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The adventures of an American hacker in Medieval England continue as Martin Banks takes his next step on the journey toward mastering his reality-altering powers and fulfilling his destiny. A month has passed since Martin helped to defeat the evil programmer Jimmy, and things couldn’t be going better. Except for his love life, that is. Feeling distant and lost, Gwen has joThe adventures of an American hacker in Medieval England continue as Martin Banks takes his next step on the journey toward mastering his reality-altering powers and fulfilling his destiny. A month has passed since Martin helped to defeat the evil programmer Jimmy, and things couldn’t be going better. Except for his love life, that is. Feeling distant and lost, Gwen has journeyed to Atlantis, a tolerant and benevolent kingdom governed by the Sorceresses, and a place known to be a safe haven to all female time-travelers. Thankfully, Martin and Philip are invited to a summit in Atlantis for all of the leaders of the time-traveler colonies, and now Martin thinks this will be a chance to try again with Gwen. Of course, this is Martin Banks we’re talking about, so murder, mystery, and high intrigue all get in the way of a guy who just wants one more shot to get the girl. The follow-up to the hilarious Off to Be the Wizard, Scott Meyer’s Spell or High Water proves that no matter what powers you have over time and space, you can’t control rotten luck. ...

Title : spell or high water
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 20883025
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 443 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

spell or high water Reviews

  • TS Chan
    2019-04-30 21:33

    3.5 stars.Spell or High Water is a good follow-up to Off to Be the Wizard. Admittedly, a bit of the novelty factor from the first book did start to wear off and I find this volume to be weaker but the narrative retained its enjoyable comedic tone. Martin and Philip were invited by Gwen to Atlantis, a safe haven for all female sorceresses from a society which is far from friendly to those whom they deem as witches, where a grand summit to gather all the leaders of all known wizard colonies in the world will be held. In the meantime, Jimmy was masterminding his way of getting back in time through the two federal agents who were looking for Martin back in the 21st century. Firstly, I will have to stress that this story is best enjoyed via audiobook. The narrator truly brought out the best of what the author had to offer. In the few times when I was just reading it off the pages, I found that while it was still funny it was nothing compared to listening to Luke Daniels acting out each character to perfection. Sure, some the voices sounded a bit exaggerated but in the spirit of the comedic turn of this story, it is appropriate. The good cop, bad cop representation of the two (unluckiest) federal agents was corny and clichéd but I had to admit I really had a good laugh over it. Like I’ve said in my review for the first book, you should not take this too seriously.Miller and Murphy employed an exaggerated version of the old good cop/bad cop routine that Jimmy liked to call “violently unstable rage-aholic cop/ friendly, talkative youth pastor cop.”Meanwhile, in Atlantis, Martin and Philip met the Britts, and got entangled in a web of murder and intrigue. The plot around the Britts was at times long-winded and thoroughly confusing as their very co-existence created a time-travel conundrum that resulted in regular alliteration of its theoretical possibility. And of course, while all that is happening, Martin was still trying to win the girl.The worldbuilding element of Atlantis was pretty darn cool. That it was all created by a woman kind of makes sense from an aesthetic point of view. However, a society that was solely ruled by women did result in certain aspects which were not exactly tasteful in my opinion. While some readers might feel offended by how such a female-dominated society is portrayed, I took it in stride as a form of parody given the deliberate comical narrative of the story. Seriously, or perhaps not so seriously, some of the action scenes could belong in a campy slapstick comedy.He saw the fearsome creatures, the wall of flame, the large audience, and the international task force of wizards, all clearly ready for action, standing in what he had to admit were mostly bad imitations of kung-fu poses. Although the writing is easy and direct, the author has a way of playing with and putting together iterations in a whimsical fashion that fits the narrative.He was half of a two-man task force, assigned to investigate and possibly solve a series of possibly connected impossible occurrences that were possibly crimes. While this was not as good as the first, partly due to some long-winded sections and partly due to the ‘villains’ who annoyed me, I still find it enjoyable enough to want to continue with the next books in the series. It’s rare to find smart comedy like this and one with an amazing narrator as well. Last but not least, I love the whimsical 8-bit graphic covers. This review can also be found at Booknest

