Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sharing is Caring - Books: "Off to Be the Wizard" by Scott Meyer

"Off to Be the Wizard" by Scott Meyer is one of the best books I've read these past few months, let alone one of my (now) favorite Fantasy/Sci Fi novels ever written.  Filled with humor, wit, sorcery, computers, time travel, wizards, law enforcement, WWE wrestling, and Pink Floyd - there is no story quite like this one.  However, it will remind you of some of your favorites that have been told before. 

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.

Following Martin along his adventure of discovering a hidden text file buried deep within a huge conglomerate's server system (hacked by our feisty, yet lazy, protagonist) will have you imagining what you would do if you found a file that could change your reality, as well as everything around you.  However, with all great power comes great responsibility, and Martin seems to forget that as he takes his new "power" to a whole new level.  What better way to avoid  jail time?  Why, travel to the Middle Ages of course!  Figuring he could impress and amaze all of the English yokels with his new power, Martin takes off for the Cliffs of Dover, and finds that...maybe not is all as it seems.  Being inducted into a group of "wizards", Martin starts his training to become a full-fledged master of his powers with the help of small-time local wizard Phillip, seamstress Gwen, and a few other wizards through the English countryside.  Not to mention being able to sit and meet with the ancient wizard Merlin.  Martin continues through his training and finds himself up against the hardest test he has to face - a test of his powers and his control of them.  If he fails, he will be hog-tied, sent back to the time and place that he left (where the cops are still banging on his door to get to Martin) and be stripped of any access to the file forevermore.

Does Martin succeed?  Does Martin learn all he needs to know in time?  Does he impress Merlin and the other wizards?  Or does he end up hog-tied in the middle of his living room?

I guess you'll have to read to find out!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  From the great character descriptions, to the fun way Martin discovers the file (and the antics that follow in his tests regarding how much he can alter), I was hooked on this story from beginning to end.  I would laugh consistently throughout, and find myself relating to each character in certain ways.  Martin is enjoyable, and one I think all of us can relate to in some fashion.  He enjoys impossible tasks but doesn't feel the need to get up from his home computer to achieve them.  Martin's eventual wizard trainer, Phillip, reminds me of a younger Michael Caine - with his British pomp and circumstance, but still holding on to the true geek within.  Each chapter of this book was enjoyable, and I was never dissatisfied with the flow of the story, nor the outcomes in the end.  I picked up the second novel in the series as soon as I finished the first one, and have been enjoying it ever since.

"Off to Be the Wizard" is written by Scott Meyer, author and creator of the blog Basic Instructions. Scott has been a radio DJ, a stand-up comic, a writer for video games, an office manager, a pretend ghost bellhop, a cartoonist, and has now written a novel. He and his wife live in Florida, to be close to their cats.

The book was such a large success for Scott that he was approached by 47North, Amazon's Science Fiction/Fantasy publishing company, to produce a trilogy based off of the characters and adventures of the main characters.  The Magic 2.0 series has released "Off to Be the Wizard" and "Spell or High Water," with "An Unwelcome Quest" set to be released in February 2015.

The original novel was turned into an audiobook as well, available from Audible.  The audiobook is read by Luke Daniels, who is an amazing voice actor, and performs perfectly for the roles and characters in the novel.  Luke is also the narrator for other books in the series.

To purchase "Off to Be the Wizard" by Scott Meyer, follow the link below for paperback, Kindle, and Audible purchasing!

Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆

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