There's an ever growing pile of books I want to read…
A Week of Reviews – Monday
I’ve been reading a lot lately (on my super-long new commute to work) but I have completely failed at finding the time to write reviews. It started with Mogworld, which I read a little over two weeks ago but have put off reviewing because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. Failing to review Mogworld meant that a small pile of books built up behind it to review. How could I just skip it and move on to reviewing the next book in the pile? That seemed wrong and unfair.
Even the longest journeys have to start somewhere, right?
Let’s review Mogworld.
Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw
I picked this book up almost entirely because of Yahtzee’s Zero Punctuation video game reviews on The Escapist website. He’s always seemed like a dry, funny, genre-savvy guy (or, in other words, a critic) so I was expecting his take on fantasy to be equally dry, funny and genre savvy and, I feel sad even typing it, but I was a little disappointed.
It’s not that I didn’t think that the idea behind the book was clever, because I did. The story centres on the Undead and unable-to-die mage Jim, who has been looking for a way back to death since he was brought back by necromancer Dreadgrave. Things aren’t quite right in his fantasy world, and it’s up to Jim to save it. The trouble is that Jim’s no hero and things aren’t quite what they seem.
Once I started to see what was actually going on, I really did think it was a clever idea, especially the way that the book dealt with it. There were also lots of clever moments to make gamers and fantasy nerds laugh and I thought that the ending was great.
I think my problem was the book was a little too genre-savvy for it’s own good. I almost felt like Yahtzee was trying to cram in every possible fantasy and RPG cliché and that sometimes it happened at the expense of other things. There was one running gag that I wished would just give up after its first appearance and I found Jim’s companions quite one dimensional and Jim himself pretty repugnant, although he had sort-of grown on me by the end.
If you play a lot of RPGs, you’ll definitely get a kick out of this story. Otherwise, it might not be for you.