It's a simple story. Boy finds proof that reality is a computer program. Boy uses program to manipulate time and space. Boy gets in trouble. Boy flees back in time to Medieval England to live as a wizard while he tries to think of a way to fix things. Boy gets in more trouble.
Oh, and boy meets girl at some point.
Off to Be the Wizard is a light, comedic novel about computers, time travel, and human stupidity, written by Scott Meyer, the creator of the internationally known comic strip Basic Instructions.
Magic will be made! Legends will be created! Stew will be eaten!
©2013 Scott Meyer (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I would have enjoyed this book quite a bit when I was a pre-teen/teenage geek. If you are one now, then feel free to stop reading this review and go ahead and read & enjoy this series as light fiction. But as an adult I found the main character (and other characters), setting, and plot all disappointing. Has such a limited view of people, society, etc. that it is almost offensive in how insular and unaware it is (and yes, I am a white male geek!). As humorous SF/Fantasy it is supposed to be light, but falls short and just feels flat and contrived. My memory tells me that even Piers Anthony was better, and certainly this book is not even a pale echo of humor/parody as written by Terry Pratchett, John Scalzi, Connie Willis, Douglas Adams, Steven Brust, etc. Read those authors first, then don't come back to this book. (As for the narration -- it was good; light in tone befitting the materials. I would listen to other books read by Luke Daniels).
I already knew this would be at least half way decent with Luke Daniels narrating. He does an incredible of job of bringing life to the characters. But when I started getting into it, I realized this was a very smart and well written in terms of blending the modern day with magic. I thoroughly enjoyed the Matrix-esque ideas that were presented in a fun way.
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
When I picked this book up, it was on a whim. I wanted something light and fun in the midst of a sea filled with dark fantasy and zombie thrillers. Upon seeing the cover, it seemed to fit that bill. After reading the summary, I knew it was exactly what I was looking for.
Martin Banks isn't a hacker. He was just surfing around the internet one day and finds a random file, opens it up, stumbles across his name, and changes a few numbers; total happenstance. Martin continues to manipulate this file and ends up getting into some trouble. Having discovered he could travel through time with his new favorite app, he sets his sights on Medieval England with a ploy to become a powerful wizard! Upon his arrival, a very entertaining series of events unfold and bring to light something Martin had never considered; he's not the only person to have discovered the mysterious file. On his journey to becoming a master wizard Martin makes a lot of new friends, all of them very unique and extremely entertaining. He does however make an enemy or two, one of whom you may recognize; The legendary wizard of Camelot, Merlin. Not only does he does he ascertain that the fictional kingdom of Camelot is real and Merlin is serving them, he also goes on to unearth Merlin's dark plans to create a perfect world.
Prior to listening to this, I had only seen Luke Daniels' name. He's most well-known for his work on The Iron Druid Chronicles, which I have never read and is actually the narrator on a couple of other audio books in my library. After hearing this, they were definitely moved up on my list. The production quality was great, there were no background noises or sounds, and Luke delivered a fantastic performance. His impressive range and solid performance will keep him at the top of any audio book fan.
This story was a complete joy to listen to. It snagged my attention from the beginning and I could not pull away. Scott has built an interesting world filled with surprisingly deep characters that I think everyone would enjoy. He definitely has a knack for character building and a very good understanding of relationships and how people would genuinely interact. Not to mention how funny this book was. It had me laughing out loud at parts. It's mostly silly, slapstick humor but like I said before; I wanted a light, fun read. That is what this story is, blended with some characters you can't help but care about world where the possibilities are quite literally, limitless.
Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
JUST BECAUSE YOU CALL SOMETHING, SOMETHING, DOESN'T MAKE IT, IT.
If you like John Scalzi and Wil Wheaton, then you will love this. During the first hour, I thought this is cute, but it is going to grow old. Over nine hours later, I am still laughing. As the story grows, it gets funnier and more interesting. If you are driving be careful, you may miss your exit, it is that engaging.
TECHNICALLY I AM OLDER THEN YOU, I WAS JUST BORN LATER
I am 56 and barely understand computers, so this was not aimed at me, but I loved it anyway. It was a fun light book, with plenty of surprises. After a while some of the jokes become predictable, but they are still funny. There is a little Connecticut Yankee in here, an updated version. This has time travel, wizards, Lord of the Rings, orcs, etc...
SILENCE SO THICK, YOU COULD LEAN ON IT.
I can not say enough about Luke Daniels. His performance is above and beyond. This would be a great book to read, but I believe that Daniels makes it so much more. Don't miss out on this experience.
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ME EAT ANY OF THAT STEW?
I will be getting the sequels.
I listen to many audiobooks and review the ones I find most notable.
This book was hilarious. It was fun and funny. And Luke Daniels, as always, nails it. I was worried it was going to be ridiculous (in a bad way), but it turns out it was ridiculous (in a good way).
Dr. Nils Rasmussen
It's REALLY a shame that this book turned out the way it did. It has a fantastic plot and wonderful ideas but its execution is extremely lacking. Considering how great of an idea this book had, it could have been a new favorite of mine. What I found instead was corny narrative, poor dialogue, and obvious plot holes in what should have been a slam dunk.
