©2014 Scott Meyer (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I get nervous when I really love the first book in a series. Second installments run the risk of being boring, overly repetitive, or losing the thesis begun in the first work. My anxiety was, thankfully, unfounded. Martin, Gwen, and Phillip have returned, accompanied by a slew of new characters.
This installment flows incredibly well from book one. It does pick up almost exactly where the first left off, which was very well done. Old secondary characters are woven into the fabric, with new ones taking on the major plot lines. The whole thing is rather seamless, actually.
As expected, the book is full of pop culture and geek references- not quite as many as book one, but a number of spots made me rather happy. I repeat my inherent bias stated in my review of Book One: I am very much in Meyer's intended demographic with this book. If you aren't a member of the geeky/techie/1970s-1990s set, you probably won't dig this all that much. Who knows though.
I am rather surprised at some of the negative reviews, one in particular. I didn't think that the romantic parts were embarrassing or sophomoric in the least- I think they were actually pretty spot on for the characters. Certainly not as if a 12 year old girl wrote it. Unless, of course, as a 30 year old man I have the romantic maturity of a 12 year old girl- which I am certainly not discounting.
Luke Daniels did a great job with the narration once more. I laughed out loud a number of times and couldn't stop smiling. The only complaint I have was the book was over too fast for my taste, 12 hours isn't long enough to spend with Martin, Phillip, and Gwen.
I can't wait for book three. Hurry up, Scott.
Inostrancevia - the uber Gorgonopsian.
Yes, but I'll give it a few. Got to keep the story fresh. This is an easy listen with a funny storyline and likeable characters.
The whole Atlantis thing - 100:1 male to female ratio and the whole women wear the pants scene while the guys are fired up to clean and get their hair done. Different take on roles makes the story funny in a kooky way.
Luke Daniels is a flat out pro. He made this book flow. I bought Spell or High Water this morning and just finished it - almost 11 hours of audiobook and I feel refreshed. The author made the right choice in hooking up with Luke Daniels.
Is Martin up to the challenge of winning Gwen's heart? Stay tuned to see what gets stuck in Martin's mouth - Gwen's tongue or his foot!
Get this book. The price is right, Luke Daniels comes up strong and Philip wakes up next to an "untraditional" vixen and doesn't even think about pulling a coyote.
Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant
Another great offering from the Magic 2.0 series. While not quite as funny as the first (that would be a tall order) it still delivers plenty of laughs and fun for the computer nerd in all of us. Well written, witty and full of surprises “Spell or High Water” is a fun listen.
Mr Daniels makes this book so much more enjoyable with his performance. He really brings it to life.
My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine; (fortunately) everybody drinks water. - Mark Twain
Like the first book, Luke Daniels produces a great narration. If I were reading this book I would have set it down and forgotten it, but add good narration and it makes for a good listen.
I can't rave enough about how much I enjoyed this audiobook and the first one in the series - Off to Be the Wizard. It's smart, funny, clever, and stimulating without being the least bit depressing or dour. I realize that some people are convinced that quality in writing can only be attained with deep, dark, soul clenching grit and human misery, but they're wrong. There is a huge value to something that engages your mind, AND makes you smile. On top of that, the narration is brilliant and adds so much color and humor it ought to be classified in its own category. Luke Daniels is an elite level audiobook narrator. I just bought book 3, and will eventually purchase Meyer's latest book too.
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.
Scott Meyer's Magic 2.0 series builds on an interesting premise: present-day computer geeks, using their programming power to travel through time and create other advantages for themselves, appear to be wizards to the people in the past. In Off to Be the Wizard (OTBTW), the first entry in the series, that location was medieval England. In the follow-up, Spell or High Water (SOHW), the primary locale is Atlantis.
For me, SOHW is one star better than OTBTW in every respect. In my review of the first book, I started by noting that it was as fun and funny as I had hoped, but that it was flawed, and I concluded by noting that I hoped Meyer could improve on those flaws in the sequel that obviously on the way. And indeed he has, addressing exactly the two main problems I had, making this a better book and a better listen (narrator Luke Daniels also improves on my problem with his reading of OTBTW, toning down the voices a little, though not enough).
The main thing on the author's end is that is primarily a time travel story, but one in which nothing anyone does in the past changes the future. While it remains true in SOHW that present day outcomes cannot be altered, SOHW allows for a) a possible explanation somewhere down the road of why that is, and more importantly b) possible changes in the timeline of the past they now inhabit, which influences their actions.
In addition, we are no longer confined to medieval England as our setting. We now also have Atlantis, even though it is a mythical setting rather than an historical one. We also have "wizards" and "sorceresses" in Atlantis for a summit who have come from many times and places in the past and present, and while I still yearned for more of that kind of variety, it was an improvement to have even a little of it.
Now, if Meyer can also work in more variation in the present day places the so-called wizards come from, in addition to more locales in the past (mythical or real), that would be even better. And we don't have to wait to find out -- the third volume in the series, and Unwelcome Quest, just came out.
movie reviewer maven
Great story. I feel like the narrator was just 1 degree TOO animated... like, hearing a story told by Shaggy from Scooby Doo... After a while, the mewling, whiny voice/character impersonations took on a prepubescent tone—like hearing adults talk in a "but I don't wanna go to bed" voice ALL the time.
Still, it's quite enjoyable.
I was thrilled there was already a second story in this series after I finished "Off to be the Wizard"
Philip is still one of my favorite characters, he gets so passionate about everything, and then Luke Daniels does a great job of getting that point across.
The fact that I could tell just from his performance if Brit the Elder or Brit the Younger was the one talking.
Laugh, a lot, and often.
