(special thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy!)
Well, here we have The Scriptlings. It’s an interesting urban fantasy story that tells the tale of a young man whose career in magic starts with his death and sort of goes from there. It also focuses on a young girl with the unfortunate name of Merkin. It’s clearly inspired by the works of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, and while the author isn’t quite up to their standard yet, he does show some promise.
As mentioned, this is a modern fantasy story, thus giving us magic in the “real world”. The magic is heavily influenced by computer programming and makes use of languages like Sumerian and Latin, something which I found to be rather interesting. I also very much enjoyed the way magic and tech are used together to create something quite a bit different from the usual fantasy fare.
The characters as well were generally enjoyable, though Buggeroff was way more interesting than the others. The setting was also rather neat. It’s fun to see a story that’s already set in Toronto so when they film the movie in Vancouver, they won’t have to change much.
I did have a few minor complaints. The use of footnotes wasn’t quite as smooth as what one gets from Pratchett, and often seemed to be unnecessary. The book could have also used a bit more editing. The writing style is extremely dense, and in many ways makes the book about 25% longer than it really needed to be.
But those complaints aside…I quite liked this story, and I feel once the author gets a few more books under his belt, he could be a major force to be reckoned with in the literary world.