Thursday, December 6, 2012

Review: Geekomancy by Michael R. Underwood

Title: Geekomancy (Ree Reyes #1)
Michael R. Underwood
Publisher: Pocket Star
Release Date: July 10, 2012

Clerks meets Buffy the Vampire the Slayer in this original urban fantasy eBook about Geekomancers—humans that derive supernatural powers from pop culture.

Ree Reyes’s life was easier when all she had to worry about was scraping together tips from her gig as a barista and comicshop slave 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 down into her town’s magical flip-side. Here, astral cowboy hackers fight trolls, rubber-suited werewolves, and elegant Gothic Lolita witches while wielding nostalgia-powered props.

Ree joins Eastwood (aka Scruffy Guy), investigating a mysterious string of teen suicides as she tries to recover from 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?

My Review

This book got me at the title. Geekomancy. Who wouldn’t at least read the excerpt of a book which such a cool title? And that’s just the tip of a can of awesome that doesn’t stop until the last page.

In it, we follow the story of Ree, Rhiannon Anna Maria Reyes, as she stumbles/jumps into the rabbit whole and lands in a world full of geekyness. A world where all the fantasy books, memorabilia, props and toys have power. Power fueled by nostalgia and the love the fans provide to make them come to life. Like I said: Awesome.

Ree’s introduction to this world comes at the hand of Eastwood (who I liked in the beginning, highly disliked in the middle, and ended up kind of liking again by the end [good writing right there]) and a troll, dead due to high levels of lightsaber to the kneecaps. And then it just got better.

The first two chapters are a bit slow, because they introduce us to Ree and the cast of friends, all described in D&D terms (Ree: Strength 10, Dexterity 14, Stamina 12, Will 17, IQ 16, and Charisma 15 – Geek 7 / Barista 3 / Screenwriter 2 / Gamer Girl 2). Each of the characters that play a role in the story gets introduced like this. And that’s just a sample of all the geek in the book.

It’s full of quotes, call backs, Serenity, Buffy, Superman, comics, werewolves, Jedi, coffee, drinking, evil dudes, a demon lord, monsters, a Victorian adventurer (who is great by the way), and so on and so on and so on… And so on.

It’s very hard for me right now not to turn the Squee on and start babbling about how much I loved the book. Despite the fact that at least half of the geek references in it went over my head, I thoroughly enjoyed the read. I said it before, and I’ll say it again: “Ree channeled Sherlock. She could punch a puppy in the face and drop kick a baby. I’d provide an alibi. It’s that awesome!”

Ree’s geekpower is Geekomancy, which means she can genre emulate. This means that she can watch a movie/series and gain powers based on them. Such as heightened deductive skills from watching Sherlock, mad fencing skills from watching The Princess Bride, action hero badassitude from watching Sahara. Wouldn’t that be awesome!? YES! Yes it would. Rhetorical question, it would be awesome to the 10th power.

All of THAT is framed in a damn good urban fantasy setting which makes the whole geekomancy thing feel familiar, even though it’s damn new and original. To me, anyway.

Teenage suicide seems to have a funky magic smell to it and Ree is drawn to help and figure out what’s going on. Her curiosity and do-goodery gets the better of her at times, and she gets her ass handed to her more than once, but she keeps going until she figures it all out. As any good urban fantasy detective would. Sprinkle in a couple earth-shattering twists, increasingly insurmountable odds, low battery phone and even lower caffeine levels, and what do you get?

A really good book. Great characters. Amazing story-line. Rich world and magic system. Great writing. Just plain awesome. Ok. I’m done. Go read it and bask in the geekitude.


  1. I added this to my tbr list too, based solely on the title.

    OMG, I just learned what geekomancy is and I want this power!!!! AHHHHHHHH!

    I am DEFINITELY reading this!

  2. I'm with you on this one, sister! I'm totally reading this book in hopes of developing the power. ;-)

  3. It was an awesome book I agree. i also felt the same about half of the references :)) Fantastic review, Will!


You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!