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The Outsorcerer's Apprentice

(YouSpace #3)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  1,797 ratings  ·  200 reviews
A happy workforce, it is said, is a productive workforce.
Try telling that to an army of belligerent goblins. Or the Big Bad Wolf. Or a professional dragonslayer. Who is looking after their well-being? Who gives a damn about their intolerable working conditions, lack of adequate health insurance, and terrible coffee in the canteen?
Thankfully, with access to an astonis
Paperback, 359 pages
Published July 15th 2014 by Orbit
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Average rating 3.54  · 
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 ·  1,797 ratings  ·  200 reviews

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Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
The Outsorcerer's Apprentice commits one of my cardinal sins of writing right off the bat: nowhere does it say that this is part of a series. The synopsis on the back makes it sound like a completely standalone story, the list of other books by the author at the beginning does absolutely nothing to indicate that this is connected to any of them, and even the little intro paragraph makes it seem like this is a self-contained novel.

That said, it's going to be hard to review this, because (I sure a
Kitvaria Sarene
First of - this is not a book for everybody.
If you love silly, crazy and over the top humor - then go for it! You'll love it as much as me! If you don't - keep clear of this one...

Scenes like this one, made me absolutely fall in love with the book:
“In order to fulfill your quest -"
"Would you please not use that word? It's so Robert E. Howard."
"Fine. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to travel to the far ends of the earth...?"
"What? In these shoes? You must be joking."
"Crossing ar
Doc Opp
Oct 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I picked up this book because I like clever wordplay, and the title amused me. And early on, I was consistently impressed by the cleverness of the writing, the snarky observational satire, and generally the wittiness. It reminded me a bit of Terry Pratchett, or A. Lee Martinez, or Douglas Adams. I had high hopes of finding a new fantasy humorist and a dozen book reading list to look forward to.

Only... it was readable but it wasn't all that engaging. Maybe it was the pacing. Maybe it was that the
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
This was not a good book, despite an amazing premise. I so desperately wanted it to get good, but it stalled for hundreds of pages before a lame ending capped off a less than fun experience.

Final Recommendation: Don't bother.
Oct 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Just okay. I had fun reading it--but it was uncohesive. While the concept was wonderful--outsource menial work in this world to a parallel universe with lots of mythic familiarity for the reader--there was too much going on and it lacked a plot structure to pull together all the cleverness into a real story line. I actually liked the LOTR parody parts and I loved the very liberal snooty elves criticizing one another's "slim volumes." The simultaneous mockery of heartless corporate culture (ready ...more
May 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
This started out so well for me...sadly it just didn't last.

It is the first (and possibly only) Tom Holt that I have/will read.

My first complaint would be that there is absolutely nothing to indicate that this book is part of a series; so I'm guessing that I perhaps missed certain references that would have made more sense had I read the previous books.

Having said that, I cannot be 100% sure if some of the plot holes and character inconsistencies were written in purposefully, or if they were in
Oct 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
I like funny sf/fantasy books, and I like British humor, This book was amusing at times but it just didn't do it for me. Three stars for the funny parts and some cute premises, but otherwise, meh.
T.O. Munro
Aug 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Writing is hard, writing comedy is harder, I think even harder than stand up comedy. The stand up comedian has the immediate feedback of audience reaction. He or she can tailor their material, shuffle the gags and decide if something needs to be cut. The writer of comedy sends their work beyond a veil and, beta-readers apart, gets feedback only once the work is complete, the jokes all told, the bid for funny made.

In my review of "Apocalypse Cow" I thought the humour a little strained with the e
Robert Cubitt
Sep 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-parody
Once upon a time there was a really creative and innovative author by the name of Tom Holt. He wrote really interesting and funny books about ordinary people finding themselves in extraordinary worlds and having to learn how to deal with them. Usually they learnt something about themselves on the way, such as how brave or how clever they really were.

