~by Shelly Mazzanoble
I probably wouldn't have picked up this book on my own. However, as virtually my entire gaming group had read it (males and females, both), I felt somewhat obligated (not to mention left out). While I liked the book and found it quite amusing, ultimately it wasn't as useful as I had hoped or anticipated from the reactions of the rest of the group.
Shelly Mazzanoble is a self-proclaimed, stereotypical "girly-girl." She uses this stereotype to her advantage in breaking down the stereotypes of the typical Dungeons and Dragons player (i.e. geeky, unkempt, teenage boys hanging out in the basement eating Doritos, etc.) The reality is that all sorts of people play Dungeons and Dragons: men, women, young, old, students, professionals...the list goes on. There is no one single kind of Dungeons and Dragons player, and Mazzanoble proves that.
As she states towards the beginning, "I somehow managed to find myself working in the games industry as a promotions coordinator at a company called Wizards of the Coast." As I see it, it was really only a matter of time before someone invited her to play Dungeons and Dragons. Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress provides an insiders view of the game from the perspective of someone completely new to Dungeons and Dragons (and someone who never expected to ever play, besides.)
The book makes for a very good introduction to Dungeons and Dragons--giving enough information to communicate the basics without so much detail that it will scare a new player away. In addition to the more technical aspects of Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress, Mazzanoble includes a light-hearted narrative highlighting her group's gaming sessions as well as a final chapter documenting her successful attempt to trick her friends into playing through a Dungeons and Dragons scenario.
While the book will probably be most useful to newcomers to the game, players of all levels will be able to get something out of it--even if it's only a good laugh.