Geek: Fantasy Novel by E. Archer It was the cover that really caught me on this book: A big medieval helmet, the face inside wearing taped-together glasses. And on the back, a hole made by an exploding bunny rabbit. Call me an easy sell – I took the book home. Our main character, Ralph, leads a boring and geeky computer-programming life in America. The one thing his parents have always insisted on is that he never, ever make a wish. But when his previously unknown Aunt Gertie offers him free tickets to spend the summer with her and his three cousins in their castle in Britain, he jumps at the chance. Then he learns the big family secret: all children are traditionally supposed to make a wish, which is usually granted in a way that proves disastrous to the wisher. There seems to be some inconsistency in the internal narrative here, as the early examples were all of poorly phrased and instantly granted wishes. Now, though, children making a wish are whisked away to a fantasy world inspired by their wish. There they are the heroes of their own narratives, but with the distinct likelihood that they will perish both in their fantasy world and in real life trying to make their wish come true. It’s an interesting idea which was spoiled somewhat for me by the heavy and not-too-skillful interference by the narrator, whose frequent intrusions into the story make him a character in his own right. The humor tended towards the black as well, with our hero rather frequently dying and coming back to life again. Still, for those interested in the geeky intersection of metafiction, computers and fantasy gaming, this book could be just the ticket.
Originally posted at http://library-mama.dreamwidth.org .