Then Tom Holt created the multiverse (well, started writing about it anyway) and his books got really boring and samey. Why? Probably because in the
Aug 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dropped
Nope sorry.
I've tried to give this book a chance but I just can't keep it up anymore.
Bye, book, sorry we didn't understand each other. I certainly didn't understand what was happening and why was it worthy of writing about.
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I forgot how much I like Tom Holt! I accidentally picked up the third in this series first - need to go back and start from the beginning.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some of Tom Holt's earlier books I've read I have found a little disappointing on account of the fact that I really liked the setting and the basic idea behind the plot, but somehow the books didn't truly deliver anyway. This one did. It's at times quite clever, and most of the time it's really quite funny. An enjoyable read.

A sample quote:

"Mordak [the goblin king] swallowed hard and went on. [...] He would like them to consider a few hard facts. Although output of shining rocks had risen steadi
Dec 29, 2018 rated it liked it
A fun read. I've been sneaking and reading the reviews as I read this book (I keep telling myself to stay away from reviews until after a book, but sigh I never listen to my own advise) and I've noticed a recurring theme. Many reviews compare this book to Terry Pratchett's Discworld books and to Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Others say nope! Tom Holt tries but falls short. I have to agree with the later. Where Adams and Pratchett's humor and riff on life, culture, e ...more
Liz N
Dec 24, 2017 rated it liked it
What would happen if you asked a bemused economist to narrate and examine your favorite childhood fairytales? Well, I have a feeling it would look something like The Outsorcerer’s Apprentice. For years, a realm of magical creatures have been going about their business without any regard for rationality or basic market economics until a young woodcutter’s daughter starts realizing opportunities for arbitrage, a knight starts examining dragon populations, a goblin makes some un-goblin like decisio ...more
Amy Rijk
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm still not really sure if this series is meant as a series of stand alone books or as a full on series. It doesn't ever mention it being part of a series. At the end there's even two previews for the previous books with a 'if you enjoyed this book you'll enjoy these'-message. So I guess they are stand alone? But then this book explains a lot of things I didn't get while I was reading The Good, The Bad and the Smug, so I'd say it would be smart to read this before that book. So it's a series? ...more
Jan 27, 2018 rated it liked it
I absolutely loved this book... at first. About halfway through something changed, though I can't quite put my finger on what. The Outsorcerer's Apprentice has a great premise, but halfway through it loses it's teeth and all lose ends are wrapped up by a mysterious duo instead of the large cast of "heroes".

As it turns out this is the third in a series, not a standalone novel, so perhaps the previous two books would shed some light on these characters and the world they inhabit. Though I wasn't
I got this from the library because it looked light and funny and quick, and in those respects I was not disapponted.

However, nothing warned or prepared me for the fact that it was the third on a series, a fact I didn't know until I came to add it here, in fact.

It's technically fine to pick it up without reading the other two - from what I can tell, they take place on different parallel realities anyway - but there are many terms and short in-jokes that I'd shrugged off as just another part of
Diana Davis
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to enjoy this book more than I did. There are some funny bits and I kept reading trying to get into the story but unfortunately this book has a few issues. (small spoiler at end of review)

Almost all of the characters are male. Of the main characters only one is female. I'm sick of this sort of thing.

There is one female character who seems to be an important character for the first part of the book but she completely disappears. Apparently she was only there to get a male charact
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Ah... Only now, that I go to add this on goodreads, do I see that it's is in fact the third in a series...

Overall, Outsorcerer's Apprentice was a fun little "beach read" for people who like snarky fantasy. It went by quickly and was enjoyable, maybe even more so for the fact that I hadn't read these other ones. You did get the sense that some unexplained characters are meant to be call backs to other books, but other than that it was a good time. Some of the characters are a little one dimension
Tristan Yi
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Funny, well-thought-out, and tightly plotted!!! I enjoyed myself greatly, and you can tell Holt cares deeply about his world and the fantasy genre as a whole. A hundred jokes a minute!

