Length: 10 hours 26 mins
Narrator: Luke Daniels
The series continues… kind of… (read my review for the last 3 in the series here)
So the latest book is out for the Off to be the Wizard Series, this one is called Fight and Flight.
Essentially the basic premise is the wizards who despite being able to write programs to edit a file which controls the world, manage to find themselves in ‘nearly dying situations’ quite often.
All of it, they argue is because they’re not prepared enough. They decide that they need a weekly training regime with some kind of opponent to keep them from falling vulnerable to whatever the future may hold. That’s when the job falls to Jeff and he decides upon Dragon.
Ultimately the dragons escape and the wizards have to retrieve them and also save their pride with the local towns-folk which are generally too stupid to protect themselves.
This plot sounds a little boring when summarising, however I can assure you, this is all there is to it.
This is really more like an interlude book to what would hopefully be Book 5, the continuation and progression of the story.
Having a whole story where they’re just mucking around is a bit strange. Especially with such a simple task.
I’m hoping that the 5th book is on it’s way out soon and that it includes a much more adventurous story with some real challenges, and maybe the return of a few characters, or perhaps the introduction of the character Mitch that they alluded to in this book. A person they banished for some reason from their realm.
I think whilst i still enjoyed this book, it definitely wasn’t as good as the other 3.
There was no real chance of peril. I loved the fact that the challenge in the 1st book that didn’t present itself until 3/4 of the way through the book, and before that it was just exploring their powers… although with this.. there was never really any peril.
That being said, it is pretty funny though. I wrote down a few of my favourite quotes from the book
When talking about someone yelling
‘Much like urine, and angry stream could be funny if aimed at someone else’
“I saw him with the sheep, I don’t know what he was doing, he was yelling and chasing it, it seemed like he wanted to wrestle it …He was abusing it , I guess you might say”
‘There are certain crimes that are not only wrong, but are so ignominious that the act of accusing someone of them makes them appear guilty …Because all joking aside, one would never accuse someone of that, unless they were certain’
Gibbons nodded, making the common misunderstanding that thought understanding meant agreeing.
Like any group that accepts pretty much anybody, the membership of The Bastards were made up entirely of young males who felt worthless and powerless….Guys who look at the creatures wriggling around in the mud and think ‘he thinks he’s better than me’
Martin- “What will sheep run to get? ‘To get not eaten.’”
You are an Englishman, your people invented English, and here you are being corrected by an American, a less educated American.
How will you ever face your fellow Englishmen again?
Phillip- “The same way we always face each other…With a hint of embarrassment”
Tyler- “Sometimes there’s a difference between what I know I should do, and what I want to do”
Tyler, “how long have you been able to imitate my voice?”
Gary- “remember that time we went to Norway to visit the Magnusses and that blonde girl slapped you for no reason?”
Gary- “since just before that…And she had a reason. A pretty good one.”
Stranger – “are you calling me a liar?”
Roy- “I didn’t call you a liar…I’m just pointing out that you’re lying.”
Roy- “Then, after we put on a little bit of a show, we’ll separate them from the dragons somehow , and take the dragons out. It’s a good plan.”
Jeff – “good plans almost never contain the word somehow.”
Other funny moments but ones that I don’t have direct quotes for is the extended and rather pointless amazingly long Scottish conversation, where the author seems utterly lost in the mini moment;
When Bishop Godfrey joins the demon shenanigans.. it’s pretty funny and pretty ridiculous;
And the super sarcastic apple salesman. I should go back, re-listen to that and write it down.. but all these little things make up for the actual story being pretty limited.
I think overall the book it decent because of the comedy factor.
The accents and voices are still great. Luke Daniels continues to do a great job.
Gary pretending to be Tyler was great too.
We get to hear this when we find out that Gary has created a ventriloquist ‘spell’/ program that can project other people’s voices from a different location.
It actually sounds like Tyler’s voice, slightly muffled … it’s pretty decent.
The character ‘Honour’ was voice acted well, even though the character was annoying as hell… but i guess the fact that she truly came across annoying as hell is a credit to Luke Daniel’s performance
I would listen to it again, but just by comparing it to the rest of the books in the series, i would say this book is really just an interlude book. Shenaningans happen, but it doesn’t really progress the story at all. So for the series:
1st, Book 1 Off to be the Wizard
2nd, Book 3 An Unwelcome Quest
3rd, Book 2 Spell & High Water
4th, Book 4 Fight & Flight
For my friends that love the series, I would definitely recommend this.
But this is not a book I’d recommend right off the bat.
It’s much like when I’m trying to get someone into Blackadder… I would recommend skip the 1st season & move straight onto the 2nd.
I would suggest stick with 1, 2, 3 unless you’re a real fan for this book.
I’m looking forward to a non-interlude, one where Jimmy makes a return. (Spoiler…he does not in this book) And where there’s a bit more mystery and challenge or chance of peril.
I hope the next book Scott Meyer can work on these things.
One last final point
The 1st 3 books were published by Brilliance Audio, and this one was an Audible Original… I can’t help but think whenever a bigger company gets involved, they can’t help but stretch out ideas to make more money.. rather than just allow the author’s creativity free will.
The kind of ‘we all learned something’ kind of ending made me feel that this wasn’t the authors intention. And that maybe in the works is the pitching for a couple of ideas that have since been stretched to many more multiple books.
I hope that’s not the case, but I’m always a little suspicious of this, because it does seem to be a strange coincidence that 1st 3 were all fairly solid…and the 4th one having a different publisher …is well.. , not so solid.
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