  • Celeste
    2019-05-22 18:25

    Full review now posted!Rating: 4.5/5 starsThese are such cheesy books, but man are they enjoyable.Spell or High Water picks up about a month after the events of Off to Be the Wizard. Martin and Philip are invited to a summit for magical time-travelers, to be held in the mythical city of Atlantis, where Gwen is now a resident. In the present, Jimmy has managed to get out of South America and is hot on the trail of Martin, intent on convincing the Treasury agents hunting Martin to help him. Plot wise, that’s basically it. The entire book follows Martin and Philip’s adventures in Atlantis, with all the politics and romance and murder attempts involved there, and Jimmy’s experience with the Treasury Agents. Between these two storylines, there’s a lot of laughter to be had. My favorite thing about Atlantis, which is where every single woman who discovers the File ends up, has to be the man servants. Musclebound men with little more than fluff for brains congregate in Atlantis, hoping to catch the eye of one of the sorceresses. In doing so, they guarantee an easy, comfortable life for themselves, doing manly stuff like cleaning and filing papers while the sorceresses take care of the womanly things, like politics and city infrastructure. The gender role reversal was very entertaining for me, and the “uniform” these men often wore, comprised of mesh shirts and short kilts, just made me role my eyes so hard.Jimmy’s storyline, with Agents Miller and Murphy, was laugh-out-loud funny. The lengths that Jimmy had to go through to work around his magnetic field that destroyed all electronics was one of the most amusing things I’ve ever read. But what really killed me was Agent Miller’s extreme anger issues. The man is hilarious. And again, what made this book so incredibly fun for me was listening to it on audio. Luke Daniels is a treasure, and his voices for the Treasury agents were fabulous. All in all, this is a very fun, light series. I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the first, but the difference wasn’t large enough to adversely effect my rating. If you’re looking for a fluffy blend of science fiction and fantasy that will have you chuckling as you read, give this a go. And if you want to upgrade those chuckles for full belly laughs, pick up the audiobook.Original review can be found at Booknest.

  • Holly
    2019-04-30 19:08

    I don't think I would have been as disappointed as I was with this book if I hadn't read the first one.We're off to be the Wizard was smart, charming and full of compelling characters who, amazingly, had some really relevant things to say about gender and male/female relationships. Philip, in particular, was a favorite character of mine because he was so even-keeled and so good at pointing out to EVERY OTHER CHARACTER how STUPID it was that they couldn't just see women as people.And then something happened with Scott Meyer because he suddenly stopped being the super cool, amazing, creative author from We're off to be the Wizard who magically saw women as people and instead fell back on every negative stereotype that we have about women in our very stereotype-ridden modern western culture and churned out disgusting character after disgusting character. Women, in this book, are either cowed by men or enjoy "being chased", they are petty, they thrive on drama and when they fight it is by defensively anticipating the other person's move instead of being at all aggressive.If that doesn't bother you too much (which, again, it might not have bothered me if Meyer hadn't done such an awesome job of NOT being that guy in his first book), still don't get your hopes up because the book is boring.I was so excited for this book that I had it sent directly to my kindle the moment it was available. Despite that it took me more than a month to finish reading it.The characters have circular redundant conversation after circular redundant conversation, which are not made any more interesting or acceptable when they acknowledge time and time again that they have already had the conversation.The side story also just felt like it was inserted to add a few more chapters to the book. It felt irrelevant and disconnected from the rest of the story which is STUPID because it was so beautifully set up in the last book. Also, the way the side story finally goes down was boring. I think Meyer was trying to do something unconventional, but it fell so, so flat.Reading this book was a waste of time.That said I will probably still try reading whatever Meyer puts out next because his first book was SO GOOD. There must be more awesome left in him somewhere!