I listened to the first 6 hours of this book, then just couldn't take it anymore.
I know how brilliant this book sounds, but pass on this one.
6.85 / 10.0
Could not hold my attention. Some very light writing that would probably attract much younger audience. And I enjoy many YA books.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
Audiobooks that are fun and funny are my favorites. Off to Be the Wizard is definitely fun and definitely funny. That's why I chose to listen to it, even though I knew nothing else about it or its first-time author. And that's what I liked about it.
But is was off the mark, not in the same league as its nearest relatives -- Mr. Penumbra, Ready Player One, Year Zero. There were too many logical inconsistencies within its internal logic, the voices were over the top -- in the end, a great premise somewhat squandered.
Most importantly, and I hope this isn't a spoiler (it is revealed early on), this is a time travel story in which nothing anyone does can affect the future outcome. Kind of pointless, no? I would definitely have found a way to make the future part of what was at stake. In addition, with time travelers arriving from different points in time, there is another missed opportunity in not setting more of the story in those times rather than mostly in medieval England.
Subtle voicings. Philip could have just been given an English accent, not an annoying over the top English accent. Jimmy is supposed to be smart, why does he sound so much like Ratso Rizzo? Thankfully, Martin sounds normal enough, otherwise the book would have been unlistenable no matter how good the writing.
Yes. It would still be fun and funny. And perhaps the filmmakers would make the proper changes to improve the story.
While the story definitely comes to a conclusion, the final minute or two unmistakably hints at a sequel. Hopefully the author himself can improve the story line in the next segment, and hopefully a new narrator can be found.
The story is mildly intriguing, not very believable, and predictable. There were several laugh-out-loud moments that made it worth it to me, though. The humor in this performance is about half due to the author, and half due to the great voice-acting job done by the reader. He really did a spectactular job with his over-the-top rendition of Philip the Wizard, among others. I'll definitely be on the lookout for other titles of his.
Was a little skeptical about whether I'd enjoy this or not, pleased to say my skepticism was entirely unfounded.
A witty and entertaining story, Luke Daniels does a fantastic job with character voices although his English accent is unfortunately not very good and as an Englishman myself is quite annoying, I can look past it and still enjoy the book because he is able to read in such a way that you know which character is which and get drawn in to the narrative. Very well done,.
I look forward to the second book and hope this gets picked up and turned into a TV comedy series or film franchise.
"Light and breezy, but could've been much more"
I think I expected a bit too much from this book and consequently it didn't quite deliver. The excellent reviews and innovative idea for the novel suckered me in, but I found it a bit wanting. Perhaps even a bit simplistic/childish (although what should I have expected, I hear you ask!?).
The story was a very straight-forward A to B affair and the humour never got beyond me thinking it was amusing, rather than actually laughing out loud. I think I was just a bit underwhelmed by it all, to be honest.
Having said that, it was in no way a bad listen and I'm still thinking about getting one of the follow-ups because I like the whole concept of the piece so much... but the fact that I have been spending my credits on alternative books might tell you all you need to know!
The narration was excellent.
"Good Story, Fantastic characters"
I loved this book, if you're a bit geeky or just enjoy the odd sci-fi reference you'll love it.
Phillip, grumpy, caring, mischevious, funny.
I love the narration, his enunciation of words spoken by some of the characters has just the right effect.
No, I listen to books on the train, I've listened to this one three times now. The second in the series twice and I am waiting anxiously for my next audible credit so I can get the third.
Love it, three books in the series so far.
"looking forward to the next one"
Really enjoyed it. Laughed, suggested the boyfriend read it. Got excited hearing there is another.
"One of the best audiobooks I've listened to date."
As a book, this already a head above the rest, but Luke Daniel's performance is one of the exceptionally rare occasions where an audiobook has added to the experience.
First Luke Daniel's performance I had heard. But I've listened others he's done since, but this is still one of his finest.
The first hour is little slow, but it needs to be for set up, so by definition, not in one sitting, but once you get past the set up, easily one sitting.
The character of Phillip is my spirit animal.
"a pixalated view of reality"
I think the premise was too thin to be a whole book, a short story would be fine the characters are all unlikeable where I feel the author was trying to help us see the flawed hero in them I just saw selfish nasty thieving scrotes
that it could have been more ok I didn't want more on the Medieval England, which bizarrely everyone speaks American 21st century English, I get that might have been because of the 20 or so before but still .......anyway there is literally thousands of different times and places they can go its all just silly without the charm
he infers a lot where maybe I wouldn't have read it
I did find some parts funny and I liked it enough to listen to all the way to the end, it not by far the worst book I have read or listened to this year but its not going to make my top 10 either
"conflict and ending were not as good as start"
conflict and ending were not as good as start. the ending twist was ok, but could have meant more.
"a good listen"
wasn't sure about this book. looked at it several times before deciding to download. then after listening for an hour or 2 still wasn't sure, but got better and went in an unexpected direction. found myself laughing at times and smiling often. downloaded the next 2 in the series and am keen to listen to more.
A good Matix style concept with a King Arthur twist. I likes the mix of magic and coding.
The main character was very irritating an and I thought I wouldn't finish. however as the story progressed my interest grew such that, although still annoying, the story held my interest. On to book 2.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.