Review of The Half-Assed Wizard, by Gary Jonas

I received an Audible code for a copy of Gary JonasThe Half-Assed Wizard.

Description from Goodreads:

A couple of jerks wake me up at the crack of noon. Seems my clepto uncle stole an ancient deck of Tarot cards from a high-powered wizard, and too many losers want to ruin my day to get them back. 

The cards are cool, so I check them out, but my magic-happy cousin, Sabrina, tells me I’m not supposed to touch them. Oops. Too late. Now the damn cards are tuned to me, and if someone else wants to use them, I have to die. Why couldn’t she have led with that information? 

Magic was never my scene, but my dad is one of the most powerful wizards in the world, so I’ve got unrealized potential if I ever bother to apply myself. I’d rather power nap, but with wizards, gunslingers, and cannibalistic shark dudes coming at me, that’s not gonna happen. 

They say I’m a half-assed wizard, but if I don’t play my cards right, I’m gonna get my whole ass killed.


This is the third male-led Urban Fantasy, written by a male I’ve read in a row. They all seem to have variations of the same ‘hero’ (anti-hero). They’re sarcastic, misanthropic, invariably powerful, but determined never to be seen trying at anything. I wondered for a while why these characters are so venerated. But I’ve ultimately decided that it’s a validation of the male (white male especially) world view that a true man conquers and succeeds because he is simply and inherently the best. He shouldn’t have to try at anything, because he will still always come out on top. What more, to be seen to be trying undermines the naturalness of their supremacy.

I say all this in order for it to make sense when I say I am tired of this character. Brett is the just one more of an overplayed, unimaginative ‘hero.’ Perhaps he could be king of these men who refuse to even try to live up to their potential (but still expect to be handed the winning ticket). He is after all just as half-assed as the title suggests. His literal goal in life is to sleep all day and live on daddy’s money, while simultaneously refusing to comply or cooperate with the family in any way. I found literally nothing in him to relate to or enjoy. I wanted to spank him like the whiney man-child he was (and not in any sort of fun way).

What makes this whole situation worse is that I couldn’t even truly believe his refusal to use magic. His commitment to never using magic required a dedication I couldn’t imagine him capable of, especially as lazy as he was.

All in all, the book is written well enough. The narrator did a great job. And I can imagine a whole host of Chads enjoying it. But I most certainly did not.

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