John Golden is a debugger: He goes inside the computer systems of his corporate clients to exterminate the gremlins, sprites, and other fairies that take up residence. But when he gets a frantic call from Serpentine Systems, a top-of-the-line anti-fairy security company, John finds out he's on much more than a simple smurf-punting expedition. With the help of his sarcastic little sister Sarah (currently incarnated in the form of a Dell Inspiron) and a paranoid system administrator, John tackles Serpentine's fairy problem. But the rabbit hole goes deeper than he thinks, and with the security of all of the company's clients in danger, there's more at stake this time than John's paycheck!
The John Golden series is from the creative mind of Django Wexler, author of the Flintlock Fantasy, The Thousand Names and The Shadow Throne (Shadow Campaign series from Ace/Roc), and The Forbidden Library by Kathy Dawson Books. Django says, "This book [Freelance Debugger] is intended for SF fans with a sense of humor, and people familiar with IT and technical support will probably get an additional layer of fun out of it. I think World of Warcraft gamers will especially enjoy Book Two, Heroes of Mazaroth, out later this year...".
©2014 Django Wexler (P)2014 Audible Inc.
"It's the perfect urban fantasy for computer geeks, with its IT jokes and references, but it's also fun for those who are not... It's quick, it's entertaining... (The Bibliosanctum)
There is nothing exciting about working IT. Nothing. Django Wexler found a way to make it exciting though, and all he had to do was throw in a metric ton of sci-fi and fantasy to do it. Sounds about right. It's hard to pin down, but I suppose if you took The IT Crowd, threw in some Johnny Mnemonic, then you might wind up with John Golden: Freelance Debugger.
It's less than a hundred pages, and the Audible version I listened to clocked in under two-and-a-half hours. And the story just whizzes by with action and snark galore.
So imagine a world in which faeries are real and they have a knack for infecting technology. Enter John Golden. He's like a Ghostbuster ... well, a Faebuster. Just a blue-collar guy with a particular set of skills and his sister, Sara, backing him up on the job. While managing to provide a good amount of tension and daring do through the course of the novella, things are kept fairly light as far as tone goes. A lot of witty repartee between John and Sara, especially with her serving as a bit of a narrator or voice of reason through a series of footnotes that complement the story.
Kevin T. Collins and Jorjeana Marie do a great job bringing the characters to life with an instant chemistry that has them, if not battle weary siblings, at least a familial bond in battle.
There's a second John Golden book, which I'll be reviewing soon, and after that who knows. I'd like to think Wexler has more stories in this universe to come, because if not then this is a cruel tease of what might have been.
I liked the idea of the collision of fairies and tech and cyber security. Also liked the characters and the writing style. Plus the two character narration with comments inserted by Sara in between John's narration makes for nice humor. Only issue was that the person doing John's part seemed to be asking question more than saying things. Like, everything he said had this tone of questioning or doubt. Still, fun overall. But the book was way too short for any sort of proper plot.
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