Clerks meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this original urban fantasy book about Geekomancers - humans that derive supernatural powers from pop culture.
Ree Reyes’s life was easier when all she had to worry about was scraping together tips from her gig as a barista and comic shop slave to pursue her ambitions as a screenwriter.
When a scruffy-looking guy storms into the shop looking for a comic like his life depends on it, Ree writes it off as just another day in the land of the geeks. Until a gigantic “BOOM!” echoes from the alley a minute later, and Ree follows the rabbit hole down into her town’s magical flip-side. Here, astral cowboy hackers fight trolls, rubber-suited werewolves, and elegant Gothic Lolita witches while wielding nostalgia-powered props.
Ree joins Eastwood (aka Scruffy Guy), investigating a mysterious string of teen suicides as she tries to recover from her own drag-your-heart-through-jagged-glass breakup. But as she digs deeper, Ree discovers Eastwood may not be the knight-in-cardboard armor she thought. Will Ree be able to stop the suicides, save Eastwood from himself, and somehow keep her job?
©2012 Michael R. Underwood (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I am a voracious reader (average about 4-5 Audible books a week, in addition to those I "eyeball".) I have been hooked on recorded books since the time of cassettes/CDs and was thrilled when I became an Audible member in 2007. I find reader reviews good guides to spending my credits, so have finally decided to write a few (although, I would rather be reading!)
This is one of the best urban fantasy books I have read all year (and yeah, it is only March, but after several disappointing UF books the past few weeks, this was REFRESHING.)
This book will NOT appeal to everyone, hence my headline. There may be some people who aren't geeky who will find this book interesting if not excellent, but given the number of "in" jokes and references, you would be like a young child watching "The Simpsons", missing the allusions that make it a truly funny show. If you, when hearing the narrator quote Adam Baldwin (Jayne's "smellin' a lot of 'if' comin' off this plan) and you find yourself wondering which one of the Baldwin boys Adam is, this book probably isn't for you.
The protagonist is a 20-something barista/screen writer who becomes enmeshed in a magical world where one can gain short-term magical abilities by watching media (every geek's dream, right?) I won't go any further, as I do not want to give anything away, but I found the plot exciting, full of action scenes and intriguing, unique characters. One warning, there are several descriptions of teenage suicides, which might be a delicate topic for some, so be forewarned.
This is a fun romp if you don't over think (yes, I know, difficult for any card-carrying-geek) how the magic actually works (such as, why does Ree only start manifesting the talent after meeting Eastwood.)
I didn't want this to end and hope there are MANY more books of this caliber in the series.
Farhat does an excellent job bringing the characters to life.
I am such a geek, I picked up on about 95% of all the references made in this delightful story. From comics to television to movies, Star Wars, BSG, DC Comics, and Magic the Gathering collector cards. What a witty fast paced ride. Weather you are a geek of the highest Jedi Order or a relative newbie you will be hugging yourself with a warm fuzzy feelings as Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer ("Once More with Feeling" anyone?), Star Wars laser discs, or BBC's Sherlock references are made.
What pulpy geeky fun this is. I hope this author produces more of series. Great female protagonist, Ree may have her problems but overall a kick@ss character. A great cast of characters, the steampunk adventurer, the burnt out Eastwood, the Thrice retconned Duke of Hell all fabulously hilarious.
Julia Farhat wouderfully and gleefully brings these characters to life.
Reading this book -- you know, with glasses and lights on and everything -- would be fantastic fun. Listening to it was agonizing. I would've preferred Steven Hawking's "voice" to Julia Farhat's. And I just hate to say harsh things about people who have worked so hard.
The protagonist was vividly drawn and had a hilariously fresh, alluringly feminine style. Underwood did a great job telling the story from a feminine perspective -- I didn't check to see that he was a dude until the book was over. Then I about fell in a heap from shock.
The narrator was obsessed with uttering each sound for every word, as though she were an advanced yet non-natvie English speaker working diligently to cultivate a precise, academic California accent. It was much more a cue-card reading than a bring-it-to-life performance. She also sounded congested for much of the book. I'm sure she has much stronger performances ahead of her.
My pick for the star would be the amazingly attractive model who posed for the cover art. Zowie!! Heck, let's hope that's Julia Farhat.
Awesome Geeky FUN
Ree for sure she is every Nerd/Geeks Dream Girl Gamer, Comics, Movie Quotes and HOT. I got a Superman Kingdom Come shirt because of this book.
Ree of course
the stats when she meets new people is great. and the Princess Bride references are great too, my friends and I do this all time. A TV Show or movie version could be GREAT. I vote Kevin Smith to write and Direct.
Maybe from the author but I would have to listen to a sample first.
I can't imagine that the reader was the whole problem. This has to be an issue with the audio. The tone was high-pitched and sounded like it was recorded inside a box. The sound level kept changing, too.
Using a narrator that was capable of producing sounds less like fingernails on a chalk board, for a start.
I'd definitely pre-listen, first
All references to the Gamers skill / power rankings. --- very tedious
Warning to all: please preview / listen before purchasing
The book needs a decent narrator. Farhat's cutesy, whiny, valley-girl affectation made it impossible to enjoy the story. I've ordered the print book, and I'm sure I'll like it.
I couldn't get past the first chapter; the narration is that terrible.
She read the book as if she were voicing an adorable but dim anime character. I kept getting the mental image of a cute little girl, wearing a confused expression, blinking her wide eyes while searched for the "any key". Not only was nauseating, it was completely incongruous with the narrative.
After some manipulation and a fair amount of geekery, I found that bending the pitch down to 89% of normal and setting playback speed to 129% made it almost bearable. Almost.
In order to finish this book, I had to stop listening to this audiobook and switch to my Kindle for the written version. The performance is awful. The narrator has an annoying high pitched voice and her readings are stilted and unnatural. I literally couldn't get through the first chapter.
A different voice reading the audiobook to me.
This is like the Dresden Files series, but Ree is a lot less jaded at this point than Harry is, and there are a lot more nerd references.
She sounded monotonous. I could always tell she was reading. Her voice also had a quality that irked me personally, which is my fault, not hers.
One of the Rhyming ladies. There are three of them all filling the fairly small and simple role of the best friend that is not a part of Ree's new world.
This is a fun book, not only because of the enjoyable premise and likeable characters, but also because it becomes a sort of game to attempt to catch and place all the references.
I have to save my sensitive eyes for thesis-writing, so audiobooks are how I keep up with my favourite authors and have fun.
The concept for this book is awesome - pure geekery and tons of fun. It is a light read - nothing too deep or complicated - and one has to remember that when some parts of the plot seem illogical. The many references to geek culture and favourites (such as Firefly) are awesome.
I cannot, however, under any circumstances, recommend the narrator. I'm not sure whether the narrator had a head-cold or whether the recording was just terrible in the beginning chapters. While the audio became crisper later on, the narration was still almost unbearable. The narrator reads S-L-O-W-L-Y. So much so, I often lose track of the plot. She also distracts terribly from the story rather than enhancing it, especially when fast-paced fight scenes are read like a bedtime-fuzzy-bunny tale. Her pronunciation of words and their syllables are off, and there's a monotonous rhythm and sound to it all. The character's thoughts, intuitions, and statments sound fake because the narrator's trying for something she's just not achieving. In her defense, some the the sentences in this book would be much more understandable in print rather than as spoken word - and that's the author's problem, not the narrator's. But still, the narrator manages to turn the main character into a whiny valley-girl instead of a sarcastic kick-ass heroine.
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