Geek Fantasy Novel
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Geek Fantasy Novel

2.88 of 5 stars 2.88  ·  rating details  ·  214 ratings  ·  79 reviews
What happens when a science geek and magic collide?

Be careful what you wish for. Really. Because wishes are bad. Very bad. They can get you trapped in fantasy worlds full of killer bunny rabbits, evil aunts, and bothersome bacteria, for example. Or at least that's Ralph's experience. He's been asked to spend the summer with his strange British relatives at their old manor...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Scholastic Press (first published March 29th 2011)
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Monica Edinger
This was a very entertaining read. Yes, yet another intrusive narrator of sorts, but done in a very different way indeed. While I'm not a gamer I know enough about gaming to have seen at least some of the references here.

The story? Has something to do with poor geeky Ralph who, after being disappointed by not getting the gaming job he applied for (given that he is twelve-years-old it was in his dreams anyway), takes his British aunt up on an invitation to come to their castle to set up their in...more
Bethany Larson
This book is not AT ALL what I expected. I thought it was going to be a cute little foray into geek culture, (with which I am very well-acquainted) a romp through a world full of comic book in-jokes and World of Warcraft references. While Geek Fantasy Novel has those, as well as fire-burping bunnies, the book is soooo much more than that--it's smart and meta and inventive and full of SAT words and freakin' layered--there are TWO narrators! Not that it's a hard book to read; it's definitely not t...more
Sage Collins
This book had the perfect premise for me. I mean a geek ends up wished into fantasyland. What's not to like about that for a RPG-playing geek like me?

Well, it turns out, quite a lot.

First of all, here is another book where the part that's advertised is only the first third or so and the rest is totally different. There are reasons why each section of the book is very different than the rest (as the result of different people's wishes landing the MC in different types of fantasy worlds), but the...more
If I could, I would give this a 1.5 stars. It doesn't deserve two, but I like to reserve a one star for books I absolutely loathe.

I admit this confused me. It was like Alice in Wonderland on a bad trip. Ralph is a computer geek who, after being bitterly disappointed when he is denied his dream job as a game designer (despite being a teenager and thus making it unlikely they would hire him), sets off to spend the summer with some relatives he’s never met in England without his parent’s permission...more
This book was TERRIBLE. From the cover art, you would think it had something to do with Greek mythology/fantasy. The art on the dust jacket is awesome, but extremely misleading.
Ralph gets a letter from a strange person he has never heard of or seen before claiming to be his relative asking him to go to Britain to help set up their Internet connection, so he, against his parent's will, flies to their estate. Then,a strange lady who allegedly killed her son comes, asking him to make a wish that sh...more
I can't do it. The writing is just so awful, I cannot go on. It has potential to be hilarious, but the writing just is so horrid I can't bring myself to finish. I really don't care about the characters, the narrator is an actual entity that interacts with the reader and that I do like, but the execution just ruined it. I think if it was handled better I'd have enjoyed it. Perhaps this should be targeted to younger readers and not young adults? I don't know, it just didn't do it for me at all and...more
The premise of this was fantastic, but I don't think the author did enough with it. As a geek, I would have loved to see a real geeky response to fairy tales. Like: Ralph actually putting on a helmet like the one pictured and trying to figure out how to use binary code to solve one of the puzzles. Rather than doing lots of geeky things, he sort of complained and tagged along and didn't really seem to do anything. In that respect it was disappointing.

However, I love meta where the narrator gets t...more
Laura K
Like most others I was drawn to the prospect of some geek humor, and ended up with something entirely different. I fell in love with the beautifully developing plot line and amazingly used nonsense, and was constantly laughing when the author killed off the character about 3 times. Overall I think this is an amazing book for anyone who is open to something different, others will probably find it annoying and confusing.
Absolutely hilarious. And also slightly disturbing and seriously mind-bending. The narrative voice reminds me a bit of Brandon Sanderson's Alcatraz books, but drier and more absurd (if that's possible!) and the plot is unique.
Krys (Black & Write Reviews)
Via Black 'n Write Review
My final thoughts:
Ralph had a terribly boring upbringing. He had very few friends, does the pet rock collection count? And as such he dove into the world of computers and technology with his life goal of becoming a game designer for MonoMyth. After a series of a unfortunate events, Ralph receives a letter from his mother’s sister, Gert.

