Review; Mogworld, Yahtzee Croshaw
Games-geek cum modern-day Renaissance man Benjamin ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw is probably best known for his acerbically humorous games reviews. He is also game designer, podcaster, games reviewer, web comic creative, and novelist, and I started reading his works on the advice of my friend the author Laszlo Xalieri. They fit my read-need for these times, being fun, engaging in terms of the plots, the multi-layered humour and because they transport me from our current situation to alternate worlds.
I re-read Differently Morphous last week. It was just what I needed. I forgot to review it and went straight on to Mogworld because I had enjoyed Differently Morphous so much. Croshaw’s works normally get me smiling from the first few pages. Not so this one, which redeems itself only in the last few chapters. Mogworld reads like his first book because that is what it is.
Mogworld – high fantasy with sorcerers, clerics, adventurers and more – is a combination of story and satire. It takes a while to develop, is crammed with jokes, some of which reward close attention, but the first half proceeds at a monotonically consistent narrative pace. This work goes to show that, as with dance – and as we are learning – during lockdown life, too much of the same thing; however virtuous or virtuousic, does not work.
I suspect that my high expectations lead to disappointment on rereading this book. If you – unlike me – are not so starved of new sci-fi and fantasy that you read all an authors’ works through upon discovering them, read Mogworld first with this review in mind. His second book – Jam – which I am re-reading now, is darkly funny, and consistent in its caustic gamer-geek humour running gags and word games from the start.