It seemed a bit long, I zoned out for a lot of it, but it was just as entertaining as the first. Character and plot development are solid but the story it's self is a little lacking. Enjoyed all the debates on time paradox and the nature of reality.
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
I really enjoyed the first volume of Magic 2.0; the characters, humor, and pop-culture references made for a fun read, or more accurately, all of those things combined with Luke Daniels’ performance made for a great listen. I think of it as a melding of The Matrix and Dungeon’s & Dragons, at least on the surface. There is a computer file out there hidden in different locations and times that contain the entirety of the world as we know it. Some people have stumbled upon it and, for one reason or another, ended up manipulating it and traveling through time to pose as someone who can use magic.
It’s been 2 months since the wizards stopped Jimmy, aka Merlin, from killing hundreds of people by manipulating their DNA in an effort to create a variety of fictional creatures such as; the elves, orcs, or hobbits of Middle Earth. Now that Jimmy has been stripped of his power and sent back to his own time, some semblance of normalcy has fallen over the wizards of England. Until one day when Philip discovers and glass bowl at the bottom of his stairs and invites Martin over to help figure out what it is and where is came from. It turns out to be a message from Gwen inviting Philip and Martin to Atlantis. They are holding a conference for delegates from the different groups of magic users. Meanwhile, 30 years after he had been stripped of his powers, Jimmy stands in front of Martin’s house, putting in motion his plans of the last 3 decades. Upon taking in the utter beauty that is The Sunken City of Atlantis, and after trying to take in the utter confusion that is Brit, or the Brits maybe, it’s still a bit confusing; Martin, Philip, and Gwen discover someone is trying to kill Brit the Younger. Alas, no one believes them because Brit the Elder is still there (as I said previously, confusing). Now, with the help of a few new friends and old ones they didn’t know they had, the trio has to figure out who is behind these attacks and why.
Like the first book, Off to Be the Wizard, Luke Daniels took on narrator duties for Spell or High Water. Like the first book, he did an amazing job. His reading for this book was even better this time around. With his becoming more familiar with the characters, and his progression as an artist, he delivered each line with even more feeling, putting different twists on how Martin, Philip, or even the new character of Ampyx. He makes an extremely fun tale even more entertaining.
Overall, I enjoyed this book as much as the first, which was immensely. It’s humorous, light, and enjoyable. Scattered with little looks at how some people can change without taking itself too seriously, and inform you of a few solid facts. Two of my favorites being; 1) Smart people do stupid things, and 2) You can’t argue with a dumb person, they just don’t give up. If you enjoyed the first volume, definitely give this a listen. It’s filled with everything you liked about the first one, complete with new faces you can’t help but like, and adventures you will absolutely enjoy.
Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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"Back to being a professional wizard"
The second book in the Magic 2.0 series sees our Wizards moving to Atlantis. Atlantis is a place run by women, who are called sorceresses. Males are relegated to servants who live the good life in return for sexual favours (or, that's how it came across to me).
This follows the similar style of writing and humour from the first book. Unlike the first book, there are two story threads. The first are the Wizards in England/Atlantis and then there is Jimmy's story (the same one from the first book). Both are enjoyable, but Jimmy's is a little predictable.
Atlantis has Brit the Elder and Brit the younger - basically the same person occupying the same time. This then leads on to a lot of Time Travel story lines, which is the main plot for this book.
The reason for the plot was a little weak to me, but the journey was fun so I can let that fall.
The audio again was brilliant.
2nd in series, 1st is stronger IMHO but it's great to meet up with old characters that feel like old friends and hear more about there world, very enjoyable nonsense. Heading for book 3 right now :)
"more of the same "
...but that's a good thing. Excellent narration as usual and a decent plot (though Jimmy's arc felt like a bit of a misfire). It's not as strong as the first in the series but it is fun, with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.
"Disappointing after the first book"
The second book is ok. but i never laughed out loud while reading it. several segments feel very dull, and the whole atlantis story was uninteresting. i feel the writer forced this book, while the first was written with passion and good ideas. what i loved about the first book just isnt present in the second. but that said, i did complete it instead of returning it. so all is not lost. i will now listen to the third book. hope it picks up!
I must have listen to this series at least 8-9 times anytime I want entertaining this is the book I turn to.
"not as good as the 1st book"
although the narration is good the plot is pro
tracted. I struggled to finish the book. it started quite well but I found the whole plot weak and drawn out. The chase scenes are an example of this. too much filler and not a patch on off to be a wizard. Although I have purchased the 3rd book in the series is doubt I'll read it based on the strength of this. disappointed.
"A less intense, more fun take on the Matrix..."
Loved the first book and have enjoyed the second in the series, although the story line was less appealing to me in the second book. Easy listening with a few laughs and a good dose of cleverness. If you're after something heavy and wrinkle-inducing, it won't be this, but hey, we all need some levity from time to time and this fits the bill for me.
"Possibly the weakest of the series, yet still good"
Seeing the characters introduced in the previous book come back with lots more memorable ones introduced along with a good mix or hilarious moments.
I most certainly would, along with all the other books of this series, the narration is fantastic as always, the humor is spot on and it manages to have a pretty decent story.
Probably Philip, you gotta love that old man wizard voice, hilarious.
Probably the finale, was pretty crazy and I enjoyed it a lot.
Second book in the series, very funny and I'm no expert but think they are well written.
Luke Daniels does such a good job, his English accent could do with some work but he really does do an excellent job at helping you to visualise all these characters. He injects light and shade into the reading and I'm really impressed.
The concept behind this book is just great.
When Martin first looks in the mirror and realizes what is happening
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