Friday, October 15, 2010

It's a Mad, MogWorld...

The subtitle for it should be:

(Un)Dead and hating it

Some (Many? Most?) of you may recognize the author, Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw, and know him as the sardonic, ascerbic, witty reviewer of games from his “Zero Punctuation” game reviews. (I’ve embedded his review of Fable as a point of reference)

Recently, his first novel, Mogworld, has been published, and a bit more recently, I finished reading it. In a word; VERY enjoyable. OK, that’s two words, but still.

The book keeps a reasonable pace throughout, with a couple slower portions (me and my ADHD will often skim parts that get a wee bit slow, so this is a small bugaboo for me) Regardless, Croshaw’s odd viewpoint and pretty darned eloquent (though oft blunt) dialogue and prose makes for a really damned good book. In one of his Q&A vids Croshaw mentions that one of his sources of inspiration is/was Douglas Adams. I think he did admirably in that pursuit, as even Adams has his occasional slow bits.

So what’s it about?

Jim is a second year student at St. Gordon’s Magical College. His stay there is interrupted due to his untimely death.

Now, this could make for an extremely short novel except for one small thing…

“I had passed from life, from the world of struggles and hardship and big fat
women with annoying laughs, and entered a glorious new existence of utter peace,
and joy and love.

And then some git brought me back to life”

Jim had been brought back (mostly) from the dead and was a tad irked and wanted to get back to all the peace, warmth and love. Twas not to be…

During a brief stint as an undead minion for a great evil master, (in between attempting to die permanently) and especially towards the end of his employ, Jim discovered that all was not right with the world; nobody was dying (at least not permanently) and other strange things were happening. Something was rotten in Denmark. (or whatever the name of the place was)

Once out of the employ of the great evil, Jim (along with the "de rigour" small group of ragtag hangers on) went to find out the source of the immortality, and things get even more bizarre, complicated and utterly weird.

And that’s where I’ll stop my description. If you have not read any other reviews of the book, I would ask that you tread carefully. Most of them contain a MASSIVE spoiler.

Annoyingly, the spoiler is even on the back cover of the book. Fortunately, I didn’t read the spoiler until nearly the time I discovered the plot point for myself.

Does the spoiler ruin the book? No, because there’s still half+ of the book remaining, but still, (for me) avoiding spoilers is a big deal.

1 - don’t read any other reviews

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