Battle of the Linguist Mages by Scotto Moore

Battle of the Linguist Mages by Scotto MooreBattle of the Linguist Mages by Scotto Moore
Published by Tordotcom on January 11, 2022
Genres: Science fiction
Pages: 448
Format: eBook

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

About Battle of the Linguist Mages

BATTLE OF THE LINGUIST MAGES by Scotto Moore read like a mashup of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, Lexicon, Space Opera, and Ready Player One. This is a romp of a space opera.

We get Isobel, first-person narrator, who’s dominated the video game Sparkle Dungeon for years, recruited to help fight an alien invasion. How do they fight off the coming invaders? Linguistics with the help from….wait for it….punctuation marks. No really. Punctuation marks which arrived on Earth thousands of years ago, fleeing the coming destruction and finding malleable brains in us.

Now the punctuation marks have been teaching a few people how to use morphemes – small units of words that can be combined and then spoken or sung in a way to do everything from teleportation to causing a feeling of ecstasy.

My thoughts about Battle of the Linguist Mages

If you’re a fan of incredibly complicated plots and magic systems, this is for you. Also, if you’re intrigued by or want to learn about linguistics, also for you.

If you’re looking for something straightforward and simplistic, definitely not for you. If you loathe info dumps, also definitely not for you.

I enjoyed the wicked and spot-on looks at marketing and gaming and the very pointed takes on religion and government, including thoughts about anarchy.


  • Queer and nonbinary rep
  • Queer romance
  • First-person POV
  • Women nerds
  • Chosen one trope
  • Video game as training to battle aliens trope
  • Alien invaders – which ones are good and which are bad
  • Mysterious death/disappearance of a company leader
  • All of the gaming, music, religion, and philosophy references that you could want
  • All of the witty bants

In conclusion

I enjoyed this intricate puzzle of a book with its complex magic system, complicated plot complete with constantly shifting alliances, double and triple alliances. And all of that glitter!

About Scotto Moore

Scotto Moore is the author of YOUR FAVORITE BAND CANNOT SAVE YOU, a sci-fi/horror novella published by For fourteen years, he was an active playwright in Seattle, with major productions nearly every year during that time, and 45 short plays produced during that time as well. He wrote book, lyrics, and music for the a cappella sci-fi musical SILHOUETTE, which won the 2018 Gregory Falls Award for Outstanding New Play, presented by Theatre Puget Sound. He also wrote, directed and produced three seasons of the sci-fi/comedy web series THE COFFEE TABLE; and wrote and starred in the horror/comedy play H.P. LOVECRAFT: STAND-UP COMEDIAN!

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