Narrator: Will Powers
Series: the Last American Wizard
Published by Ronin Robot Press on 4 August 2016
Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
Source: Author, Submitted
"Mystically powered terrorists unleash volatile magic on the world, turning Washington, D.C., into a politically-charged fantasyland ripe for human sacrifice.
A trio of suicide attackers with magical abilities bring down a 747 by summoning a dragon to rip it from the sky, using the hundreds of lives lost as a sacrifice to initiate the Change. The country morphs into a new landscape of swords and sorcery. Now computers and other machines are coming to life, and regular people have started to turn into mythical creatures and forgotten deities, creating a chaotic world easily seized by whoever - or whatever - set this shift into motion. Hope appears in the nation's capital where, along with transforming Democrats into potbellied elves, Republicans into cantankerous dwarves, and Tea Party members into trolls, the Change has granted struggling freelance journalist Steve Rowan the abilities of the Tarot Arcana's Fool card, making him a powerful, yet unreliable, wizard. Realizing his potential, he is "hired" by the trivia-obsessed sentient computer Barnaby and coupled with the attractive, no-nonsense female Navy SEAL Ace Morningstar to uncover the puppet masters behind the plane crash. Irving (Courier, 2014, etc.), a producer of Emmy Award-winning news television and a journalist well-acquainted with the Beltway, makes good use of clichéd Washington stereotypes by mashing them together with fantasy tropes, breathing new life into political satire.
...Like many first books in a genre series, the novel foreshadows a greater enemy behind all this madness while barely hinting at its identity, offering a wonderfully bizarre consolation prize as its denouement.
A clever, humorous fantasy...." (Kirkus Reviews)
©2016 Edward B. Irving (P)2016 Edward B. Irving
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Author, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.Buy from Audible Buy from Amazon.comAdd to Goodreads
This audiobook really didn’t do it for me. What I find extra frustrating is that I think I would have loved the book if I’d read the print edition.
The story ticks most of the boxes I look for in a fantasy novel; it has eccentric characters, witty dialogue, magic and monsters.
The author blends magic, tarot and beasties in with more contemporary themes like the military, alternate dimensions and haunted smart phones.
It’s a brave new world in terms of fantasy fiction, it seems – so why couldn’t I stay interested?
The sound quality is a little sketchy, with an echo which makes it sound like it was recorded decades ago but sadly it was the narrator, Will Powers, who completely failed to attract my interest. All of the characters have the same voice and despite them each having their own distinctly written personalities, there was no particular inflection.
Ace, the Queen of Swords, would have naturally been my favourite character while reading this book. A woman who has done whatever necessary to achieve the rank of Master Chief in the military (obviously ‘whatever necessary’ involves making the rest of the world think that you’re a man), she’s a stone cold killer and a master at modern weaponry, rescuing the main protagonist again and again from his own stupidity.
Sadly, in the audio version she had no personality at all and just came across as annoying, along with all the other characters. I that this is just an issue of compatibility between the narrator’s production of this book and my earholes, but I can say with a fair amount of conviction that I won’t be listening to more of his work.
I’ll ‘fess up to it, despite not skipping forwards through the book, I think I probably zoned out somewhere around the middle which is frustrating. I did go back over parts to try to make sure I didn’t miss anything but in the end I just ploughed through, I’m going to try this book again in a few months and go straight to the print version so I don’t miss anything again.
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