Primary Genre(s): Science Fiction, Fantasy, Time Travel
Published: 22 March 2013 by Rocket Hat Industries (originally)
Page count: 373 (paperback)
My Format: Physical book I own
Do I Recommend: Yes
Commission Link: Buy Off To Be The Wizard
My rating: ★★★★☆
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.
Someone suggested this book to me about 2 years ago and I purchased a copy equally long ago. Unfortunately, it sat on my shelf for a while since I tend to read ebooks and audiobooks far more frequently than physical books. I now wish I hadn’t waited so long to read it! Here are my pros and cons for Off To Be The Wizard:
- Cute title.
- There is a reference to Ren & Stimpy in the book! I LOVED Ren & Stimpy! (Please tell me I’m not the only person old enough to remember that cartoon!) There are some other 80s references as well. LOVE IT!
- I really like time travel books… even humorous and ridiculous ones (which this is). I am also a big nerd and I love King Arthur stories. It is like this book was written just for me! LOL!
- The concept is clever in my opinion. Yes, there are bits and pieces that may require a small dose of “suspension of belief”, but overall the concept makes reasonable sense. If you appreciate the humor of the book and don’t get caught up in the science of the book, you will find yourself enjoying some crazy characters and a ridiculous story!
- This book addresses some of the typical time travel moral dilemmas (e.g., how or will the future be impacted if things are changed in the past) and it does so in the most ridiculous ways!
- While the story incorporates details about how Martin is able to time-travel, it actually doesn’t get too technical. There really isn’t anything you need to know about programming or hacking to understand how the time travel in the story works. Real computer programmers may pull their hair out at the absurdity of it all, but the absurdity is what made it enjoyable for me.
- The relationship between Martin and his Wizard Mentor in Medieval England was great. There was plenty of snark between the two men that was hilarious.
- I don’t like the cover. The pixelated and cartoonish image makes the book look like Minecraft reference material or a middle grade book and it isn’t either of those. I would bet that many people who would enjoy this novel would have or actually have ignored this book because it looked juvenile.
- I think the story started with a bang, but slowed down a bit in the middle (although funny, there was a lot of wizard training!). Fortunately, it picks back up so don’t give up if you think it gets a bit slow as well.
If you read this book and accept it for what it is meant to be – a humorous, entertaining, science fiction time-travel tale – I think you will enjoy this book. If you go in expecting serious science fiction, a treatise on time-travel, and an accurate depiction of Medieval England you will likely be disappointed. This book wasn’t written to be groundbreaking literature or a Pulitzer Prize winner, and I’m guessing the author would agree with that. However, it was written to be a goofy, ridiculous, humorous book and in that regard it excels!
This book is the first book in a series of six and I am anxiously awaiting the second book from my local library!
If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: Buy Off To Be The Wizard. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
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(image from Goodreads)