[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: Scholastic Inc.; Reprint edition
Formats: Paperback
Purchase: Powell’s | Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble[/alert]

Geek Fantasy Novel is a tale of fantasy, adventure, and comical satire within a fairytale setting and is unique to the young adult fantasy genre. The story follows Ralph, a geek and a teenager, who desires a position at MonoMyth, where he can design video games. Upon his rejection from becoming a fourteen-year-old game designer, he decides to defy his parents and follow his relatives’ invitation to visit them with a Wi-Fi network job awaiting him. His parents have sheltered him from his British family members as well as the joys of making wishes due to family circumstances, disappearances, and sometimes death that occurs after a wish is granted. However, when visiting his relatives, the Battersbys, one of his mother’s sisters, Chessie, Duchess of Cheshire, intrudes and offers Ralph a wish if he can have the cousins meet with her and grant them wishes. These wishes take Ralph and his cousins, Cecil, Beatrice, and Daphne to save fairies, battle a snow queen, and face two opposing sides in the Underworld.

This novel shares its point of view from two narrators, Ralph and an unreliable narrator who is recording the events that occur. There are also multiple parts in this book, giving the reader not just a beginning and end, but also three intertwining plots for each of the cousins wishes. Each wish focuses on one of the cousins either fulfilling hero roles, rescuing those in need or visiting the dead. The main purpose of each wish is to help each character develop and mature, however each is more fantastic than they can imagine and just as dangerous.

Family relationships are an integral part of the story as it shapes the characters and their decisions. Ralph quickly becomes attached to his cousins and ventures to help each one with their wishes. The reader will enjoy watching broken family ties mend. The setting is also crucial to the story. Each adventure is constructed by Chessie and shaped to fulfill each character’s desire. Each of these worlds are uniquely constructed.

At some points in the novel, Beatrice’s family lineage is unclear. This leads to less distinctive character development for her, including her wish process, which seemed rushed in certain aspects. While some parts of the novel were fast paced, other parts may not hold the reader’s attention as well.

People who appreciate young adult fantasy, comical exaggeration, and unique settings with a twist and an unusual ending will enjoy this novel.

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