  • Rob
    2019-05-05 21:19

    Executive Summary: While not as funny as the first book, I still found this book a lot of fun and look forward to the next one.Audio book: I'm convinced Luke Daniels could read the phone book and make it sound interesting. When given a funny book to read he shines even more. He may be my favorite audio book reader. His voices are great and seems to really bring the characters to life. Full ReviewI grabbed the first book in this series a few months ago because partially because it sounded interesting, but mostly because it was read by Luke Daniels. I grabbed this book however because I really enjoyed the first one and was excited to see that a second book was out.My favorite character in the series is probably Philip, and he seemed to get more focus in this book. This book also addressed my major criticism of the first book: Where are all the women?This book sees us visit Atlantis, which was used as the explanation for why there was almost no women. I enjoyed the female characters introduced in this one, especially the Brits.Time travel stories are really hard to write well as it can all be very confusing. I think Mr. Meyer does a great job of handling this by having the characters be just as confused as everyone else. They offer several theories to explain things, but seem just as unsure of the plausibility as I was. This is definitely not a hard sci-fi book.The humor in this book probably wasn't as good as the first one, but that didn't make the story any less fun. I did find the parts focused on Jimmy to be less enjoyable than the stuff with Philip and Martin however.Overall I think this was another great entry in this series. Almost everything was nicely wrapped up, while the epilogue planted the seeds for a possible third book. I hope he does write a third because I'll happily listen to it. If not, maybe I can get Luke Daniels to read me the phone book.

  • Ashley
    2019-05-14 22:23

    What if the lost city of Atlantis was a lady utopia created by time-travelers? Well, there's this book, so you can find out one possible answer at least.Last time around, we were introduced to the time-traveling wizards who inhabit medieval England, because computers, and everything is in a computer and what are you gonna do. Our hero, Martin, helped defeat the wizard-gone-bad Jimmy, and has officially taken up comfortable residence in Camelot slash London. It's only been three months since they defeated Jimmy, and Gwen left for the more female-friendly Atlantis, but now Martin and his mentor, Philip, have been invited to a summit in Atlantis for time-travelers. The incident with Jimmy is just one example of time-travelers abusing their powers, and it's time to institute some rules and regulations.The book is actually split into two separate narratives, one in Atlantis and the summit, and trying to figure out who's trying to kill the leader of Atlantis, and one in present day with Jimmy trying to bamboozle the FBI agents Murphy and Miller into getting him access to time travel again, and that's uh-oh.I really like this series. It's just fun. But this book wasn't as fun for me as the first one, simply for the fact that last time we were being let in on the secrets, and this time we already know them. We do get to visit Atlantis for the first time, but that was sort of an anti-climax. Actually going to Atlantis takes all the fun out of Atlantis, you know? Philip continues to be my favorite character, especially the way Luke Daniels narrates him, and there is a little bit of romance in here, where last time it was just Martin getting shot down by Gwen all the time.It's just a nerdy good time, nothing special.[3.5 stars, rounded up for Luke Daniels' narration on the audiobook]

  • Jecille
    2019-05-26 01:28

    Amazing but confusingWhen dealing with alternate time lines and realities things get kind of confusing, no matter how many times I reread.But what isn't confusing is how fun and creative this book is. If you need a quick palette cleanse sit down for a few hours and try to wrap your head around this witty read

