Book notes: Spell or High Water by Scott Meyer

Spell or High Water by Scott Meyer book summary review and key ideas.

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Spell or High Water: Magic 2.0, Book 2 by Scott Meyer


“The adventures of an American hacker in Medieval England continue as Martin Banks takes his next step on the journey toward mastering his reality-altering powers and fulfilling his destiny.

A month has passed since Martin helped to defeat the evil programmer Jimmy, and things couldn’t be going better. Except for his love life, that is. Feeling distant and lost, Gwen has journeyed to Atlantis, a tolerant and benevolent kingdom governed by the Sorceresses, and a place known to be a safe haven to all female time-travelers.

Thankfully, Martin and Philip are invited to a summit in Atlantis for all of the leaders of the time-traveler colonies, and now Martin thinks this will be a chance to try again with Gwen. Of course, this is Martin Banks we’re talking about, so murder, mystery, and high intrigue all get in the way of a guy who just wants one more shot to get the girl.

The follow-up to the hilarious Off to Be the Wizard, Scott Meyer’s Spell or High Water proves that no matter what powers you have over time and space, you can’t control rotten luck.” -Audible

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Opening thoughts:

I’m excited to read this book because the last one Off to Be the Wizard was so good. It has been a while but I’m glad the beginning of this book has a short recap. I’m expecting this book to be just as enjoyable as the last one.

Key notes:

Chapter 1

  • Martin met Roy, the newest wizard to appear in town
    • Martin gave him a rundown of how this training works, why they do it, and the consequences of failing
    • Roy had a bad attitude at first but understood he was outclassed

Chapter 2

  • Jimmy visited Martin’s parents and was able to explain some of Martin’s situation to them in order to win their favor

Chapter 3

  • Martin filled in Roy about the society of wizards, and how most people came there to run away from getting caught
    • He thought it was strange that Roy didn’t bring his computer, and was the person furthest in the past to come there, though he was the latest addition

Chapter 4

  • Philip’s “busy” daily schedule consisted of making someone do busy work, then whatever else he wanted to do

Chapter 5

  • Some other wizards surprised Martin with a friendly sneak attack, and then they all showed each other their new spells

Chapter 6

  • Gwen sent them a message asking for Philip and Martin to come to a Wizard Council meeting in Atlantis

Chapter 7

  • Jimmy was talking to federal treasury agents to explain the mysterious embezzlement and disappearance cases that have been happening over the years

Chapter 8

  • Philip and Martin met Brit the Elder, who seemed to be happy to see them like old friends, even those they’d never met before

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

  • The guard Ampyx told them a bit about their society and culture
  • Philip mentioned that something was suspicious about Brit the Elder

Chapter 11

  • They started to mingle with other guests at the gathering
  • Brit the Younger chatted with Philip about his free will theory and how what they do doesn’t affect the future
    • Then Brit tells him how her situation with Brit the Elder is strange because the Elder’s past did affect the Younger’s future
  • Philip saved younger Brit from a falling statue 

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

  • The parliamentary proceedings occurred and Martin barely stayed awake
    • Then another statue fell on younger Brit but she was unharmed

Chapter 14

  • Philip and Brit went to check out deep ocean wildlife until something happened to their pod and it collapsed
    • Luckily they were able to escape

Chapter 15

  • They all discussed what might be going on, who might be behind it, and if the two Brits were really connected
    • They decided to go tell the older Brit

Chapter 16

  • Jimmy and the agents took a boxcar train from Seattle to Los Angeles

Chapter 17

  • Philip spoke with elder Brit about the situation but learned nothing
    • She said she had to play the part of not intervening while her younger self solved the problem

Chapter 18

  • They caught the fleeing assailant but discovered someone was using magic for these attempts

Chapter 19

  • The agents were able to try out Jimmy’s plan to access the file remotely, but the file was password protected

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

  • Agent Murphy visits Todd Douglas, one of the wizards that got expelled by Jimmy and was now in a secret federal prison facility in Florida

Chapter 22

  • Martin and Gwen chatted about their dynamic a bit given they knew Philip and Brit were lovers now

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

  • Philip and Brit had an argument about him flirting with elder Brit 

Chapter 25

  • Jimmy visited Tyler and tried to convince Tyler to help him

Chapter 26

  • There was another assassination attempt on younger Brit, and she and Philip were mysteriously captured and taken away

Chapter 27

  • Jimmy visited Gary and convinced Gary to not kill him so Jimmy could prove he was a changed man

Chapter 28

  • Nik the servant gave Gwen advice to be less subtle and convey interest or else Martin will start losing his

Chapter 29

  • Eddie was less than thrilled to see that Gary brought Jimmy to the castle

Chapter 30

  • Ampyx came in and told Martin how he admired him for being a man of action, and how he should trust himself and not think so lowly of himself

Chapter 31

  • Martin went to Gwen to convince her that Ida was still the prime suspect

Chapter 32

  • They discovered that it was Ida’s dumb servant who was behind everything

Chapter 33

  • Martin and Ampyx were fighting Neeloh in a town center
    • Ida and Gwen were fighting but then called all the sorceresses to sort things out

Chapter 34

  • Brit the Elder came and sorted everything out
  • Philip and younger Brit were safe but they needed to be gone for things to unfold as they did in the Elder’s memory

Chapter 35

  • Ampyx was rewarded by becoming Elder’s servant for his help
  • Everything was resolved, and there was now a council of 3 which included a chairman who wasn’t a magic user
  • Philip and Martin said their goodbyes

Chapter 36

  • Jimmy legitimately apologized by first manipulating everyone and then holding them all hostage
    • This was to prove that he had no grudges against them and wouldn’t hurt them even though he had the ability to
  • They eventually voted to allow him to stay under indefinite probation with limited powers/abilities until they deemed otherwise


Second Epilogue

  • Eventually Brit the Younger went off to build Atlantis in the past by herself and Brit the Elder threw her a farewell party

Closing thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book and it was a great sequel to Off to Be The Wizard. I like how it picked up pretty much immediately after the last book and had a unique concept that didn’t feel too forced.

Like most books with a sequel, I’m glad that they did concise recaps of the previous book so that the reader can essentially jump right into this book.

One plot point that I feel like didn’t really have a payoff was Roy’s character in the beginning. His mere presence is an enigma, being the person furthest back in time to find his way to Camelot but also the most recent addition. It had the feeling of being set up for some sort of plot point or twist near the end but it didn’t go anywhere. Unless it happens to pick up in the next book, this was probably the only part I was a bit confused about.

Overall, a solid book and a solid sequel to the first one. I’m definitely going to pick up the next book in the series sometime this year.


In Book 2, the wizards Martin and Philip find themselves in Atlantis trying to thwart an assassination plot against one of the sorceress leaders.

Similar books:


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


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