those drugs, we’re completely helpless.”

The mayor sends the fierce gang, the Dragonville Massive, to George to ask for his help. George has a tolerance for pollen due to all his flower arranging as a kid. They persuade George that they need his help to avert the war if he wants to save his beloved humans:

“If the ogres took over Dragonville, then they would be just on the other side of the hills from People Town. And because the ogres were much more mud-loving, cagoule-wearing, outdoorsy sorts than the concrete-loving dragons, they would likely ramble into People Town in less time than it took to bake a hedgehog.”

George is a likeable character on the whole, even if he does have some questionable vegetable-based habits and I was rooting for him to come up with a way to save his new situation in People Town, which he loves so much.

Indeed, he hatches a plan to prove to the ogres that he is a violent human-eating dragon after all and not a softie – a plan which will involve the AmDram people. Just when George thinks they have devised a suitable play that will make the ogres think he is a ferocious beast, attacking and eating humans, the attention craving director decides to add a role for himself which will turn the whole thing into a farce. 

Is the war averted? Do the ogres get the kale?  Will the humans survive the play? To find out you will need to read The Vegan Charade

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About the Author

James Allinson is a husband and father of two.

Initially a wannabe children’s author, James soon became sick of non-swearing heroes and the crushing restraints of morality and, driven by the maverick lack of focus that has dominated his entire life, stopped writing books for kids and instead started writing childish stuff for his own amusement. Fortuitously (for the world of literature although not necessarily his bank account), this resulted in the accidental birth of a hilarious – albeit apparently, unmarketable – comedic fantasy series about a poncho-wearing, vegan dragon named George.

Ideally, James would love his books to earn him a fortune, entertain his readers, and attract the absolute least number of violent threats possible (in that order).

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