Fans of Robert Anton Wilson’s fast and loose approach to political conspiracy and Douglas Adams’s bumbling unwilling heroes will eat up Irving’s first batch of giddy, clumsy world-saving adventures, which launches the Last American Wizard series. A “mystical terrorist group” sacrifices an airplane full of innocents to a dragon and uses the deaths to power an event that wreaks magical havoc on Washington, D.C. All the wizards in the U.S. government’s employ abruptly lose access to magic, and the world’s computers and gadgets become sentient.
Second-string journalist Steven Rowan embodies the tarot’s Fool and is forced to figure out the card’s magic on the fly. Bombshell soldier Ace Morningstar, who used her magic to disguise herself as a man so she could become a SEAL, drafts Steve and his cell phone, which contains the ghost of a Chinese factory worker who now communicates through screen animations and bad autotranslations, to help fix the mess.
Gathering allies, including NSA supercomputer Barnaby and Ace’s BMW, Hans, the team fights off newly transformed demons, dog monsters, and ogres while trying to find out who is controlling the Illuminati before the villains embark on the next step of their world-domination strategy. Irving’s smart parody of Beltway life and his high-energy storytelling carry through to the end and promise to maintain momentum well into the next installment.
--Starred Review – Publishers Weekly
Mystically powered terrorists unleash volatile magic on the world, turning Washington, D.C., into a politically charged fantasyland ripe for human sacrifice…
Hope appears in the nation’s capital where, along with transforming Democrats into potbellied elves, Republicans into cantankerous dwarves, and Tea Party members into trolls, the Change has granted struggling freelance journalist Steve Rowan the abilities of the Tarot Arcana’s Fool card, making him a powerful, yet unreliable, wizard. Realizing his potential, he is “hired” by the trivia-obsessed sentient computer Barnaby and coupled with the attractive, no-nonsense female Navy SEAL Ace Morningstar to uncover the puppet masters behind the plane crash.
Irving (Courier, 2014, etc.), a producer of Emmy Award–winning news television and a journalist well-acquainted with the Beltway, makes good use of clichéd Washington stereotypes by mashing them together with fantasy tropes, breathing new life into political satire…. Like many first books in a genre series, the novel foreshadows a greater enemy behind all this madness while barely hinting at its identity, offering a wonderfully bizarre consolation prize as its denouement.
A clever, humorous fantasy….