*This title will be released on July 10, 2012*
Genre: Urban Fantasy | Excerpt: Yes
Reviewed by: Julia | Source: Author
Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.
“If Buffy hooked up with Doctor Who while on board the Serenity, this book would be their lovechild. In other words, GEEKOMANCY is full of epic win.”
— Marie Lu, author of the Legend trilogy
Ree Reyes’ life was easier when she just had to worry about scraping together tips from her gig as a barista-and-comicshop slave wage in the port city of Pearson 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 into Pearson’s magical flip-side. Here, astral cowboy hackers fight trolls, rubber-suited werewolves and Elegant Gothic Lolita fate witches by channeling genre tropes and wielding nostalgia-powered props.
Ree joins Eastwood (aka scruffy guy), investigating a mysterious string of teen suicides as she tries to avoid imploding after 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?
Like any true geek homage, GEEKOMANCY is aggressively packed with cult pop culture references, memorabilia, and television slang. Though these hallmarks are fun in conversation, in narrative form this deluge initially came across as “let me tell you everything I know” noise. It took awhile for me to acclimate to GEEKOMANCY‘s quippy style, but once I learned to relax and love the book… oh no, it’s contagious.
But seriously, after a few chapters of tell, tell, tell, Ree was finally up to speed and ready to kick some butt. In a world where consuming your favorite entertainment can literally fuel your magic, Ree’s encyclopedic knowledge of movies, TV, comics, and games is a finely honed weapon in her arsenal. Though I never quite warmed to liberal use of similes and digressions (Ree is the resident Manic Pixie Dream Girl of her coffee house patrons daydreams and her splintered attention span proves that she more than fits the role), the adventure side of things was very fun to read. References that would break my concentration when sprinkled into the narration made GEEKOMANCY‘s magic system both fun and accessible in the action scenes, as I puzzled out how a particular TV show or movie would boost Ree’s geekomancy. Though the narrative’s glib style meant Ree and her pals never grew beyond caricature for me, it’s unfair to judge the character development by the usual, gritty tone of an urban fantasy. The flavor of GEEKOMANCY owes more to HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY or Piers Anthony.
Above and beyond the quotes and cameos of beloved pop culture, the plot underneath GEEKOMANCY was well written. I particularly liked how Underwood played with the typical mentor/apprentice relationship, an unexpected twist that really added depth to the adventure. Though a little slow to start, if you’re in the mood for verbal gymnastics and enjoy seeing all of your favorite pop culture franchises in gorgeous, living color, GEEKOMANCY more than delivers.