  • Ashley Cael
    2019-05-03 21:21

    Originally posted at Worlds AboundSpell or High Water is the 2nd in Scott Meyer’s Magic 2.0 series about Martin Banks and his belief shattering discovery that reality is actually a computer program. In the first book, we saw Martin discover the file that contains reality and figure out what it actually was, and how he could use it to travel back in time, give himself pretty much anything he wanted and all kinds of cool geeky stuff like that. We also met a bunch of other geeks turned wizards who found the file as well and all escaped back into history for the same reason Martin did (being chased by the feds for bank fraud). We left off with Gwen (Martin’s love interest) traveling back to Atlantis to live with other female “sorceress’” and Jimmy (the bad guy) getting sent back to his own time with no file access.The story starts up about a month after “Off to be the Wizard” ends. Camelot is doing well, the people are getting over Jimmy’s craziness and the wizards are all doing their thing (mostly nothing). Out of the blue, Phillip and Martin get a message from Gwen in Atlantis inviting them to a conference that’s being hosted by the head sorceress of Atlantis to discuss unifying rules that will govern all wizards across all times. The book starts out well; Martin and Phillip are still hilarious but the book quickly develops issues that really kill the story for me. Before going into the stuff I didn’t like though, I’ll go over the stuff I did like: 1) There’s still a lot of humor in the story. 2) The federal agents that were trying to arrest Martin had a bigger role in this book and they were actually pretty entertaining. 3) Martin FINALLY told Gwen off and I was like HALLELUJAH. She needed to stop being a wishy washy jerk. 4) I loved the narrator, he did an excellent job with this story.And that’s about it for the good stuff. There were a lot of things about it that made it not as good as the first one for me, one thing being that this book seemingly did not want to end. I honestly had to just force myself to listen to the last 2 hours. It’s not that the story was bad (it was interesting) it just had too much crap going on and way too much plot dragging. Also, I will be honest, Atlantis really made me mad. 1) The whole Brit the Elder and Brit the Younger story line was just convoluted and annoying. 2) The male servants that all sorceresses had at least one of (excluding Gwen). If that had been a group of men, that entire idea would be gross, but it’s ok because it’s not women doing the serving? Honestly, I can’t think of anything really very redeeming about Atlantis. I think they made a good point that in most times throughout history a female witch would be persecuted, but they wholly lose the moral high ground when all of their working force is built of attractive men in revealing clothes. In all, I’ll give the story a 2.5 out of 5. I will probably still read the next one in the series and just hope that we never have to hear about Atlantis again.

  • Christian Norfleet
    2019-05-22 19:09

    Repetitive and boring, the author lost a step.

  • Bram
    2019-05-22 00:31

    Spell or High Water picks up a few months after Off to Be the Wizard ends. I find it hard to critique this. It wasn't particulary suspenseful, and the humor is still quite cheap, but there is good entertainment value in this series, the science makes sense, for the most part and the charaters are likeable (or not, when they aren't supposed to be).I did really like the representation of Atlantis and the way everything is organized. The men vs women situation turned on his head was entertaining as well, with the way men defined "mens work" by it being the work that a man has to do in Atlantis (cooking, cleaning, gardening, chores and the likes, basically work that is unfit for a woman). ConclusionThis is another fun, light-hearted read that will fit quite good for anyone with a geek-bone.3.5 stars, rounded up, because it left me in a good mood.

  • Donna
    2019-05-10 17:09

    While the first book, Off to Be the Wizard, was certainly not deep, it was cute and entertaining and had a fun story. I was looking forward to seeing how Meyer handled the women wizards and the society they created. Turns out, it's not the society that women would create but the society that men think women would create, you know, if they were men. Seriously, Meyer has no idea how to write women. The plot was not terribly interesting and the never-ending confused babble about how two versions of a person can simultaneously co-exist got old really quickly. The side plot about Jimmy, the villain of the last book, felt forced and completely out of place and undoubtedly broke its nose when it fell flat on its face there at the end. I still like Martin and Phillip but the only thing really saving this was the awesome narration by Luke Daniels which is what got me into the series in the first place. I love his narrating skills so much I will probably try the third book when it comes out and hope it recaptures some of the charm of the first book.

  • Sinisa Mikasinovic
    2019-05-01 19:19

    What else could I have expected? It's Scott and Luke at it again :)If this is the type of humor you like, you'll have a blast! Exactly as predicted, the sequel followed the winning recipe to the letter: Interesting story, lovable characters, geeky humor and general hilariousness. Can't wait to grab the next book.Scott has a great talent for writing crazy stuff and Luke to make it sound even more hilarious. Truly a winning combination.If you're wondering why I'm acting like such a fanboy, you surely haven't read the first book. Go on, grab it. I'll wait. You'll get hooked too :)Maaaartiiiiiin! 🤣 Spell or High Water (Magic 2.0 #2)by Scott Meyer (Goodreads Author), Luke Daniels (Narrator)Verdict: Exactly as I wanted! All the good pieces from part 1 are here, too.Overall: Performance: Story:

