This third installment of Magic 2.0 was by far the funniest. At least, it was to me. If you've ever played old quest games from the 80s and 90s, you’ll recognize and laugh at so many tropes. I’m not much of a gamer; I have less than stellar hand-eye coordination, which makes gaming incredibly frustrating. However, even I dabbled in Myst back in the day, and I’ve watched my brother play countless questing adventure games, so I’m familiar with the tropes. Even if you’ve never played a video game in your life, this book would still be hilarious for you.
Philip, Tyler, Jeff, Gary, and Jimmy are sucked into an unwelcome quest (as the title states) by someone they burned in the past. This person has been plotting his revenge for years, and has created a simulation world just to drop them inside and torture them with a shoddily plotted quest. The reluctant adventures embark on the quest because their “powers” have been stripped from them, and cooperating with their captor is their only hope of going home. Little do they or their abductor know that Martin, Gwen, Roy, and Brit the Younger are hot on their trail, and have followed their friends into the game. Both groups have to complete dangerous tasks, endure the cold, and trek through various landscapes populated by tree wolves, river wolves, cliff wolves, and various other breeds that are basically all the comprised of the same exact wolf, just replicated and re-spawned. A whole lot of hilarity ensues.
The shining star of this story was Tyler. He might not be the best-selling novelist of all time, but he is a writer, and the laziness of the story they’ve been placed in drives him insane. Of course, he loudly voices those criticisms every chance he gets, resulting in amused friends and a very disgruntled game developer. I know I’m terrible about picking apart movies or books that cut corners or haven’t been properly researched, so I loved watching a fictional character losing his mind over the same exact things that drive me crazy. Also, there’s this scene with zombie sirens that was one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.
If you like your fantasy and sci-fi mixed together and sidesplittingly funny, you can’t do any better than the Magic 2.0 series as a whole or this book in particular.