Being a programmer by trade and a fan of fantasy, I had high hopes for this book Unfortunately, it did not deliver The premise is interesting enough, so it could have been great, but the book falls apart on two points First, the main character is completely unlikable So at no point was I emotionally invested in him If he succeeded or failed or died, I couldn t care less Second, the book is written is a very odd, straightforward manner that runs through every scene as fast as possible without pausing for any realistic emotions like awe, shock, terror, ect For example, if the main character had just discovered that he was in fact an alien that his parents had discovered in a field, it would be written like thisI m an alien And you discovered me in a field and told me I was human Well, that sure is neat Guess I ll check to see if I have any alien powers now Hmm, yep, seems like I can fly and shoot lasers out of my eyes Bet I can have some fun with that Ok, see you latter guys, I m going to go try out my new powers now A weird, Kafkaesque post modern re telling and re visioning of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur s Court.But fun.I m not sure what I was expecting when I picked up this 2013 publication but it was not what I expected Essentially, protagonist discovers that all of creation, including himself and his bank account, are a part of a computer file After some early tomfoolery, he gets himself into trouble, then we have some time travel and lots of wild adventures Off To Be The Wizard is entertaining, I smiled several times along the journey and was coaxed into at least two laugh out loud scenes.Like much of today s fiction, though, it could have benefited from some robust editing, knocking a few dozen pages out would have made it a stronger, tighter woven story This would actually have been a really good short work And, of course, we are invited back for sequels.I did enjoy the visit, but no thank you. 4.5 stars, rounded up due to its creativity A delightfully charming story that is a unique blend of science fiction and fantasy, Off to Be the Wizard will satisfy geeks who secretly or not so secretly wish they can be a wizard I personally found the novel brilliant in its simplicity and originality The story is about a modern day computer geek, Martin Banks, who came across a discovery that changed his life forever that life on earth is a computer programme that allows anyone with access to the file to alter almost any aspect of reality by simply modifying said file So what does a dorkish dude with the ability to perform seemingly magical tasks do He proceeded to land himself in trouble with the authorities and had to escape back into a time and a place where magic could be viewed as probable, i.e Medieval England Told from a third person perspective of Martin, the story was simple, fairly predictable and not one to be taken too seriously as it will not stand up to critical analysis and scrutiny Nonetheless, it has a lot of charm in the manner it was told so one should just kick back and enjoy the ride I was lukewarm towards Martin initially as he appeared to be quite foolish and immature The progression of his character as the story unfolded was, however, ingenuously fun arising from a myriad of interesting situations that he found himself in Martin s friendship with Philip my favourite character so far formed the best part of his character development I did sometimes get strong vibes of Back to Future, especially when Philip started to call Martin as Marty There was also a fair amount of pop and geek culture references scattered across the narrative which made it all the enjoyable There isn t much I can mention about the plot without revealing minor spoilers Even though it was simple, the tale was not devoid of meaningful commentary The overriding message was about the responsibility of people who found themselves with power, and being a wizard meant having to adhere to the basic rules of not abusing said power granted by having access and the ability to change the file and hence reality This managed to come across the narrative quite seamlessly without rubbing it in too hard or being too repetitive.The unembellished prose fit the style of the story really well Like I ve mentioned earlier, this is not a book to be taken too seriously it is supposed to be comedic and fun Seriously, just look at the 8 bit graphics cover The first few chapters did have a slightly drier tone with technical jargons being employed to set the scene for our main protagonist s eventual escape to Medieval England Once Martin landed himself somewhere in an English countryside sometime during the mid 12th century, tried to bluff his way into being recognised as a wizard, and especially after he met Philip, the story started to hit its stride It definitely made me laugh out loud numerous times and I found the whole experience highly entertaining and refreshingly so Last but not least, the audiobook narration was fantastic I probably might not have enjoyed it as much as I did without Luke Daniel s ability to add personality to the characters, as well as incorporate timely