So I was just going through my Amazon recs and came across a book called Geekomancy by Michael R. Underwood. Being that I am a geek, I was intrigued. So I downloaded the sample to my Kindle and away we go. I was a little worried by the ridiculously complicated name of the main character which I can’t remember the whole of so I’ll just let you know that she’s Ree Reyes.
I’m not entirely sure one has to be a geek to enjoy this book but it would definitely help to understand it. This book is made up of mostly pop/geek culture references. I personally love when my favorite writers sneak in a pop culture reference (Jim Butcher, I’m looking at you) but this might be a tad much for some. The character of Ree tends to think of things in a geeky way. Like breaking down people into D&D character sheet traits (strength #, wisdom #, intelligence #, charisma # etc).
She works at a theme cafe called Cafe Xombi that provides coffee, pastries and comics (among other things). She’s got the standard urban fantasy trops of having recently broken up with her boyfriend, her mother left when she was a child, her father is poor/hard-working and in every way supportive and she has a dream job (being a screen writer) that just isn’t meant to be. Just once I would like to see a female character (or any main character I suppose) be in a stable relationship, have both parents and a job that they love and don’t lose.
Aaaaaaaanyway, moving on. Ree’s post-break-up mopiness is interrupted by the arrival of a man who insists on being known as Eastwood (*sigh*), who is the one who inadvertently introduces her into the world of the weird. Now here is where I rather like the world that Underwood is creating because I haven’t seen something like it before.
Back around the time of the Renaissance, those people who could do magic influenced how those who could not do magic see magic. What I mean is, they created this thing called The Doubt. Because of the books and general enlightenment of the era, those who did magic basically put a big, multi-generational “someone else’s problem” spell on, well, Muggles for lack of a better term.
Someone who has magic has a type of magic. Werewolves are Atavists, who use magic to bring out the beast in them…turns out they have to use rubber werewolf suits as a focus but hey. Eastwood can basically use comics and other geek memorabilia to gain powers. The rarer the item, the longer the power will last. Like a Nightcrawler card will allow him to teleport briefly. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
Ree’s power is emulation, which would also rock. She can watch something or read something and gain the ability to do that thing. Want to fight like Buffy? Watch Band Candy. Want to dodge attacks? Watch The Matrix. Want to investigate a crime? Well, that’s all on BBC’s Sherlock (which you should totally watch BTW, because AWESOME doesn’t cover it). It only lasts for a little while and it doesn’t make her bullet or wound proof but hey, she can kick some booty.
So Eastwood has her looking into some virgin suicides that he is apparently investigating. Only investigating is a rather loose term. Its more like he’s looking for them specifically. He needs to collect the souls of five virgin suicides to get his lady love back from a demon (who is so ridiculously named I didn’t even try to remember it). And who is our mystery love? I’ll give you three guesses. No? Enter trope long-lost-mom.
Oh what is a girl to do? Well, read and find out. 🙂 This is a geek’s fantasy. I’m telling you if I could suddenly dive into an urban fantasy book, I think it would be this one. How cool would it be to be able to fight like Westley and Inigo Montoya simply by watching The Princess Bride? I know right?! But it is a really trope-y book, just so you’re forewarned. I enjoyed it enough that I would read another book in this series (if there is a series-it was certainly left open for a follow up). Rating B. His writing could use a little work. I feel like there was a lot of exposition in this book and that any follow ups would be smoother.