  • Mike
    2019-05-27 00:27

    This was a disappointment, given how much I liked Off to Be the Wizard. The first book blended Matrix-esque computer metaphysics and Robert Asprin breezy fantasy in a way that was fun and engaging. The premise was cute, the characters generally likable, and the casual informality of the whole story was part of its charm. Sure the plot was lightweight and the details were goofy (e.g. medieval peasants speaking with contemporary diction), and the implications of time travel generally handled by the "not going to think about it my hands are over my ears la la la" method, but who cares. Fun, low-demanding read.In book two we're given a promising opening premise (Martin taking on an apprentice) which is immediately jettisoned in favor of a dull mystery set in a feminist Atlantis. The change of setting is briefly interesting, but the mood far less whimsical and fun than that of the prior book. One problem is that the computer/magic premise is no longer new; we need something equally interesting to sustain our attention, but never get it.A fundamental problem here is that the main characters are portrayed as immortal; there's thus no sense of stakes. It's not gripping when characters are faced with grave inconvenience. The time travel element worsens the lack of investment in everyone's fates. The plot concerns a series of assassination attempts on a character (Brit the Younger) who is not only invulnerable, but who is on speaking terms with her future self (Brit the Elder). BtE is effectively omniscient, knowing all the events about which we're reading, yet apparently not emotionally involved in any of them as they unfold. Hence, neither are we. The supposed love-interest, Gwen, is wooden and perpetually dour, and it's inexplicable why the feisty Martin has a thing for her. (I guess she's cute?) As in the first book she seems included out of sense of obligation to add gender balance to a male-driven story. She has the opposite effect, highlighting how dull the female characters are in contrast to their more colorful male counterparts. The conflict between Brits the Elder and Younger is one of the few interesting ideas, and "their" relationship with Phillip the book's only real emotional beat. But even this feels half-baked.A side story with Jimmy struggling to return from the mundane future has promise, but descends into tedium. His escort, two agonizingly slapstick cop caricatures, make these passages especially wince-inducing.One gets the sense that Meyer is uncomfortably bored with his own story about halfway through, and is racing through the motions to get to the end. The writing is terrible, in the C+ in English class sense; full of clumsy descriptive abstractions and random dips into omniscient third person for the sake of telling us what side characters are thinking rather than showing us.The series has blown its credit with me. I'll start reading the next book, but it had better be nonstop fun.

  • Joshua Gross
    2019-05-08 20:32

    I finally finished this damn book. First the positives. Author has a good sense of humor and we still see snippets of that in this book. I liked the Elder Brit/Younger Brit idea and the questions it raised about free will, but it wasn't really explored much. I also appreciated that he created a flawed system of government and then wrote about what would make it better, unfortunately it was the system created entirely by the women, so I'm not sure what that says. The book is long and meandering. The momentum is frequently interrupted by long boring parts about Jimmy, last books antagonist, trying to get his powers back and come back to the past. There are long action sequences where I lose all interest and have no idea what's going on. And a lot of the book was just boring. Not much would happen, then an assassination attempt poorly executed, then a stupid chapter about Jimmy, then more nonsense. What really annoys me is that those stupid chapters about Jimmy really didn't pay off. We get a little bit at the end of the book, but I think it's mostly set up for the third installment and had nothing to do with the rest of the book. I put up with the first one because of a fun and solid concept despite terrible writing. This one was unforgivable. And the weird thing? I'm actually considering reading the third one just so I can complete the story I've invested so much time in already. That's the real lunacy here. This guy is laughing all the way to the bank while I feel compelled to read his terrible books...

  • terpkristin
    2019-05-26 22:10

    Another cute story in the Magic 2.0 series. I really liked the story, though am unsure that the Jimmy story line is really resolved. What I think I liked best about this book was seeing Atlantis, seeing a different imagined world in time. I kind of envisioned the Britt's way of building it like an atom-by-atom rapid prototyper/makerbot machine. Maybe a little too much time was spent on discussing if the two Britt's are really the same person, but the "mystery" was fun and the way it was solved was amusing.Will we see more of Jimmy in the 3rd book? Probably, is my guess...

