Last weekend I read one of the funniest fantasy books I’ve ever had the pleasure reading and today I wanted to share it with all of you. I laughed til I cried, I even snorted a few times 😉 By no means was this what I was expecting when I started reading it. It was fun, borderline satire at times, and I didn’t want it to end! Today I’m so happy to share it with you and have the author here to answer a few questions.
I received this book via Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
Length: 410 pages
Reviewing eARC from Author
When an ancient book capable of summoning a demon is stolen from heaven, Narius, a young and not so bright angel of knowledge, is cast down and ordered to destroy it.
If he fails, he can never return to his blissful life as a lazy library guard.
Fortunately, to aid him in his quest, Narius is accompanied by the Codex, a theoretically holy book, who sprouts terrible courtship advice like a cheap fortune cookie.
Upon arrival to the world below his, Narius is tricked into helping Emily, a greedy sorceress in a bit of a pickle, trying to deal with a hungry dragon.
Together, the human and the angel must overcome enchanted apples, evil elves and the impoverished dragon or risk watching their world burn.
Meet the Author
Lillian: Welcome Joe! Thank you so much for being here today 😀 Tell me a little about yourself.
Joe: Well, I am a Canadian and believe in being polite over everything else. I also live in a wooden igloo called an apartment that comes with air-conditioning.
When I’m not writing, I am most likely sitting in front of my computer, watching TV shows or playing games (A very avid gamer). But if I’m not sitting in front of my computer, I could be playing golf, tennis, taking my two dogs for a walk or going swimming. Then, I read myself to sleep every day (Or fail miserably if I really like the book).
Lillian: Would you say that there was an author or book that influenced you either growing up or now?
Joe: If I were to choose a single book that influenced me as I was growing up, I would have to say Eragon. It was the first YA novel I read, excluding Harry Potter, and I read it so many times that it essentially became a rag. I still have the book, but the binding has broken after so much reading. Despite, and maybe because of, the controversy that surrounds the book, it really led me to read more broadly.
As for the book today, it would have to be Terry Pratchett. I discovered his books only two years ago, and I’m still reading his work.
Lillian: Love HP!! But I have yet to read Eragon…it’s on my mountain of a TBR 😉 What inspired you to become a writer and when did you start writing and when did you complete your first novel?
Joe: September 16th 2012 was the very first day I started writing. Unlike other writers who had a burning passion to do so from childhood, I was motivated to be a writer as a result of “Ha! You call that a Fan Fiction? Hold my beer” moment. At the time, I was really in love with a certain show and thought I could write something entertaining.
And the result was that I created some awful things that I cringe whenever I read them now.
As for the Codex, something I can call my own completed book, it was completed December 3rd 2013. Of course, it went through roughly a year and a half of revisions and major corrections until it reached its current form.
Lillian: The Codex is a unique take on the fantasy genre, specifically angel mythology. Where do you get your ideas from? Is there anything based on real-life or is it purely imagination?
Joe: From anything I see or hear. The problem is having too many ideas and being unable to fit them into a book.
Almost everything is pure imagination, with the exception of one character who is essentially a collection of all my “adult” thoughts concentrated in a single entity.
Lillian: One of my favorite scenes from the book is when Narius eats the apple. What was your favorite scene/chapter to write?
Joe: When I do terrible things to my characters. I really like it when the readers find out that my happy book isn’t so happy.
To be more specific, my favorite part was when Narius cried for the first time in the book.
Lillian: If you could go back (not that you should because I LOVED it!) and do it all over again, is there anything you would change about The Codex?
Joe: I would probably have added more sexual jokes and perhaps an extremely explict “romantic” scene.
Lillian: Is there a character or theme from your series you’d like to go back to?
Joe: I would have liked to write a bit more about exotic foods. Perhaps a sizeable chunk of the book about the different types of cheese and what goes well with it.
Lillian: Now see I would’ve thought you’d go with chocolate seeing how Narius loves it so much 😉 What are you working on now?
Joe: I’m working on The Dictionary. A lazily written sequel for The Codex about a dictionary.