and appropriate inflections in the dialogue.If all the grimdark of late have left you feeling like you ve been hit by a deluge of sandstorms, Off to Be the Wizard will be like a breath of dewy fresh air after a morning shower This review can also be found at Booknest Executive Summary A really funny sci fantasy story that will largely depend on your enjoyment of the humor.Audio book Everyone seems to love the Iron Druid books I just didn t The one thing I did really love was Luke Daniels narration of those books however.I ll admit that probably than half of the reason I chose to review this book for SFFAudio was because Luke Daniels was the reader He did not disappoint Another excellent performance Full Review This book started really slow, despite a cool concept A computer geek discovers a file that somehow lets him manipulate not only the world and everything in it, but time itself So of course he decides to go back to medieval times and become a wizard As a computer geek who not so secretly would love to be a wizard I was intrigued.Unfortunately the main character, Martin isn t very likable at the start Despite being good with computers, he doesn t seem very smart For me the story finally started to get good when he meets Phillip I will say Martin did grow on me as the book went on I don t plan to say anything else about the plot because I don t want to ruin the jokes.I think your enjoyment of the book will largely depend on if you find the humor funny and your willingness to not only suspend your disbelief but throw it right out the window Things get silly Really silly.There is a lot of computer geek humor as well as some pop culture humor from the 80s and 90s that reminded me a bit of Ready Player One, a book I absolutely love I think fans of that book, may find similar things to like here Scott Meyer does for fantasy geeks what Ernest Cline did for gaming geeks.The only real complaint I have apart from the slow start is the general lack of women That s a pretty common complaint in fantasy However as this is a fantasy book based in current time and involves using computers to manipulate the world to pretend to be a wizard this seems like a big flaw for me.Mr Meyer has a plausible reason to explain away his lack of female characters, but he could have just as easily had a plausible reason for their inclusion instead.Overall though, I really enjoyed listening to this book and I ll be on the lookout for his next book as well as planning to check out his webcomic in the near future. Off to Be the Wizard has an interesting concept that I really liked The world is a huge computer program no one knows it , and Martin discovers a file that controls the world that he can hack and give himself all kinds of money and powers That was really cool He does start out making a fool of himself over it at first, but I liked it a lot once Martin met a few other people and started training on how to manipulate reality properly There are a couple of side characters that I really liked, and eventually there s a bad guy situation that needs to be sorted out, which steps the last half of the book up a bit And I was even entertained by the humor, some of the time So generally, I liked it It was fun.But a couple of books I ve read lately have led me to the realization that straight humor and I don t have a very good relationship I get tired I get bored I want some depth and seriousness so that the humor catches me off guard and lightens the whole mood I prefer irony to poop falling out of the sky onto a statue nope, no laughs from me on the toilet humor, sorry I ve discovered that I like a side dish of humor, but get sick of it when it s a three course meal So I wished there was something to this, and there really wasn t But if you enjoy this kind of comedy, you might really like it. Full review now posted Rating 4.5 5 starsI can t remember the last time a book made me laugh this much.Imagine if you stumbled across a computer program that is basically running the entire planet, and that you can manipulate that program Imagine that you re able to dramatically increase your bank account without stealing a cent from another person You can teleport Heck, you can even travel back in time, though you re admittedly unable to visit the future Now, imagine that the government found out, and your only reasonable method of escaping capture is to travel back to medieval England in hopes of passing yourself off as a wizard All of this happens to Martin, our protagonist, in the first few chapters of the book Unfortunately, upon arriving in medieval England, Martin discovers that he s not the only wizard around, because he s not the first person to discover the File, as it s been deemed And anyone who discovers the File eventually ends up in trouble and on the run Since most of the people who stumble across the File are of a type, most of them have the same idea for their escape plan, leading to a Europe littered with wizards from the modern era I absolutely loved Martin, even though I almost sprained my eye muscles from frequently rolling them at his decisions Martin felt quintessentially part of