Mogworld is a rather interesting novel by the popular games critic Yahtzee Croshaw which bridges a few genres. On the face of it it’s a comedy-fantasy book with a distinctly bleak outlook on life that made Yahtzee so popular within the games reviewing world. Wizards learn their craft in a bargain-bin Hogwarts and spend their days as pest disposal experts. Priests are fanatical zealots while their followers switch from one religion to another as their needs dictate. Villains are more reminiscent of that boss you disliked at your first job then a world ending juggernaut like the Lord Ruler.
Yahtzees writing style is initially very fun, the jokes are shot out on full auto, but after a few chapters the novelty wears off. There’s a reason his reviews are only 5 minutes long, any more and fatigue will inevitably set in. No joke has more then a couple of lines of set up leaving the author with nothing but the crass and obvious to work with. While that may work on his reviews with their quicker pace, in a novel it really does just bog the reader down. Very few of the jokes get more then a chortle, which for a book hoping to ape Discworld in tone is unforgivable.
As for the characters, it’s a mixed bag really. The main lead Jim is fairly good in concept, being a suicidal zombie who just can’t seem to die, and loses body parts like you lose your keys. This fatalistic attitude plays well off of the Meryl our female lead who, while also on the muddier side of the grave, maintains an obnoxiously cheerful disposition throughout. Their dynamic is pretty good. Unfortunately she is the only female character of note, and is not a particularly strong one at that. Her entire arc is based around a need to follow Jim wherever he goes until he helps her, a rather tired and outdated way of writing female charecters in fantasy which will probably get a whole essay exploring it at some point.
Now this has been a bit negative thus far, which I do regret because the books does have some good ideas. The secondary plot has a solid concept and is well executed, it comes together well by the end of the novel and if focused more heavily upon the entire book could have been made substantially better. A bit more focus on the Science-Fantasy theme this plot line introduces really would have improved it alot, and it seems like the author was alot more confident in writing these scenes. They just seem to flow better then the rest of the novel.
Overall I’d have to recommend you read this book only if you found it in a library, or in a second-hand shop. It’s worth a couple of pounds and won’t take too much of your time, but you won’t remember it in a few days.
“He seemed to notice for the first time that we weren’t exactly rushing to his side, but were mainly watching him as a zoo patron would watch a crazy monkey, curious but ready to move at the first sign of poo-flinging. There was a minute of awkward silence before someone near the back with their head held under their arm said “who’s this twat?”
Amazon Link: Mogworld