Aunt Gert, admittedly tells Ralph that one of her children randomly found him through an online web search and they found his blog, and r...more
Jan 24, 2011 Lisa marked it as to-read
I'm going to read this just for the nerd glasses on the cover.
Ralph has never been able to make a wish. Or, rather, he has never been allowed to make a wish. His parents strictly forbid it. And since they're pretty cool about everything else, Ralph never makes a wish. Then, one day, he receives a letter from his estranged aunt requesting that he come to Europe to set up their wi-fi network. Against his parent's wishes, he takes off for England and gets to work. And then another estranged aunt comes into the picture. One he's never even heard of; one that o...more
Laura Madsen
I confess: I am a geek by any common definition of the word.

Science major in college? Check
Played D&D? Check
Been to a Star Trek convention? Check
Own a color-coordinated set of 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, 12- and 20-sided dice? Check
Able to quote entire scenes of Star Wars? Check
Have a home wi-fi network with five or more devices connected to it? Check

So when I saw the cover of GEEK: FANTASY NOVEL at the library, illustrated with a glasses-wearing geek in a battle helm, I picked up the book and flipped...more
Ken Kugler
First I would like to say that this book really disappointed me. It is simply written as if in the style of “A Series of unfortunate Events”.
The lead character, Ralph, if an American who has always been told not to wish for anything and not told why. It seems that he is from a magically connected family and that wishes are often done with disastrous consequences. Then the letter from the British side of the family comes asking for help installing WiFi in their castle. Off he goes and discovers...more
I went to an author signing at Oblong Books - Libba Bray, David Levithan, Michael Northrop and E. Archer. I wanted to buy ALL the books there, of course, but I had told myself I could only buy the official copy of Beauty Queens I wanted.

And then I realized that Geek Fantasy Novel has been on my wishlist for a long time. And E. Archer was there. And then he read from it, and it was funny. And he could sign it. And I wanted it. And I wanted it. But I was a budget! But I wanted it!

Needless to say,...more
“Geek” is a novel that breaks a good many rules about the written word, including the adventure novel, the fantasy novel, the coming-of-age novel, the story-within-a-story novel, e.g. That should have made it witty, funny, intelligent, satirical, surprising and offbeat.

But it isn’t. The book is too arch in tone, the “hero” is an arrogant bumbler who doesn’t help the others in adventures so much as make a right mess of them and the wish-granting is clearly going to be such a disaster right from t...more
Jun 16, 2011 Tony rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: teen
Sigh -- why do I keep dipping my toes into teen (aka "young adult") books? I'm perpetually disappointed. There's a clever premise or interesting setting that hooks me, and then it all usually falls apart in a blizzard of cliches, bad writing, or poor storytelling. In this case, I was initially caught up in the adventure laid out before Ralph, a typical American gamer-geek teen more adept with computers than girls. Out of the blue, he gets a mysterious invitation to spend the summer with his Engl...more
This novel was hard to get through. It was funny and fun but I found it kind of out there also. It definitely falls under the category of modern fantasy because it includes fairy tale characters, has magic, and has an alternative universe. The book begins in modern times in New Jersey with a nerdy main character Ralph. His parents forbid him to wish for anything, but he ends up leading his long lost cousins on their wishing quest (which the cousins’ parents have forbidden them from wishing, also...more
Ms. Yingling
Ralph is glad to be free of his boring parents for the summer after receiving airline tickets and an invitation from family in England. His parents have always insisted that he never make a wish, and he finds out why-- many members of his family have died that way, and he soon finds himself imperiled on a quest of his own, fighting an evil aunt and thrust into a world that more resembles Ruinscape (Okay, RUNEscape, although the effect that it has on my son's motivation to do anything else is rui...more
Ralph is a typical young boy, dreaming of becoming a game designer and sketching out fantasy worlds in his head. Then, visiting family in England, he happens upon actual fantasy, in the form of an interfering fairy aunt. Will he be able to protect his cousins (and himself) from his aunt's machinations? Will anyone make it to the end of the book alive?

