- When Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, of Zero Punctuation fame, announced last year that he was writing a book, I was intrigued. I know he's done other creative work, but I never took the time to investigate it. But if somebody thought his novel was good enough to publish, I had to give it a try.
- That novel is Mogworld, the tale of a fledgling wizard named Jim who's life is cut tragically short before the first chapter even begins only to return to unlife in a world were no one can die anymore. (If you think that's a spoiler, go look at the cover. Dude is a corpse.) The book follows his journey through the world to discover why no one (and especially himself) can die, no matter how hard they try.
- As much as I'd like to talk about the mystery (which is right there in the title and has been spoiled elsewhere), I don't want to spoil it for anyone going in cold. But I will say that Croshaw's handling of the story is a lot more thoughtful than I expected. The book is funny and I quite enjoyed it on that level. But at the same time, the issues raised are serious and treated with the seriousness they deserve. It would have been easy to bounce jokes off the premise and leave it at that. More than few webcomics have tread similar ground without really exploring deeper. Mogworld tackles them head on in a way that is both entertaining and emotionally satisfying.
- From a technical point of view, Yahtzee writes well and is easy to read. You can tell he put the effort in his first novel. Since Mogworld is a one and done (by the end, you'll agree with me that a sequel would spoil the story), I eager to see what he comes up with next.
© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.