  • Arnheiður
    2019-05-23 17:28

    Okei þetta eru frábærar bækur - og hljóðbækurnar eru alveg virkilega skemmtilegar. Ég ætla að prófa að lesa þriðju á Kindle (kostaði bara 2$, hægt að fá fyrstu þrjár bækurnar saman fyrir rúma 3$) en mér finnst líklegt að ég skipti fljótt yfir í hljóðbókina.Þetta eru fullkomnar bækur ef maður er að leita að einhverju fyndnu og skemmtilegu sem er á sama tíma spennandi og nördalegt!

  • Shanna Early
    2019-04-28 22:35

    These books are light, fun reads. They're funny, creative, and really enjoyable.

  • Morgan
    2019-05-08 01:23

    Last year I read the first book in the Magic 2.0 series, Off to be the Wizard and I loved it. It was clever, funny, snarky, full of nerdy, geeky jokes and references, and time travellers being confused by other time travellers. It was a lot of fun and even though I never got around to writing a CBR6 review for it, I remember recommending it to some people. With good memories of the previous book, I picked this one up and saved it for the start of 2015 so I'd have it ready for the review. I figured it was a light book, an easy read, and I could possibly start the Cannonball off with a bang (no pun intended (ok, maybe a little)) by getting a book read in one day.It's January 4th. I think you can tell that that didn't go according to plan. I liked this book. I really did. I think Scott Meyer is a good writer with a nice feel for dialog and comedy, but I think this particular book could have used an editor. Or a beta reader, really. At the start of the book it's set up that Martin (the hero of the first book) is a wizard and has taken on an apprentice of his own (a newly-arrived time traveller and really, it's hard to explain it all without spoiling the first book completely). But then, before Martin can start teaching the new guy, he's whisked off to the city of Atlantis with his former teacher/best friend to act as representatives of their community of "wizards" to discuss ways to prevent abuse of the system that allows "magic" and time travel.Once we're in Atlantis there are multiple subplots: two romances, one series of attempted murder, snarking among the groups of wizards, weird gender role discussions, and time travel paradoxes. There's also a lot of time spent describing in great detail things that have already been described in great detail (seriously, once we're told how Atlantis and all the objects in it were created, we don't need our main characters to continue marveling at it every 5 pages).Through all this, there's a very strange third plot about the villain of the first book attempting to regain his ability to time travel. It's long and feels like unnecessary padding and while it is ultimately important to the very end of the book, the payoff isn't really satisfying. This section is where some of the best comedy happens, though some of it is repetitive. I think what would have really worked best for this one is if it were three separate, tight, short stories: Here's Martin fumbling his way through teaching (which never happens in this book because Martin has to go to Atlantis, so someone else trains the new guy), here's Atlantis with its murder attempts and romances and time travel paradoxes, and here's the tension-building return of the villain (I really feel like the ending would have been a hugely funny event and not the anticlimax it turned out to be if this story had been allowed to run uninterrupted). To sum up: Liked it. I recommend it if you've already read the first book. If you haven't read the first book, read that one and then decide if you want to give this one a go.

  • Krajnji
    2019-05-12 19:18

    No snappy subtitle this timeThe novelty begins to wear thin a bit, but the humor is still on point. The authors "voice" is still ever present and Luke Daniels (narrator) is very much an MVP of the book. I do wonder how much would my opinion differ if I were to read the book, instead listen to it. I often wonder this, especially in more "pulpy" books and I think it's inevitable. But that's perfectly fine. I hope the third installment covers some new ground.

  • Jennopenny
    2019-05-09 01:28

    This was better than part one and made me laugh out loud so many times in public. Because Star Wars references and such. Jimmy is still awful though but man this was so much fun! part three here I come!

  • Megan
    2019-05-04 23:14

    Just as good as the first. Maybe better. I bought and read it the day I finished the first one--practically in one sitting which is pretty rare for me.

  • Alex
    2019-05-03 00:14

    These books continue to be pure stress relief fun scifi fantasy. The stories are engaging, if a little one dimensional, the characters are people you can get behind. The way magic is portrayed is my favorite idea of magic, that everything is a computer program and just like opening a command console in Skyrim the world can be altered. If you need a break from life these are a great way to go.

