Well, here’s an interesting one in the world of self-aware fiction.
Geek Fantasy Novel is a YA fiction written by E. Archer, and it is, indeed, a geek’s fantasy novel that pokes fun at all sorts of the genre’s tropes. It does not always win its gambles, but its unique (and unreliable) narrators will give you a good ride. The story centers on Ralph, a fairly typical geek whose parents implement one hard rule in his life: no wishes. Not even on a birthday candle! His wonderful imagination won’t always save him either. We meet Ralph as he’s being turned down from designing games at Monomyth. He was really counting on the job and becomes very discouraged by the rejection from epic escapism just when he needed it the most. But the mail brings him an invitation to a summer abroad to help his relatives install their Wi-Fi. Ralph accepts the weirdly convenient offer and ends up staying with his aunt and uncle in their sprawling England manor. The reunion expands with the Duchess Chessimyn of Cheshire, a magical aunt who grants Ralph and his three cousins the adventures they’ve always wanted. Within these shameless heroics, Ralph stumbles into new worlds and learns a little bit about himself along the way.
Or rather, the reunion explodes. Chessie’s ability to grant wishes ends up being just as unapologetic, irresponsible, and casually wall-breaking as the actual narrator.
What stood out to me about this book was the way it extravagates between Ralph’s tale and those in control of telling Ralph’s tale. The narrator constantly displays the polarizing qualities of wanting to meddle with the story’s outcome while being divested of the outcome entirely. Even the climaxes of each wish seem uninterested and blasé. Like I said, this story is self-aware. It’s arguably a novel about an author’s responsibility to a novel.
If that’s the kind of thing that interests you, give E. Archer a try. Sometimes Geek Fantasy Novel relies on wit more than a solid storyline, but overall it’s pretty amusing and unique. It ends with a funny twist and ultimately took a chance by wielding the sword of unconventional storytelling to remind us, really, to be careful what we wish for.