Orconomics: A Satire Review

A humorous story – enriched with clever twists on well known fantasy troupes!

Publisher – Gnomish Press LLC (22 Nov. 2014)
Page count: 362
Orconomics: A Satire Cover Art

Welcome to my first book review….Woohooo!! So there were two reasons that I decided that I wanted to read Orconomics by J.Zachary Pike – firstly the awesome cover art instantly grabbed my attention one day while I was looking through the SPBFO finalists from the past. I mean – who could not love a bank note with an orc’s face on it? But also the title was clever, building my interest immediately in how economics and the fantasy world could be entwined together (brilliantly and rich in humor is the answer). The second reason is because I am currently taking part in the Badge Collection created by the awesome Alex, who runs the Spells and Spaceships blog – I have tagged his twitter and blog below, so please check him out!

The book instantly transports you to a world where questing, loot collecting and generally dealing with the bad guys has been turned into big business. With loot being split between different quest investors, the ability to gain official papers turning you from a villain (or F.O.E) to a NPC, and a quest system that has been changed into a point system, as you gained points through questing and monster slaying, your rank increases within the Heroes guild. The book is loaded with clever and humorous twists on classic fantasy troupes – making be think back to the days where I played WOW (World of Warcraft), wondering how different the game would have been if it was based in the world of Orconomics.

The story follows the failures of a once proud and fierce Dwarf known as Gorm Ingerson – who due to his own failures has been kicked out of the heroes guild and forced to live outside of his old popularity and riches, but full of regrets. He is immediately introduced to the charming Gleebek – who even though spoke in a different language until he found a translator, always seemed to make me laugh! Something about, when a characters pretends to understand another’s gibberish, always makes me chuckle. (I am Groot!) The cast is soon filled out by a pervy bard trying to hide his past as a thief, a weapon master who doesn’t speak but is a genius tactician, two bickering mages and an elf who is addicted to health potions. The cast of characters were all interesting, having their moments throughout the story to tell their stories and make me laugh along the way. They work well together, whilst still being able to have their own character moments. No one particularly feels like a loose end.

Artwork of the heroes by George Sellas

“Not all who wander are lost; some are on quests.”

― J. Zachary Pike, Orconomics

The story of Orconomics is all about redemption and regardless of the rules or how desperately you would like to be rich and famous once again, it is about doing the right thing. And that idea is strung through the entire story for each of our characters – each displaying character growth throughout, regardless of the hurdles along the way.

The only real negative I had about the book however, was even though the characters made me laugh and I found each to be interesting in their own ways – I just never found myself caring deeply about them. They might not have been the intention of the author but it is always nice making a connection to the characters you are reading about. That is not to say there weren’t any moments that caused me to make those crucial emotional links – it was more if one of them was to lose their heads, I would have soon got over it within a few pages.

I would give this book a 4/5 stars – highly recommend to anyone who loves fantasy but is looking for a more relaxing read and enjoys a good chuckle.

Alex’s blog Spells and Spaceships – https://spellsandspaceships.com/

Alex’s twitter – https://twitter.com/blogspells

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