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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
Joshua was ready to move on. He had said his final goodbyes to his loved ones through their dreams and was ready for what came next. He embraced the darkness, and yet something seemed wrong. Surely there was more to eternity than a dark and empty room. Then everything changed. But it was not the afterlife he had anticipated. He, however, was not the only one to be surprised. Having just turned twenty, Catherine, a summoner from the respectable Lippi family, found herself with an unranked soul guardian. While they try to turn the unexpected events to their favor, Joshua is determined to prove that his skills as a computer programmer and software developer are more useful than the magic and knowledge a real soul guardian would have possessed. But their new relationship is not all they have to contend with. The king has an assignment for the youngest member of each summoner house, and it seems that someone is intent on ensuring Catherine will not live to attend.
System Programmer is a fun, gripping, and entertaining fantasy by Jean Philippe Janssens. I really loved Joshua's character, and how he takes everything in his stride with fierce determination, loyalty, and a splash of humor. There were times when things he said or did caused me to laugh out loud. Pairing him with the more serious Catherine made for some interesting scenes along the way, especially since they are both, literally, from two different worlds. The characters' magic was varied, interesting, and clear thought had gone into creating the magical system. This is the first book in The Maiden and the Madman series, and the melding of humor alongside serious events and discovery made it an engrossing read. I found the author's style of writing engaging, fun, and well-paced. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for the next book.