This book had an interesting premise, but it ran out of gas half-way through. The deeper into fantasy the characters went, the less important their...more
Ralph has always known that you NEVER make a wish, they are dangerous. So far in life, he really hasn't had a reason to make a wish. That's all about to change. He is unexpectedly invited to visit his relatives who live in England, and he goes, without his parents permission. Once there he finds himself in the middle of his cousins wishes where his life is constantly in peril.
Reminiscent of the classic Edgar Eager book Half Magic, but for an older audience. Wish sequences are fun and action fill...more
May 17, 2011 Audrey rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Audrey by: Jill-Square Books Jr.
Shelves: jr-reads
This book was handed to me by Jill at SB Jr. as a means to tide me over until I could get my hands on the new Rick Riordan. I chuckle now that she has me pegged as a bit of a "geek" myself! As its title suggests, it is a geek fantasy novel. It is smart and funny in a way that I'm not sure young readers will pick up on, but if they do, hopefully they can stomach a book that pokes fun at all that is geeky and cool about the genre and its followers. Certainly the idea of multiple quests mixed up wi...more
i rate this book a very conflicted meh.

author is clearly a fan of Monty python, which is great, but one liner's and unexpected narrator involvement are not nearly enough to carry a book. it's another example of how writing for youth is ruining perfectly good stories. it's like if you are writing a YA book, any old gimmick will do; it's ok that all the other stuff is lame. where are the editor's that are supposed to say things like, "this is a really good idea and your style is pretty neat but yo...more
Recommended for gr. 6-9. Older geeky gamers might also enjoy it. Many elements will appeal to the geek/gamer - the protagonist, Ralph, certainly fits the description. Other elements will appeal to the twisted fairy tale lover, for example, the fairy godmother and wishes gone awry. And we can't forget the exploding bunnies! That said, I felt the story was disjointed. The different sections of the book didn't flow together very well. One of the previous reviews called it a crazy roller coaster rid...more
This is another case of a great cover and a mediocre book. I had such high hopes. But the meta element of the author inserting himself into the book was lame and inconsistent. I don't have a problem with an author inserting himself into the book if it's well done. But in this case, it wasn't well done. I didn't understand why wishes brought people into adventures in a constructed fairy tale world. It doesn't seem to make sense. Why make a wish if the risk is real but there's no actual consequenc...more
Well, more like a 2.5, really, since I did muddle though it after all. But the sheer absurdity of the execution just left me cold. I almost felt as though the author was so enamored of his conceit of creating a narratively jerky, post-modern young adult fantasy novel and then lampshading the jerkiness and its failure that he either failed to notice or ignore the fact that pointing out the problems with the book do not fix them. The storytelling was uneven, neither of the main characters were par...more
Pretty interesting with some really excellent humor - but a bit precious - or precocious? - at times as the narrator steps into the story to clean up the loose ends. The core premise is some kind of overblown video game that is real, where a modern noble family with magical roots gets tangled up by a decision to forbid wishes. As the tangle unravels reality, the reader follows some fairly absurd plot twists that mostly work - altho the end becomes a bit convoluted. This will appeal to some geeky...more
Emily G.
This book was surprisingly hard to get through. It was slow starting up, slow in the middle, and slow in the end. There were very few parts in this book that I didn't find slow.
Not to say that a slow read can't be entertaining, but there is only so much slow that one book can encompass. When picking up this book, I was expecting some laughs, some action, something that I could enjoy. Unfortunantly this book didn't deliver it to me.
The writing style was a bit elementary, and the humor was immatur...more
Cute and quirky, but ultimately underdeveloped in the areas of character and story, while over-built in terms of setting. Young boys should especially enjoy the humor and geeks of all stripes will love the subtle homage and skewering of favorite fantasy novel tropes. In the end, however, this book is too clever for its own good and not quite geeky enough to stand the test of time. Quest elsewhere for true die-hard geekery, my friends.

Full review on my blog: http://splinteredfragmentsoflight.blo...more
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E. Archer lives in New York City. He is a fantasy geek.
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