In need for a light, entertaining audiobook for a long drive, I came across Differently Morphous when browsing Audible’s recommendations. I’ve known Yahtzee Croshaw for years now through is work as a gamereviewer for The Escapist, which I find highly entertaining. So it didn’t take much to convince me to pick this up. I was not dissapointed.
It took me a while to figure out where the story was going, due there being a lot of time spent on the world building and character introductions, but once it got going, it turned out to be a murder-mystery with a magic twist. The mystery is centered around the murder of a “fluidid”, an interdimensional being with many physical similarities to slugs, and the subsequent hunt for the killer by the Department of Inter-Dimensional Afairs, or DIDA for short.
There are many, and I mean MANY references to modern society’s tendency towards being “politically correct” and “not offending anyone” with “free speech”. Yahtzee constantly takes jabs at this modern phenomenon and even has a character incorporate this into her very personality. Hillarious stuff, but even so, there’s enough there to make you think about it as well.
The story makes a few twists and turns along the way and keeps you guessing right up until the last moments, without feeling pretentious or overdrawn.
This is where this story really shines. There’s quite an extended cast, but each one has a distinct personality that grows throughout the story. The dynamic duo Adam the psychic and Victor the pyromaniac, are absolutely hillarious as they constantly try to have (or not have) philosophical discussions about what’s right and wrong. But the star of the show must be Dr. Diabolory, straight out of a cartoon and with more luck than humility. All of them were absolutely amazing.
Despite this being a modern fantasy novel, Yahtzee has managed surprisingly well to incorporate magic into regular life, with a fluent set of rules, which deepens as the story progresses. Everything feels plausible, and well thought-out.
Well, what can I say? The man writes his books like he writes his game reviews. Great humor, splendid wordplay and a fusillade of words that feels like poetry at times. I really missed having an ebook version to add highlights too, because there are some great quotes in here.
I had great fun with this one and enjoyed every minute of it. My only complaint would be that it could go just a little faster in the beginning, otherwise this would be flawless.