Wednesday, January 28, 2015

'Off to Be the Wizard' by Scott Meyer (Book 1 of Magic 2.0)

Official Summary:

Martin Banks is just a normal guy who has made an abnormal discovery: he can manipulate reality, thanks to reality being nothing more than a computer program. With every use of this ability, though, Martin finds his little “tweaks” have not escaped notice. Rather than face prosecution, he decides instead to travel back in time to the Middle Ages and pose as a wizard. What could possibly go wrong?

An American hacker in King Arthur’s court, Martin must now train to become a full-fledged master of his powers, discover the truth behind the ancient wizard Merlin…and not, y’know, die or anything.


With a kitschy title, an 8-bit cover graphic and playful description I just couldn't resist - can I go so far as to say this book won me over because it's adorable? Of course I can because my blog = my rules. Can't say that a book is adorable too often... in fact this might be the first time in my entire life I've gone and done that. Although, come to think it, I'm not in the business of reviewing children's books. It probably comes up a lot more in that genre. So, let's all agree that the word 'adorable' isn't used much with books marketed to adults and leave it at. (/tangent)

'Off to Be the Wizard' is not a stuffy, inaccessible nerd-fest like you might want to think. Heck, I almost missed out because immediately following the thought that this title was totally adorable (see above) was the thought that anything this cute has got to be so heavily infiltrated with geek references that I wouldn't be able to get past a few pages without wanting to hurl it against a wall.* In fact, the author does a great job at keeping the story light without letting it float away.

My one and only complaint is for roughly 30 pages, the middle of the book borders on the edge of fluff filler. So much so that I almost feel like it could have been cut out completely without consequence to the overall storytelling. Outside of that though, the title starts and finishes on high notes that kept me interested and I'll probably be throwing book 2, 'Spell or High Water' onto the T.B.R. pile.

Bottom Line: 'Off to Be the Wizard' isn't just a cute cover with a catchy title. It's a good story with a surprisingly thought provoking premise. If you've ever attended a comic con, PAX or something like it, then I think this title is right up your alley.  

*Proverbially of course - I can't go hurling my Kindle against a wall. It might break, and then I'd be sad. 

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