Review: Gun Magus, by NR LaPoint
An isekai where John Wick falls into Final Fantasy
In Gun Magus, if John Wick fell into the realm of Final Fantasy VI, it might be half as badass as all this. It’s an insanely fun time. Michael Gallagher already reviewed it, but I thought I’d give it a crack as well.
On his way home after being fired from his job, Ken Jericho witnesses the kidnapping of a 10 year old girl. Being Texan, he charged in to get her out. During the firefight, he is disappeared into another world.
Meanwhile, in another world, a wizard is trying to conjure up lunch, but instead, he gets Ken. And a minute or two later, hordes of monsters attack. Ken finds himself with unlimited ammo, and the mage concluding that Ken is a “Gun Magus.” The wizard—who is a six-foot tall rabbit who is NOT named Harvey—has been fighting a villain for the past year who seems ever illusive, and these are his monsters. Ken, the mage and the mage’s apprentice are off to kill the insidious SOB.
Along the way, Ken and company collect others to their cause, a spider-girl, an Irish redhead woman pirate Captain, a pirate elf and a red panda Templar knight.
Once again, the depth of story, character, and the seemingly infinite imagination NR LaPoint effortlessly uses throughout the story reminds me of John C Wright. We need to get those two in a room and see if they come out ready to take over the world. Or at least write a 12 part fantasy epic.
This is an epic fantasy that has all the fun of fantasy, but none of the modern pretension.
LaPoint has a vivid array of characters this time. The rabbit mage, Rolfwin, throws fire like pyromania was going out of style. The apprentice, a woman named Zephyr, is delightfully histrionic around Ken, “defending her virtue” against no assaults whatsoever, and when Ken calls her bluff, she folds like a house of cards. It’s especially entertaining when she pretends to slip into the wrong room, calls him a pervert, then telling him that “only matrimony will have me yield my virgin frame to you!” Ken does little more than simply agree and sends her off, so he can just fall asleep already.
There are a lot of cute touches like that scattered throughout.
Mercifully, while LaPoint seems to threaten harem fiction, Ken’s first response is to kick everyone out of his bedroom so he can sleep.
Then there are the Templar battle pandas… No, I’m not making it up, nor did I coin it.
When I describe this as John Wick falling into the world of Final Fantasy VI, I wasn’t kidding. There is a ghost train (no one suplexes it, however), and a minion that nearly takes over the world (and close to breaking it). There are plant monsters with status effects. There are airships that are more like tanks. There are flying fortresses that become eldritch horrors. The world is just deep enough to keep the story going, and it is delightfully bonkers.
There are gaps, of course. We don’t know why or how the red panda Templars are Catholic. There are no interdimensional Catholic missionaries, and if there are, I don’t get their newsletter.
The closest this comes to politics is when Ken Jericho suggests that he doesn’t want to go back home, because if he returned his gun with the human traffickers would probably result in his arrest. Everyone here concludes that his world is stupid, and we get on with the plot.
None. There’s no sex. The violence is PG-13
Who is this for?
Gun Magus uses the imagination of John C Wright, the action of Jim Butcher, and the genre tonnage of every pulp novel put together.
Why read it?
John Wick fell down a rabbit hole, found an actual rabbit, and now has to fight off a Dark Lord with a spider girl, a pirate, and a red panda Templar.
Seriously, what’s not to love?
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