Friday, August 3, 2012

e-Book Review: Geekomancy

Kindle // Michael R. Underwood

Ree Reyes’s life was easier when all she had to worry about was scraping together tips from her gig as a barista and comicshop 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 won't lie this book may have been too pop culture laden even for me to handle. I like geekery as much as the next obsessive person--Whedon is my God and shows like Buffy, Farscape and Eureka top my list of favs, but Underwood packed so much pop culture ('geek') knowledge into this book it too often distracted from the plot.

I liked Ree, I'd doubtless be friends with her in RL (I doubtless have friends like her in RL) and I appreciated that she didn't immediately buy into what Eastwood was selling. She was, for the most part, a level-headed person who didn't see a reason to take crap from anyone. And for that I enjoyed this book quite a bit.

But frak I believe there is not a single 'page' (as this is an e-book, your page may vary dependent on your device) that goes by without half a dozen geek references. I can proudly say I got a good deal of them, but while my mind was saying 'awesome reference!' I lost the plot, so I'd have to re-read. That's a problem with a fast paced, everything changed in a second book like GEEKOMANCY.

Which I understand is the whole premise of the book....I just wish there was a better balance.

Interestingly, despite the powers of Geekdom at their beck and call (pretty much--some limitations do apply) Ree and Eastwood get their butts handed to them a couple of times.  For Ree it was a learning curve, being able to retain all the knowledge for long periods of time takes practice.  Eastwood gets less of a pass (except he sucked at being a team player at times).

If you get too easily distracted by the details (why yes I too can recite the entire duel scene from The Princess Bride when Inigo faces his father's murderer--what you can't? pfft) this book may not be for you.  If you like playing 'name that geekery!' this book is definitely for you.  If you are looking for a different kind of urban fantasy, with a heroine who isn't afraid of getting dirty--give this a try.  You won't go wrong and as I said its a fast-paced book.