August 19, 2003

Forward the Mage, by Eric Flint and Richard Roach

This is the second book in Flint's "Joe's World" saga; it's a fun ride, though it intersects oddly with The Philosophical Strangler, the first book in the series, and though very little seems to actually be resolved at the end of it.

In fact, "odd" describes the whole book remarkably well. For example, the bulk of it is narrated by a family that witnessed the whole thing: a tribe of body lice that live on one of the main characters. Then there's the section that consists entirely of very long chapter headings. And the world in which the action takes place resembles your typical fantasy world, but only slightly. In fact, the whole place seems to have been created, long ago, by this guy named Joe, though it seems to have gotten away from him. I have a vision of a Dungeons and Dragons world, worked out in great detail by some teenaged gaming nerd, that has been steadily developing on its own since he got to college and discovered girls.

One of the blurbs compares Flint with Terry Pratchett, and while that's wishful thinking on somebody's part the book is genuinely funny, if a bit purple and crude by turns.

Posted by Will Duquette at August 19, 2003 08:15 PM