my generation, as he survived off of equal parts intelligence, luck both good and bad , entitlement, and laziness He s also super awkward, was makes for a lot of added entertainment value But my favorite character in the book was undoubtedly Philip, Martin s wizard trainer The sass levels pulsating out of that man were almost toxic, and were one of the biggest contributors to my enjoyment of the book.This book was a perfect blend of science fiction and fantasy, of parody and original plot What made this book even enjoyable for me was that I listened to the audio version, voiced by the incomparable Luke Daniels This was my first experience with Daniels as a narrator, but it definitely won t be my last His different voices for each character were all fantastic, but his voice for Philip completely made the story for me I m sure the book is very entertaining when read in physical format, but I don t know that I would ve enjoyed the book at the same level had I not listened to the audio version I literally laughed out loud on multiple occasions.I highly recommend this book when you need something lighter that will make you laugh And I can t recommend the audiobook highly enough Original review can be found at Booknest. I m torn on how to rate this one It was a fun premise and it was decently written well, but it definitely didn t blow me out of the water I read this bc it was one of the books Aldo challenged me to read this year but I honestly never would have picked it up otherwise If the premise interests you, READ THIS If not eh. Actual Rating 4.5 StarsThis was definitely a refreshing read Our main character, Martin, accidentally discovers that reality is actually an elaborately written computer code and proceeds to do what any average looking, twenty something, tech savvy fellow would he goes back to the Middle Ages to pretend to be a wizard This story was fast paced, very straight forward Cleverly crafted situations and hilarious interactions had me literally laughing out loud Meyer knows exactly how to capture his audience through dialogue Most of the story is comprised of a very uncomplicated language but it turns out to be pretty complimentary to this style of storytelling Despite minimalistic descriptions it s easy to feel like you re watching a movie Characters engage in quick paced, witty banter without coming off as pretentious or losing the audience The plot of this one was somewhat predictable but if you enjoy nerd culture and intelligent writing I would absolutely recommend this novel Martin Banks Is Just A Normal Guy Who Has Made An Abnormal Discovery He Can Manipulate Reality, Thanks To Reality Being Nothing Than A Computer Program With Every Use Of This Ability, Though, Martin Finds His Little Tweaks Have Not Escaped Notice Rather Than Face Prosecution, He Decides Instead To Travel Back In Time To The Middle Ages And Pose As A WizardWhat Could Possibly Go Wrong An American Hacker In King Arthur S Court, Martin Must Now Train To Become A Full Fledged Master Of His Powers, Discover The Truth Behind The Ancient Wizard Merlin And Not, Y Know, Die Or Anything As many problems as this book has, I have to give it 4 stars for creativity I m not the biggest fan of sci fi, but Meyer has found a way to blend sci fi and Fantasy in a pretty cool way So i had to bump it up from a 3 star rating to a 4 This is a book best enjoyable if you don t take it too serious The worst part, for me, was all the technical jargon he would get into This is mostly in the first 75 pages or so Once he finally went back in time, I found myself really enjoying this book The magic system is one I have yet to see The basic idea behind this book is that our lives are just a computer file So if you re lucky enough to find this obscure file, you can, theoretically, do anything you want You can add funds to your bank account, make yourself taller bad idea , skinnier also a bad idea or time travel with the correct coordinates When Martin is caught, by the Feds, adding funds to his account he decides it d be best to go back to Medeival Europe and become Merlin Spoilers any further than that, so I ll leave it there Basically the way magic works in this world is by altering the file and creating macros to pull off the complicated magic This was such a cool idea, in my opinion I love when the magic system can be logically explained and he does just that Or maybe he just fooled me since I know next to nothing about computers I ll never know Ignorance really is bliss The story itself was pretty decent, too While predictable at times, I didnt mind because I was having too much fun Especially during Martin s training to become a wizard I did have small problems with his writing though While the majority was fun, one on occasion he spent about 2 pages describing a castle when a paragraph, or 2 at most, could be done the job He d do this on a slightly smaller scale a few other times, but it was so sparse that it s not too big of a deal There are also a few why didn t you just do this instead moments But, like i said, not taking this book too seriously is, in my opinion, the best way to enjoy this book.