Battle of the Linguist Mages by Scotto Moore, publishing date 11 January 2022.
The title and cover made me request this book. Look at it, doesn’t it make you think Space Opera with magic and a pinch of language science?
The combination of magic, video games and linguistics, sounded so up my alley that I was really excited when I was approved for an ARC.
Sadly, this was not the book I had hoped it would be. It read like fan-fiction; and I don’t mean the good kind.
I could not connect with the MC. Isobel is the stereotypical gamer: recluse, full of herself, too snarky, but also too gullible.
The linguistics behind the spell casting within the game, although explained, made no sense to me. Power morphemes – so basically “shout gibberish” and you can cast a spell? Add alien punctuation marks and I am constantly thinking WTF?! Maybe I am too much of a linguist and overthinking this?
Here’s what else jarred
- The slang and pop-culture references felt out-dated, by at least a decade.
- Every character introduced themselves by stating their name, race and pronouns; “Hello, I’m …. I’m white. My pronouns are she/her.”
- A male author writing a lesbian (possibly bi) MC.
1/5 Harpy Eagles