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This is one of the best urban fantasy books I have read all year (and yeah, it is only March, but after several disappointing UF books the past few weeks, this was REFRESHING.)
This book will NOT appeal to everyone, hence my headline. There may be some people who aren't geeky who will find this book interesting if not excellent, but given the number of "in" jokes and references, you would be like a young child watching "The Simpsons", missing the allusions that make it a truly funny show. If you, when hearing the narrator quote Adam Baldwin (Jayne's "smellin' a lot of 'if' comin' off this plan) and you find yourself wondering which one of the Baldwin boys Adam is, this book probably isn't for you.
The protagonist is a 20-something barista/screen writer who becomes enmeshed in a magical world where one can gain short-term magical abilities by watching media (every geek's dream, right?) I won't go any further, as I do not want to give anything away, but I found the plot exciting, full of action scenes and intriguing, unique characters. One warning, there are several descriptions of teenage suicides, which might be a delicate topic for some, so be forewarned.
This is a fun romp if you don't over think (yes, I know, difficult for any card-carrying-geek) how the magic actually works (such as, why does Ree only start manifesting the talent after meeting Eastwood.)
I didn't want this to end and hope there are MANY more books of this caliber in the series.
Farhat does an excellent job bringing the characters to life.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
The story is off to a good start - I've only listened to the first few lines - but the recording is terrible! It fades in and out and is such a distraction I don't know if I'll be able to finish listening.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
I was looking forward to this book after I read about it elsewhere, and after downloading it I put it near the top of my "listening queue", that was until I started listening - Julia Farhat ranks as one of the worst narrators I've heard on audio books, and that's going back quite a few years (to when they were on cassette) - she reads the book as though a child is reading, with slight pauses between each word, and although some of her characterisation isn't bad, the reading of the descriptive parts is just painful
The book itself is an interesting idea, with magic being "powered" by the genres (sci-fi, fantasy, etc), and it being a "secret world all around us" (what isn't, these days), it could have been a geek's dream book, instead it's nearly ruined by the horrible narration, and I truly hope this was her first book and that she's got better over the other books she's narrated on here, because if this is her standard manner then I know I'll be avoiding those books (having listened to a few samples, some are better, but quite a few are in this tone)
Can the list of narrators be that limited that people come back to Julia from lack of availability, or is it that she's cheap compared to the others? Whatever the reasons, I know that I'll be listening to samples before buying, because I don't think I could make it though more books in this tone
Anyway, my advice would be to actually read this book rather than suffer through the terrible reading that this book has been subjected to - only buy this if it's on a deal, because as a full price book, you will probably be disappointed, and all because of the reading
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Actually, this probably deserves a little more than 3 stars, and on Amazon (where the scale is different) I'd give it 4. With the style settled, I suspect that the future novels in the series might be a little better. For the first time in a couple of books I am inclined to consider finding out.
On the plus side we have a feisty, geeky heroine who discovers that magic is real (and weird) and sets out on a quest to save people from forced suicide (and there's a twist, of course). I liked Rhi. I liked the conception behind it all. I liked the role-playing game references.
And there-in lies my issue. I didn't think it was going to be an issue, but damn it if I didn't find myself wondering whether White Wolf had considered suing over copyright. There have been other works of fiction which have sounded like someone lifted them right of the the pages of Mage: The Ascension (The Matrix, Dark City), but Geekomancy is pretty much a novelised version of the game. That is both awesome (it's a great game) and annoying.
In short, well worth a read, especially if you get all the pop-culture references. I'm very much hoping that Underwood's style will settle a little for the follow-ups, which I'll very probably put on my waiting list.