  • David
    2019-05-26 01:08

    A really fun read. Like this author and this series.

  • Jake
    2019-05-22 23:35

    Not as good as the first but still entertaining.

  • Mat Webb
    2019-05-22 22:22

    Loved it just much as the first! More please

  • Danilo Velozo
    2019-04-28 22:08

    Divertido igual o primeiro, comecei essa série como uma leitura despretensiosa, e realmente estou ansioso para ler o próximo.

  • Noah Goats
    2019-05-19 17:37

    This novel is very entertaining. I liked it every bit as much as the first book in this series.

  • Candace
    2019-05-04 01:35

    Continuing in epic style, Magic 2.0 is creeping up into my favorites. Spell or High Water did not disappoint. It had the same layered, punctuated wit that I saw in the first. The audio reading but Luke Daniels was SPOT ON! I couldn't praise that higher. It's hard to compete with how awesome Off to Be the Wizard was, and I don't think this one quite achieved it, but as a second book, I thought it was delightful. My rating is 4 only because I am trying to follow the Time Travel loop, and as well as my brain is trained in following details, Time Travel is beyond my scope. I'm anxious to start the next one, in hopes that everything will be put back right, but I hope not everything is back right - I like the scale of hilarity of things NOT being right.

  • David
    2019-05-04 20:16

    This series is really fun.

  • Hobart
    2019-05-10 17:26

    This was originally published over at The Irresponsible Reader."It was an act of stubbornness, not intelligence." Vic nodded . "Sadly, I find that stubbornness often beats intelligence eventually. Stubbornness will beat anything eventually. That’s the whole point of stubbornness." Martin didn’t like that idea. He agreed with it, but he did not like it.This was not as impressive or surprising (or even funny, despite bits like the above) as Off to Be the Wizard. But it was probably a better novel. It's not as fun, but it's a better quality read.It's been a couple of months since Philip assumed the leadership of the wizards in Medieval England, and he's getting bored. When the invitation to a summit of all the magic users in the world comes, he and Martin agree to represent their group. The women of Atlantis are the organizers, and they bring 2 of every group -- all over the world and from all sorts of times. Turns out a lot of people have figured out how to tap into the computer program, and they've come up with unique ways of interacting with it. The summit is to come up with some rules to govern the use of magic (or whatever the groups call it) and how to stop/punish people like Jimmy (more on him in a bit) who abuse it. Before they can get into the meat of the summit, these two have to deal with a murder mystery, political intrigue, romance, romantic problems, and questions of free will/determinism (because who doesn't think that sounds fun?).Naturally, there's a heckuva surprise waiting for them when they get back. But that's not for me to get into. Atlantis is run by sorceresses, and is really the only place on Earth (throughout history) that they've felt safe and comfortable -- which is a pretty big indictment of the rest of the world, really. This is not to say it's the land of the Amazons or anything -- there are plenty of men around. Someone has to do the non-magical work around the city, right? The male culture that has arisen is the source of plenty of cheap jokes as well as a little cultural criticism for Meyer. Atlantis as a whole -- the city and how it's made, the political structures, the male/female roles, the culture -- this is the best thing that this book has to offer. Meyer really had to put the thinking cap on to come up with this -- and to keep it entertaining.I realize the previous book ended with a strong indication that the vanquished foe wasn't down for the count. But I'd hoped that we wouldn't see too much of him anytime soon. So much for that. Jimmy, the Wizard formerly known as Merlin, was around for a major role in this book. A larger role, really, than he played last time. Now, I didn't really like Jimmy as a character -- I know we're not supposed to "like" him because he's the bad guy, but that's not what I mean. As a character, he was okay enough for one book (especially a book focused on introducing us to the other characters and world), but I didn't want/need more of him. I'm still not crazy about him, even after the events of this book that make him a better rounded character. There's probably fewer jokes per inch gere than in its predecessor. But those that are there were solid, the voice of the narration is light and humorous enough that you don't miss jokes. I'm not saying there aren't jokes -- there are entire scenes that are little more than extended jokes (most of them worth it). Like its predecessor, there are bits of this book that are just great, are worth going through the whole book for, even if the book isn't your thing. For example, the conversation that Martin has with Gilbert and Sid, who are magic users who make a living doing stage magic. That conversation hits a sweet spot for me that little else can. You may not react that way to that conversation, but there'll be similar moments for you (that don't work that way for me). Actually, almost every conversation between Gilbert, Sid and Martin are pretty good, particularly where the former two explain to Martin why they don't get along.It's the same world as Off to Be -- same kooky guys, unique magic system and plenty of chuckles; but with a richer, better developed plot, and a more expanded world. Fans of the first will definitely want to check this one out. And, hey, learning who it was on the grassy knoll? You can't pass that up.

