Review: The Prince and the Program

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Thanks to DSP Publications for the review copy!

Reasons for Inclusion: Mordred is bi, M/M relationship 

My Review:

(4/5 stars)

Mori, once known as the Deathless Mordred Pendragon, solicits the help of some otherworldly contacts to land a too-good-to-be-true job at a mysterious tech company. And then he befriends a man he knows only through chatlogs, and all the while things are getting stranger and stranger. 

This was a very bizarre book, but I enjoyed it. Humor keeps the story moving: Mordred’s troubles with the demonic bureaucracy, puzzling through code that’s mostly made up of caffeine, and dealing with Imp, his irritating ramen-obsessed familiar.

There’s a lot going on. It gets even more interesting when, while trying to figure out what the hell his employers are actually up to, Mordred starts talking to one of the company higher-ups, Alan. They discuss programming languages, mathematics, the concept of souls, and soon talking to Alan is the high point of Mordred’s day. But both are hiding things: Mordred can’t reveal his true nature, and neither can Alan. Mordred eventually learns why he can’t meet Alan: he’s an AI. And possibly a reincarnation of Alan Turing. This sets a wedge between them for a while, and watching them overcome it was one of the best parts of the book.

It seems impossible that they will ever meet in person. Until the demons gain the upper hand, and the two are sent on a quest through the bizarre world of the dead (and undead),  a place full of traces of myth, zombie horror, computer nerd jokes, and emotional moments.

I especially loved Mordred’s snaky comments in the narration. The side characters were interesting, and his relationship developed in a way I really liked to read.

The Prince and the Program was a lot of fun, and I already know some people I’ll be recommending it to.

 

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