Lillian: Yes!!! Can’t wait for more 😀 Now for the hard questions….Favorite color?
Joe: Despite all the blues I have used in my book that may suggest I have a fetish for the color, especially in the beginning of the book. (Blue Codex, blue skies, blue striped skirt, blue eyed girl, manna being blue and the actual cover of book being blue.) The color red is my favorite color.
Lillian: Favorite movie?
Joe: The Princess Bride.
Lillian: Favorite TV show?
Joe: I would have to say the Big Bang Theory.
Lillian: Favorite place to write?
Joe: On my bed and on my back. (With a very, very clean mind.)
Lillian: I stepped into that one, didn’t I?! :::blushes::: If you had to choose just one book, what would it be and why?
Joe: Depends on what I need to use it for. If I need to keep myself warm in a cold freezing environment an erotica would be best. But in all other situations, it would have to be Terry Pratchett’s “Equal Rites” for making me laugh.
Lillian: Last question and possibly the most important….What brand of cereal best describes you and why?
Joe: Lucky charms. Aside from making a subtle reference to it in the first chapter of the book, it is a cereal that tries to make you laugh.
The Codex: An Angel’s Guide to Seducing a Human is now available on Amazon! AND for this weekend only (July 11 & 12) it is FREE!!! Go get it now….I’ll wait 😉
The Codex: An Angel’s Guide to Seducing a Human by Joe Duck is a funny tale about an angel sent to recover a lost book before a demon can be raised with it. Narius has a job to do, recover the Grimoire. Sounds easy but it’s not! When a chance encounter lands him with Emily, a human and a witch, she shows him a side of humans he’s never seen before and his job doesn’t seem quite as important.
I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! (Yes people that deserved all caps!) I love the characters, the world building, the borderline satire/fantasy, and I’m dying for more!!! Despite being just over 400 pages, I didn’t want the book to end. It’s funny, a little romantic, has plenty of fantasy elements, and it’s for adult :::whispers::: and I liked it!
A majority of the book is told from Narius’s perspective. He is the main character! Narius is an angel of Lord Halfaya, a keeper of knowledge. He doesn’t fight, he knows next to nothing about humans, and what he does know he learned in a book. He thinks he is a superior being knowing all and knowing what’s best for mankind, but all he knows is wrong! His naivety though is what makes his character endearing and just down right adorable (if a 6 foot, sexy angel can be called adorable).
Emily is the other main character of the book and a portion (though not nearly as large) is told from her perspective. She’s a witch, on her way to kill a dragon when she encounters the strangest thing…no spoilers I promise this happens during the first pages of the book…an angel stuck in the mud. 😆 Narius isn’t what she expects, and she plans to use him to her advantage. Unfortunately for her, she finds herself growing attached to him, which as a reader you’ll understand, and she’s almost protective of him. Despite her cold demeanor and demands for money, Emily is kind, caring, and fiercely loyal to those she cares about.
Then there’s the Codex, the book that this story is named for. It is sentient being, living for and knowing what is in its pages. It communicates with Narius and anyone who touches her…yes it’s a she. Her downside is that she….well how to put this delicately….she’s very ummm…..well the title says “seducing a human” and that is what she attempts with Narius. The problem is all the advise she gives is advise that would get a guy slapped. She brings levity to the book as she gets Narius in all kinds of trouble with Emily! I kinda like her 😉
The plot centers around finding the Grimoire, but it also follows the relationship that builds between Emily and Narius. Trouble finds them everywhere they go, and Narius learns that he can depend on no one but her to watch his back while Emily learns that her fairytale love she’s always dreamed of may not be possible with Narius. And I have to say there were a few twists in the plot I wasn’t expecting!
The Codex is described as lazy fantasy, and it’s just that. The world-building is fun, the characters are easily relatable, and the plot drives the story. It’s easy to read, easy to fall in love with and I believe will appeal to all audiences, even the non-fantasy lover. Be prepared to laugh, possibly tear up just a little, and fall in love!