Good news everyone! I've just found time to write more reviews! And you just read that in Professor Farnsworth's voice!
The above is a (feeble) attempt at humor. The gut-busters and knee-slappers found in "Magic", by Lazlo Zalezac, are incomparably funnier, and they're definitely a good reason to read it. I could stop here and have a succinct but accurate review of the story: it really is that funny, and I'd read it again just for the laughs.
Instead, I'm going to ramble on through a long-winded explanation of the pros and cons of this story. Feel free to stop now if you're someone who will be satisfied when I say that this is a well-written story by a creative mind that will leave you gasping for breath between the chuckles and guffaws which are inevitable upon reading this Pratchett-esque tale.
Technicality: This is nearly perfect. A few things here and there were explained in ways that were confusing, and there were some unobtrusive grammatical flaws. I complain here only because I have a better-than-average knowledge of grammar and few ways to lord it over people in my everyday life where I don't review erotica on the internet. Seriously though, this story is like everything LZ writes -- professional quality. I feel lucky as hell that he hasn't realized he can turn a dime on his wordsmithing and continues to post stuff here where I can read it for free.
Stroke: none present, none needed. Don't read this story if you want it.
For characters, this story has kicked every fantasy cliche right in the nads. Dwarves spend their time building hilarious contraptions, launching themselves into airborne accidents that would make Evel Knievel jealous, and generally annoying the police in the way that only creatures who love to take apart anything and everything can. The leprechauns spend their days alternately being drunkards and playing pranks on the main character's mom when she tries to get to the pot of gold.
Perhaps the only character more frustrating than Sean's overbearing mother, who basically runs his life for him like a puppeteer, is Sean himself. I don't think I've ever read anything where a character has irritated me as much as him, and I mean that in the best possible way. Sean epitomizes the phrase "book smart", and he does so to the point that I honestly don't think I could spend thirty seconds talking to him without tearing every hair out of my head and running off to hang myself.
That's not to say that I dislike Sean as a main character; the story is funny primarily due to his absolute seriousness at all times, whether he's listening to the dwarves explain where his mother's car went or play-fighting with a troll. He's lovable in his own way, even if I can't understand how he possibly gets the girl.
The only genuine complaint I can raise about this story is that the plot is, most of the time, absent. While reading, I got the sense that there was a destination that the story had in mind, and that I was definitely meandering closer to it, but I was unsure where I was going, whether I'd get there, or if I wanted to. One set of giggle-inducing hijinks follows another, and suddenly there's no more chapters left.
My dismay at reaching this point was alleviated only when I spotted the sequel: More Magic. This newfound comfort lasted only as long as it took for me to notice the dreaded italics at the bottom: in progress.
And so I say to you, Lazlo Zalezac, if you're reading this: Write faster, dammit! And great job with what you've already written!
To the rest of you: read it.
This story is a bit of a departure from most of the content that I've come across on SOL. 'Magic', by Lazlo Zalezac, is a laugh-out-loud yukfest, and a true farce, from the opening bell. It's a story in which almost nothing is handled delicately or seriously, and it's wickedly addictive.
Though not yet finished, the story seems like it could go on forever on it's current track, and I'd be happy if it did. The protagonist is chosen by the last of the magical creatures to re-introduce Magic to the world of man. If that was all there was to the premise, then you could easily imagine a Lord of the Rings-type epic adventure. You'd be dead wrong, however.
The laughs come in from the beginning, and sustain themselves all throughout the convoluted storylines. It's the best kind of lighthearted read, and thoroughly enjoyable.
While there is some sex in the story, it's so muted as to be negligible. Similarly, there is just some peripheral sex-related stuff happening, but nothing that would even dip it's toe into the pool of a 'Stroke Story'. Instead, it concentrates on producing loveable, laughable characters, and sinks it's claws in one guffaw at a time.