Happy…Black Friday? No. That sounds wrong. I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Mine was full of turkey trotting through DC, where I made this face in front of the Capitol:
I know. Sexy, right?
And then we watched the end of the Macy’s Parade, and watched most of the dog show, and I prepped green beans while tolerating the smell of hard boiled eggs (I still love you Nicole), and then snuggled my baby niece for a while who has the perfectly round smiling face of a Gerber baby. I had our traditional family cranberry daiquiris, finished cooking my green beans (Recipe: prep beans, mince garlic, boil beans for 13 minutes, strain, toss with salted butter and lots of minced garlic. You’re welcome), and then sat down to eat a magnificent feast. Later as we put the girls to bed, I broke their hearts by reading the last two chapters of Anne of Green Gables. So sad.
Anyways – the point is that I’m still in a holiday-brain sort of attitude, so it makes sense that I would be talking about the book Off to Be the Wizard, because it’s one that I read while on vacation recently. And when I say I read it on vacation, I mean the entire thing, start to finish, on a trip that was not just about sitting down and reading a book. It’s one that my brother had recommended to me a while back as a fun, nerdy, quick read. And then a couple months ago I entered a Goodreads giveaway for a kindle copy of the book…and I won! It was very exciting, and so it seemed like the perfect sort of mindless read for a couple hours on a plane.
And then I sort of blew through the book that fast. It’s very enjoyable. I think I’ve mentioned my favorite literary trope before – the one where someone goes shopping/sets up house? There’s a lot of that in this book. There’s also a quirky look at technology and society, and the kind of people who would find a…
Wait. The plot. There’s totally a plot. Martin Banks is an intelligent young man with a boring job who likes to mess around doing some light hacking in his spare time. In the course of things, he finds this computer file that changes the world around him – literally, as he sort of figures out how to do magic? Things go pear-shaped quickly, and he escapes to another place and time, only to have things slowly go wrong again. I really don’t want to spoil too much, because it’s a fun read that’s more about the discovery than it is anything else.
So what can I say about the book? It’s a quick read. It’s fun – especially for those of us with a nerdy disposition. It’s part of a series, so if you want to read MORE books on the subject afterwards, you can, but it is also self-contained, so you’re not going, “UGH – CLIFFHANGERS.” It’s full of ridiculous pop-culture references that again, those of us with the nerdy dispositions will enjoy. And did I mention the quick read part of it?
This book is not for everyone. If what I’ve said sparks your interest at all, you’ll probably enjoy it. If you don’t like fantasy, or technology, or scenes with shopping/setting up house, you won’t be interested. But for the rest of us, this book is the perfect story to cozy up with on a lazy holiday weekend.
Details: Off to Be the Wizard, by Scott Meyer. First published 2013 by 47North.
PS – I just discovered my copy may have something called Kindle in Motion that I’ve never heard of, and now I’m going to have to go back and look at my copy again to see if there are illustrations that move!!!