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?
I was looking forward to this book after I read about it elsewhere, and after downloading it I put it near the top of my "listening queue", that was until I started listening - Julia Farhat ranks as one of the worst narrators I've heard on audio books, and that's going back quite a few years (to when they were on cassette) - she reads the book as though a child is reading, with slight pauses between each word, and although some of her characterisation isn't bad, the reading of the descriptive parts is just painful
The book itself is an interesting idea, with magic being "powered" by the genres (sci-fi, fantasy, etc), and it being a "secret world all around us" (what isn't, these days), it could have been a geek's dream book, instead it's nearly ruined by the horrible narration, and I truly hope this was her first book and that she's got better over the other books she's narrated on here, because if this is her standard manner then I know I'll be avoiding those books (having listened to a few samples, some are better, but quite a few are in this tone)
Can the list of narrators be that limited that people come back to Julia from lack of availability, or is it that she's cheap compared to the others? Whatever the reasons, I know that I'll be listening to samples before buying, because I don't think I could make it though more books in this tone
Anyway, my advice would be to actually read this book rather than suffer through the terrible reading that this book has been subjected to - only buy this if it's on a deal, because as a full price book, you will probably be disappointed, and all because of the reading
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Actually, this probably deserves a little more than 3 stars, and on Amazon (where the scale is different) I'd give it 4. With the style settled, I suspect that the future novels in the series might be a little better. For the first time in a couple of books I am inclined to consider finding out.
On the plus side we have a feisty, geeky heroine who discovers that magic is real (and weird) and sets out on a quest to save people from forced suicide (and there's a twist, of course). I liked Rhi. I liked the conception behind it all. I liked the role-playing game references.
And there-in lies my issue. I didn't think it was going to be an issue, but damn it if I didn't find myself wondering whether White Wolf had considered suing over copyright. There have been other works of fiction which have sounded like someone lifted them right of the the pages of Mage: The Ascension (The Matrix, Dark City), but Geekomancy is pretty much a novelised version of the game. That is both awesome (it's a great game) and annoying.
In short, well worth a read, especially if you get all the pop-culture references. I'm very much hoping that Underwood's style will settle a little for the follow-ups, which I'll very probably put on my waiting list.
Great idea might be a better read -the narrators voice is annoying and leads to u wanting to tune out - no idea how it ends I couldn't listen any longer
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.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
The story is off to a good start - I've only listened to the first few lines - but the recording is terrible! It fades in and out and is such a distraction I don't know if I'll be able to finish listening.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Would not listen to another book read by this narrator. was really hard to hear sometimes and voice could be grating at moments.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I wanted some brain candy while I did chores, just a little something to keep me company while washing dishes or mowing the lawn. I'm a bit of a geek myself, so I thought this would fit the bill...
Except the narration was so awful, I couldn't even finish the first chapter. The reader's uninflected, nasal whine was a constant grind on my nerves, like a mosquito in my ears until I finally just broke.
I'm still interested in the story, so I may pick it up for kindle instead, but it will be a while before I read it, just to make sure her voice is well out of my head by then.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
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.
Who was your favorite character and why?
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.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
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.
Could you see Geekomancy being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?
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.
20 of 23 people found this review helpful
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.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
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.
11 of 13 people found this review helpful
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
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.
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
I couldn't get past the first chapter; the narration is that terrible.
What didn’t you like about Julia Farhat’s performance?
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.
Any additional comments?
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.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful
What would have made Geekomancy better?
The style and writing was intriguing and I was looking forward to the recording getting better, but it didn't. I actually liked the narrator's voice quality and style, but it FAdEs IN aND oUt aND tuRNS AN othERwISe PLEasant VOicE into a completely insufferable mess. I'm not sure if it's Ms. Farhat's natural volume control, crappy microphones or horrible engineering, but unless you have audio equipment with some sort of dynamic range control, I wouldn't recommend even attempting this audio book.
Would you ever listen to anything by Michael R. Underwood again?
Not at this point. I'm going to get a paper copy of the book and see how it stands up. I might consider something with another narrator, but if it's an issue with the studio that produced it, I'll stick with paper.
How could the performance have been better?
More consistent levels on the recording. The volume swings are intolerable.
What character would you cut from Geekomancy?
Don't know. I didn't get far enough into it to know any of the characters
Any additional comments?
I should have read the reviews first. A lot of people have had similar complaints.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from Michael R. Underwood and/or Julia Farhat?
This book was just ok. I had to speed up the narrator because she spoke soo slooowly. If there was a rating, I would set it to, meh and shrug.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful