Orconomics: A Satire by J. Zachary Pike – An Audio Book Review



Professional heroes kill and loot deadly monsters every day, but Gorm Ingerson’s latest quest will be anything but business as usual.

The adventuring industry drives the economy of Arth, a world much like our own but with more magic and fewer vowels. Monsters’ hoards are claimed, bought by corporate interests, and sold off to plunder funds long before the Heroes’ Guild actually kills the beasts. Of course, that’s a terrible arrangement for the Shadowkin; orcs, goblins, kobolds, and their ilk must apply for to become Noncombatant Paper Carriers (or NPCs) to avoid being killed and looted by heroes.

When Gorm Ingerson, a Dwarven ex-hero with a checkered past, stands up for an undocumented goblin, he inadvertently singles himself out for recruitment by a prophet of the mad goddess to undertake a suicidal quest. But there’s more to Gorm’s new job than an insane prophecy: powerful corporations and governments have shown an unusual interest in the quest. If his party of eccentric misfits can stop fighting each other long enough to recover the Elven Marbles, Gorm might be able to turn a bad deal into a golden opportunity.


Author: J. Zachary Pike

Narrator: Doug Tisdale Jr.

Running Time: 11hrs 46mins

Audio Release Date: 21/12/2016

Series: The Dark Profit Saga #1

Genre: Fantasy/Comedy

Publisher: Gnomish Press LLC

My Rating of ‘Orconomics’: 5 out of 5

Purchase: Audible UKAudible USAmazon UKAmazon US



As of late I’ve been struggling to read fantasy. Just not really felt the urge for it. That feeling doesn’t seem to extend to comedy fantasy novels as my continued gushing praise for the Critical Failures series shows and now my love of this novel by J. Zachary Pike.

Orconomics won the Mark Lawrence’s Self Published Fantasy Blog Off in 2018 and I have been meaning to read it ever since. I’m glad I held off and opted for the audio version instead as Doug Tisdale Jr brings not only the book, but the characters to life in ways I wouldn’t have been able to in my head. His voice of the goblin is especially wonderful.

Unlike most comedy novels, this one revolves around economics and the trials and tribulations of making and losing money in an adventuring world where adventure-based profit is rapidly drying up. That may sound dull and tedious, but it really isn’t. It provides an excellent backdrop to a wonderfully told fantasy story.

The characters and the rivalries or relationships between them made for an interesting party to follow. A boisterous bard (who’s an ex thief), a pair of mages who’s respective orders are bitter rivals, a disgraced dwarf with a fondness of goblins and so many more intriguing characters make up for a fairly unique party.

I didn’t go into this expecting a range of emotions much beyond polite giggles and general laughter. What I was treated to were emotions ranging from happiness, to sadness, laughter to shock and, above all, that ‘why … just why would you do that?’ kind of betrayal feeling when an author goes and does something you don’t expect. Certain aspects of this novel hit me far harder than any ‘serious’ novel I have read int he past.

Orconomics is also one of those rare comedy novels that doesn’t rely on dick jokes or swearing or any form of crass humour. It features intelligent, subtle or situation-based humour that made me feel as though the story being told could work as either comedy or serious.

I can fully see why Orconomics won in 2018 and I’ll certainly be trying out many more offerings from J. Zachary Pike. Some authors are so talented that you just wanted to give them your money as you’re desperate to help them keep creating content for you to enjoy for years to come. Pike is one of those authors.

Anyone who’s in a rut and not sure what to read, I’d highly recommend this novel to you. It’ll lift you, knock you down and make you feel engaged in ways you seriously wouldn’t have expected.

It also has a purse kobold. What’s cooler than that? For those of you not aware of what a purse kobold might be … picture a cute little dog being carried around in Paris Hilton’s handbag … and swap it out for a cute little fantasy monster instead.

I’ll certainly be trawling through the old SPFBO novels from years past. Can’t be missing out on so many hidden gems.

10 thoughts on “Orconomics: A Satire by J. Zachary Pike – An Audio Book Review

  1. I’m honest that like Drew I’m not a huge fan of comedy, but well this review sold the book well. Lol, and one has to love something like a purse kobold. How on Earth does one come up with something like that 😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

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