Technically, this book is the third novel set in the YouSpace universe (preceded by “Doughnut” and “When It’s A Jar”), but it stands alone. Holt tells you anything you need to know with efficient nuggets of exposition sprinkled throughout. Not a problem! If the plot summary piques your interest, you will probably l
Mar 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Thought I would try this author as he seems to have written a lot of books and was looking for sci-fi fantasy series I could get into.

It was a pretty light read, storyline was new and a bit funny but not a book I would say was particularly high on my must read list.

It reminded me a lot of a modern take on Terry Prachett and Pier Anthony (both whom I've read A LOT of their books)...

If I was looking for a change up from something heavy, I'd probably read another of his books.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: from-the-fcpl

but every time I'd start to think, "This is just ridiculous," I'd come to something like,

"He'd let the annoying, common-sense deficient, ludicrously over-tall waste of oxygen crawl in through the cat flap of his affection and curl up in front of the radiator of his priorities"


"Benny is gormless - more than that, he's a black hole into which gorm falls and is utterly consumed"

and how could I quit that?
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Though this book was witty and made me laugh out loud several times, it over time seemed to stagnate a bit for me. I loved the concept and thought it was genuinely funny, but it sometimes had a hard time keeping hold of my attention. Also - and i can't stress this enough - WHEN will people learn to clearly state when a book is part of a series, especially when it's part three?? All in all a good read, but not great, sadly.
Heddwen Creaney
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this as a book to read during my lunch breaks at work. Wasn't impressed with the ending, but it was a good laugh and a pleasant, light hearted break. It made me genuinely laugh out loud quite a few times. I would read another novel by this author, although probably not for quite a few years.
May 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
I liked this more in theory than I did in practice. While it created an interesting world to a certain extent, it didn't live up to my expectations in terms of story. I felt like it was such a wandering plot, that they never really got to the point. The book spent more time asking the same questions over and over again than answering any of them. All in all... meh. Kind of boring.
Tiffany Horton
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I didn’t realize this was part of a series. It was interesting and entertaining as a stand alone book and I never once felt like I had missed a detail that would have come from reading the earlier books.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Really was hoping for something a little more than this book ended up delivering. I've read Tom Holt in the past and in hindsight shouldn't have been so suprised. His books are often a real hit or miss affair. I don't know that I'll bother with the other two in this series.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I always like Tom Holt, but for some reason I haven't bought one since "Blonde Bombshell" some years ago. This book was fun as usual, with the usual impossibilities contrasting with the mundane, and all of course very English.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it liked it
The humor is excellent, and the characters are well written, the only thing that kept me from enjoying it further was the rather disappointing ending. It left a lot to be desired, closure-wise. Over all, as designated by the three stars, I liked it.
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
3 and a half stars. The premise sounded fun and also funny but Holt failed to deliver. It also didn't really have a plot until the last third of the book. Then once there was stuff happening, it ended abruptly.
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Tom Holt (Thomas Charles Louis Holt) is a British novelist.
He was born in London, the son of novelist Hazel Holt, and was educated at Westminster School, Wadham College, Oxford, and The College of Law, London.
Holt's works include mythopoeic novels which parody or take as their theme various aspects of mythology, history or literature and develop them in new and often humorous ways. He has also pro

Other books in the series

YouSpace (4 books)
  • Doughnut (YouSpace, #1)
  • When It's A Jar (YouSpace, #2)
  • The Good, the Bad and the Smug (YouSpace, #4)

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Are you having a difficult time reading these days? If so, you're not alone. Since the pandemic began, I've found it harder to concentrate on...
64 likes · 29 comments
“I know what you’re doing,” the wolf said. “This is advanced interrogation techniques, right? First you destroy my self-esteem and sense of individuality, then you force me to tell you where the pack hides out, so your woodcutter pals can come and slaughter us. Well, you’re wasting your breath. I won’t talk. I won’t talk. Got that?” 1 likes
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