  • Jonathan C.
    2019-05-07 19:11

    "Spell or High Water" by Scott Meyer is a great addition to the Magic 2.0 series. After reading the first book "Off to Be the Wizard", I couldn't wait to get my hands on the next one. Before I started reading I read a lot of reviews about the book and it made me even more excited that so many people had enjoyed it. I was finally ready to begin my journey with Martin, Philip, Gwen, and so many other new and old faces. The book starts back in good old Leadchurch, the town where Martin had learned to become a great wizard with the help of Philip and his friends. It seems quiet in town, but eventually Martin walks into the local pub and sees an unfamiliar face. Marin soon finds out that this is another person who found "the file" (the program which is basically life and gives you the ability to alter reality). Martin, being the "powerful" wizard he is thinks, along with the approval of the new head wizard and his old teacher Philip, that he will be Roy's teacher. Roy and Martin don't really hit it off at the beginning, but Martin soon puts Roy in his place. Before they can really work too much on beginning Roy's training, Philip and Martin are invited to go to a summit meeting in where else but Atlantis, the place where Martin's past crush Gwen currently resides. Martin and Philip leave Roy with another teacher and head off to Atlantis. While this is all happening, about 800 years in the future the man Jimmy who was banished for changing humans into Hobbits and killing a village is trying to find a way to get back to Leadchurch. Once Martin and Philip are in Atlantis they find out that the whole civilization is run by women, and also find out that they have the same issues that a world run by men has. The city was built by a woman, Brit, but a younger version of herself also named Brit lives there too. It gets very confusing as things occur that seem to be trying to harm Brit the younger's life, but how could it work if her older self is alive? This is best explained by the following quote "It would take some time to make sense of this, if it was even possible, which was never a sure thing when time travel was involved" (Meyer 286). When Brit the Younger, Brit the Elder, and Philip have vanished, Martin, Gwen and a servant named Ampyx go on the hunt to find out what happened to their friends. This book was very interesting and confusing in a good way, if that makes any sense. I loved how in depth Meyer goes to really in a sense make us just as confused as the characters in the book are about so many things. The whole situation with the two Brits can be very confusing at times, but the characters are just as confused as the reader and I loved how that worked. Another very interesting characteristic of this book was a whole civilization started and controlled by women. The audience looks at the city which is absolutely stunning to look at, being completely made of diamonds and crystals. But, just like any society, it has its fair-share of flaws such as non-magical people not being allowed to vote, some of the women having male servants who are treated very much as second class citizens and many other things. It is written in a very non serious way, but it does show no matter who is ruling, there are always flaws and things to improve in societies. In the book, there were not many things I could complain about. Yes, it sometimes seemed to go too in-depth at some points where it didn't have too, but that wasn't a terrible issue. My main issue was that, at least with the version of the book published by 47North, there were an astronomical number of typos. Yes this may be a weird issue to have, but when I have lost count at the number of typos in a 10 page chapter, there is an issue. Some examples are the wrong to being used or the instead of they, etc... It just really got in the way of reading the book. I would get really into it, but then I would have a hard time figuring out what a sentence meant and have to re-read it to find out it had a typo. This may just be an issue with the printed book, but this is the only printed version, to my knowledge, that has been released and it just makes the book seem very sloppy at points. In all, I loved this book, but there were definitely things that could be improved for an overall better reading experience.