Magic 2.0: Off To Be The Wizard - Scott Meyer

Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Synopsis: 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.


Review: Brilliant. Absolutely, hilariously fantastic. You're gonna need to whip out your nerd sense of humor for this one but as long as you've got that handy, you should get quite a few giggles out of this book. Thank god it's only the first in the series, because I need more. This novel actually walks a comedic tight-rope between the fantasy and sci-fi genres, and precariously leans from one direction to the other from beginning to end, firing off witty comments at every step.

Martin Banks has, essentially, found the source code to The Matrix. And this novel is what happens when a real nerd finds it, instead of Keanu Reeves. If we're all a computer simulation - who is running the program and why? Pfft! Who cares?! There are bank accounts to be adjusted and floors to violently vibrate three feet above in a crude attempt at flying! You don't need to be a computer nerd to 'get' this novel - Meyer knows well enough what he's talking about to make his concepts comprehensible to anybody. However, it might be an indicator that you have the necessary sense of humor if you are one. Don't expect the depth and intensity most fantasy will exhaust you with - this is a lighthearted bit of fun.

When the novel switched setting to medieval England, I wasn't sure if it would delve too far into standard fantasy territory to keep appealing to me, but no - despite the medieval setting, the fact that the source of a wizard's power is also the source code of the world keeps the sci-fi elements sufficiently in the running to make this a superbly original premise with thoroughly satisfying exceution. However, Martin must first figure out how to become a wizard - and good lord is it entertaining to watch him learn. The characters are not the strongest element in this book - Meyer's matter-of-fact writing style is. It won't be to everyone's taste - it's pretty deadpan (feelings are not the point here, absurd entertainment is), but it's just so creative and sharp that I can't help but love everything about it. A ridiculous, riproaring, rollicking good read.

Rating: 5/5

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