‘Mogworld’ Book Review
Author: ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw
Plot: Jim is a student wizard – at least until the residents of the local warrior school take upon themselves to attack, then Jim is a corpse. Skip forward a few decades and Jim finds himself re-animated as one of the undead by an enthusiastic necromancer. It becomes clear shortly thereafter that the world has undergone many changes – fallen adventurers are respawning at nearby churches, an affliction is striking heroes causing them to act as though under control from an outside force and strange beings seem capable of altering the landscape. Although it’s the last thing he wants, Jim is caught up in an adventure to find what’s really behind it all.
Review: If you can’t explain what a ‘MMORPG’ is, I’m going to suggest skipping straight to the end of the review where I recommend that you don’t bother reading this book. Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw has made a name for himself as the mouthy, abusive and bloody funny video game reviewer in his weekly segment Zero Punctuation, and has now branched out into writing a novel. Let’s get this out of the way – Croshaw is an amateur writer and it shows. Early parts of the novel feel very self-conscious and poorly paced to the point that after 150 pages I took time out to read Batman comics for a week.
Not that it’s a bad read – this is a standard fantasy fare set in the world of a fictional video game, told from the perspective of an NPC who has become self-aware and the concept alone sells itself. The cross-overs into the real world and the clashes of understanding with the Gods/programmers is the best part of the book. After some stilted early chapters the story picks up momentum and characters who seemed pointless begin to play a bigger role.
‘Mogworld’ is a light, fun read with a Pratchett influenced sense of humour that takes a new perspective on an established genre. Although I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone without a rudimentary understanding of online gaming.