Imagine if you stumbled across a computer program that is basically running the entire planet, and that you can manipulate that program. Imagine that you’re able to dramatically increase your bank account without stealing a cent from another person. You can teleport. Heck, you can even travel back in time, though you’re admittedly unable to visit the future. Now, imagine that the government found out, and your only reasonable method of escaping capture is to travel back to medieval England in hopes of passing yourself off as a wizard.
All of this happens to Martin, our protagonist, in the first few chapters of the book. Unfortunately, upon arriving in medieval England, Martin discovers that he’s not the only wizard around, because he’s not the first person to discover the File, as it’s been deemed. And anyone who discovers the File eventually ends up in trouble and on the run. Since most of the people who stumble across the File are of a type, most of them have the same idea for their escape plan, leading to a Europe littered with “wizards” from the modern era.
I absolutely loved Martin, even though I almost sprained my eye muscles from frequently rolling them at his decisions. Martin felt quintessentially part of my generation, as he survived off of equal parts intelligence, luck (both good and bad), entitlement, and laziness. He’s also super awkward, was makes for a lot of added entertainment value. But my favorite character in the book was undoubtedly Philip, Martin’s wizard trainer. The sass levels pulsating out of that man were almost toxic, and were one of the biggest contributors to my enjoyment of the book.
This book was a perfect blend of science fiction and fantasy, of parody and original plot. What made this book even more enjoyable for me was that I listened to the audio version, voiced by the incomparable Luke Daniels. This was my first experience with Daniels as a narrator, but it definitely won’t be my last. His different voices for each character were all fantastic, but his voice for Philip completely made the story for me. I’m sure the book is very entertaining when read in physical format, but I don’t know that I would’ve enjoyed the book at the same level had I not listened to the audio version. I literally laughed out loud on multiple occasions.
I highly recommend this book when you need something lighter that will make you laugh. And I can’t recommend the audiobook highly enough!