Awesome Comic Fantasy Audio Books for Dungeons and Dragons Fans
We live in a golden age of board games. We live in an era where this medium, this method of entertainment, is breaking out into the mainstream market. This has drawn a unique light onto the world, where once again, with a new age of nerdy celebrities waving the banner, we are seeing a resurgence of a sub-culture into something bigger and better than what it once was. It is the age of the geek, baby, and we are here to stay.
With this renaissance of board games, as well as geek culture as a whole, we have started to see a resurgence of people releasing books (and audio books) aimed at geeks. The marketplace now has a whole host of interesting series available, ready for consumption.
Amongst these is what can be called the “contemporary geek culture and/or comic fantasy”, and it is such a good genre. I am a huge Audible fan, consuming several books a week through the audiobook format. Some may even say I am an Audible addict, and yes, that seems fair. This past couple of years I have been consuming “contemporary geek culture and/or comedy novels”, high fantasy, science fiction, and drama novels like they are going out of fashion, and thought I would recommend a few today. To be precise, I thought I would recommend books that are perfect to get your Dungeons and Dragons juices flowing.
Why Dungeons and Dragons? Well, it is this genre that I love the most, and reading a few of these you will understand why.
Books for D&D Fans
Okay, I’m going to divide these into sections by author and then by series/book. You will see why in a moment. I will keep spoilers to a minimum, just giving the basic premises (the kind of stuff you can get from the back of the book or Goodreads summary); however, if you would rather just read the books then just look at the titles. These I have put in a list after each description. All are amazing.
Spells, Swords and Stealth Series
Drew Hayes is one of my favourite authors and this series is one of my all time favourite series of books. NPCs is the very first book in the series, and sets up the premise. Four players are playing D&D when their characters get poisoned by a mushroom and spontaneously drop dead. Four non-player characters – two humans, a gnome, and a half orc – have to take up the roles of the adventurers to complete their quest.
The Spells, Swords and Stealth series has such a unique premise and such likable characters that it was an instant hit for me. It is comedic, but not ridiculously so. It is also incredibly heartfelt at times, with some poignant moments. I can’t wait to get onto the third as the first two are fantastic.
Current Books in the Series
- Split the Party
- Going Rogue
Fred the Vampire Accountant
I very rarely binge read/listen to an entire series, but I have to admit, with the Fred the Vampire Accountant series I couldn’t wait to keep listening. Although not directly related to D&D, I believe most D&D players, especially those with a dry sense of humour, would love the Fred the Vampire Accountant books because they are…just…amazing.
Sorry, I was trying to find a better way of putting that, but on not a lot of coffee, “amazing” will just have to do.
The Fred the Vampire Accountant series follows the story of Fred, a newly turned vampire, and his adventures as undead. It takes into account all the problems that a vampire accountant would face in the modern day, in a world where all kinds of other supernatural beasts exist under the surface. From befriending a dragon to being the accountant to a series of shapeshifters, alchemists, mages, and all kinds of other things. It is such a good series that I can’t recommend enough – in fact, it is through the Fred series that I discovered Drew Hayes, who has rapidly become one of my favourite authors of the geek age.
Current Books in the Series
- The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant
- Undeath and Taxes
- Bloody Acquisitions
- The Fangs of Freelance
On the other end of the scale, in 2017 Nicholas Eames made me really feel for The Kings of the Wyld. At the moment it is the only book in The Band series, however, I am so pleased there are more to be released, as The Kings of the Wyld really stole my heart when I read it. The book follows Clay Cooper, an old warrior, from a retired adventuring band who used to run the Heartwyld. When his best friend’s daughter finds herself in trouble on the other side of the kingdom, Clay’s band come together to fight once more and come to the rescue.
Not only is The Kings of the Wyld a fantastic commentary on what the world of D&D would be like if it were real, with the old bands being replaced by young showboaters, but also it is a genuinely great story. It really adds heart to the adventure, with Clay being an ordinary man in an otherwise crazy world. The Kings of the Wyld answers the question – “What happens to retired adventurers?” as well as draws to the forefront how priorities shift for adventurers as they grow older.
Of course, the whole book is far from taking itself too seriously. There are some funny moments, as well as those much needed fist-pumping “hell yeah” moments, and a few teary eyed moments as well.
I cannot say enough how much I loved The Kings of the Wyld. It is a modern day swashbuckling adventure, that has real feeling behind it, and I have no doubt that the second book in the series will be just as good. Apparently it takes place six years later (according to the Goodreads page).
Current Books in the Series:
- The Kings of the Wyld
- Bloody Rose (Yet to be released – expected publication July 10th 2018)
Magic 2.0 is one of the series that first got me into Audible. It is certainly the series that first got me buying Audible credits alongside my monthly subscription.
So what is the best way to describe Magic 2.0? Well, it’s kind of The Matrix meets Dungeons and Dragons meets Medieval Fantasy meets a Buddy Cop movie. Sound intriguing? Yeah? That’s what I thought.
My whole gaming group loves the Magic 2.0 series and whenever asked to describe it to someone who is looking to read it we tend to describe it in exactly the same way. None of this explores anything bar the first couple of chapters of the first book. Skip the next quote block if you don’t want any spoilers at all.
Martin is a casual hacker. He has a hobby of finding corporate files, searching for his name, and correcting information about himself. One day, he finds a file which has his height in it, only Martin likes to tell people he is actually a couple of inches taller than he is. He changes the entry in the data file and, when going to the bathroom, notices that he is a couple of inches taller. He can now see over his bathroom mirror.
One thing leads to another and he does things like change his bank account details, the date, the place he is at, turns his smartphone into a supercomputer he can edit the code from, etc. and he finds himself being pursued by the law. So, Martin decides to travel back in time to Medieval England where he can live life as a wizard. Only he isn’t the only one…
It sounds completely wacky, but it is such a funny and amazing premise. Each book follows him and a collective of other hackers, passing themselves off as wizards in the Medieval world. It is hilarious, well thought through, comedy. I highly recommend it as a series.
Current Books in the Series
- Off To Be A Wizard
- Spell or High Water
- An Unwelcome Quest
- Fight and Flight
- Out of Spite, Out of Mind (currently an Audible exclusive)
What Geeky Books Do You Recommend?
This list has been a fairly specific list. These are series that I believe D&D players would enjoy, depending on your style of humour. They range from rude to dry to just surreal. Each is a series that I have personally thoroughly enjoyed.
That being said, I am always looking for recommendations for the next great comedy series. I do read/listen to serious books as well, just so you know, but I always like to have a comedy series on the go. It breaks things up.
So, please let me know. Which comedy series have you enjoyed? Which books would you recommend? Let me know in the comments below.